Ahead of the inauguration of the US president-elect Joe Biden this week, the Museum of London has acquired a large balloon depicting an unflattering caricature of Donald Trump as a giant baby.
The sneering inflatable Trump, who is depicted in a diaper and waving his cell phone around, was first flown over London’s Parliament Square in 2018 to mark the then president’s official visit to the UK. It has subsequently become a reoccurring emblem of dissent at anti-Trump protests around the US.
The London museum first expressed interest in acquiring the balloon two years ago, and says it will conserve the object as part of its collection of protest ephemera, potentially displaying it in the museum’s future new home in West Smithfield in “the coming years,” according to an emailed statement.
Museum of London director Sharon Ament says that the balloon marks an important continuation of London’s rich history of political protests, which includes the Suffragette marches of the early 20th century right through to the Black Lives Matter protests last summer.
“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,” Ament says in a statement. “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.”
Trump Baby. Photo courtesy of the Trump Baby World Tour Facebook page.
The team behind the so-called Trump Baby tells Artnet News that it donated the giant balloon to the museum, but it has kept a half-size version to continue to fly at other protests. It hopes that the balloon reminds people in future of the global politics of resistance that surrounded Trump’s term in office.
“This large inflatable was just a tiny part of a global movement—a movement that was led by the marginalised people whose Trump’s politics most endangered—and whose role in this moment should never be underestimated,” the team says in a statement.
It also hopes to prompt museum visitors “to examine how they can continue the fight against the politics of hate.”