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The Trump Baby Blimp rising over London’s Parliament Square (Michael Reeve/Flickr)

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When Donald Trump made his first official visit to the United Kingdom in July of 2018, he was greeted by mass protests and a giant balloon of his diaper-clad doppelganger hovering over Parliament Square in Westminster. Now, as Trump is about to leave office, the Museum of London announced that it has added the world-famous Trump Baby Blimp to its collection.

The protest balloon, which depicts the outgoing US president as a disgruntled infant, has toured the world since it was unveiled in 2018. Now it’s returning to London, where it will be conserved and possibly displayed at the museum’s new location in West Smithfield after it opens.

In a statement, Museum of London Director Sharon Ament said: “By collecting the baby blimp we can mark the wave of feeling that washed over the city that day and capture a particular moment of resistance — a feeling still relevant today as we live through these exceptionally challenging times — that ultimately shows Londoners banding together in the face of extreme adversity.”

The balloon will join the museum’s protest collection, which includes protest ephemera — banners, flags, and tents — dating back to the century-old Suffrage movement. The museum said that it’s also considering acquiring a similar balloon of London Mayor Sadiq Khan, featuring the politician reclining in a bikini. The balloon was flown above Parliament Square during protests over London’s rising crime levels.

The Trump Baby group, headed by activist-designer Matt Bonner, provided a statement that said: “While we’re pleased that the Trump Baby can now be consigned to history along with the man himself, we’re under no illusions that this is the end of the story.”

“We hope the baby’s place in the museum will stand as a reminder of when London stood against Trump – but will prompt those who see it to examine how they can continue the fight against the politics of hate,” the activists continued. “This large inflatable was just a tiny part of a global movement — a movement that was led by the marginalized people whose Trump’s politics most endangered — and whose role in this moment should never be underestimated.”

 

Hakim Bishara

Hakim Bishara is a staff writer for Hyperallergic. He is also a co-director at Soloway Gallery, an artist-run space in Brooklyn. Bishara is a recipient of the 2019 Andy Warhol Foundation and Creative Capital Arts Writers Grant and he holds an...