Aug 17, 2023 - Sale 2644

Sale 2644 - Lot 291

Price Realized: $ 7,500
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 8,000 - $ 12,000


Archive from her 1992 campaign to put a drag queen in the White House.
More than 110 items (0.6 linear feet) in one box, plus an oversized poster; condition generally very strong. Various places, bulk 1991-1992.

Joan Jett Blakk, also known as Terence Alan Smith, ran four satirical political campaigns from 1991 to 1999: a 1991 run for mayor of Chicago, her highest-profile 1992 write-in campaign for the presidency with the Queer Nation Party, a 1996 repeat candidacy for the presidency, and finally a 1999 campaign to serve as mayor of San Francisco. The 1992 campaign was satirical and filled with raunchy humor. One of her many campaign slogans: "Elections are a joke--we're making this a good joke." Her platform included hiring Dykes on Bikes to handle national security, and appointing Diana Ross and the other Supremes to the Supreme Court. She also addressed serious issues, including gay rights, abortion rights, drug decriminalization, and universal health care. Her campaigns were the subject of a 2019 play and a 2021 documentary. This campaign archive includes:

[Marc Geller]; photographer. "Joan Jett-Blakk for President: By Any Means Necessary." Offset lithograph poster, 655x495mm; 25 3/4x19 1/2 inches; two small dampstains on right edge; signed and inscribed in gold ink "Oh Michael--Like a rock you are. I love to see you smile. I can never thank you enough and adore working with you. President Joan Jett-Blakk." 1992. The famous Malcolm X phrase "By Any Means Necessary" is invoked and the image is reminiscent of the famous 1967 poster of Black Panther leader Huey Newton in a rattan chair, but Newton's rifle and spear are here replaced by what appears to be an early Nerf rifle.

"Joan Jett Blakk for President. I Want You, Honey! Lick Bush in '92! Queer Nation Party." Poster, 420x280 mm; 16 1/2x11 inches; minimal wear. No place, 1992.

5 campaign buttons: 3 featuring versions of the preceding poster in various colors; one reading simply "Lick Bush"; and one reading "Still Here! Joan Jett Blakk in'96! Still Queer!" Also a pinback from the 1993 March on Washington: "Don't Fuck Up! AIDS Does Not Discriminate!" issued by Queers with Attitude of Chicago.

5 large color photographic prints plus duplicates, each 430x280 mm; 17x11 inches, of Joan Jett-Blakk wearing an American flag-patterned dress at a campaign parade on North Broadway in Chicago; all but one laminated. Also 3 smaller photographs, uncaptioned and undated.

Binder of campaign materials, 1991-1992, approximately 50 items. manuscript material includes a design for a "Joan Jett Blakk for President AND First Lady" handbill; a printed invitation to the campaign kickoff signed by Joan Jett Blakk with a smiley face; an Autograph Letter Signed from fellow outsider presidential candidate, poet Eileen Myles, reading "Sorry I missed you at the convention. THEY missed both of us. Here's my campaign literature," 27 July [1992] (with a packet of campaign material); letter from an NBC official to the Joan Jett Blakk for President campaign, stating that she "is not entitled to equal time" on Late Night with David Letterman, 19 March 1992; 5 other signed letters addressed to Joan Jett Blakk or her campaign manager Michael Schumann by various parties, including financial supporters and an invitation from Queer Nation Portland; and a signed invoice for 100 Pride NYC buttons. Other material includes original typescript documents plus printed or photocopied material, include retained copies of 3 letters sent by Queer Nation Chicago to Oprah Winfrey; "Joan's Announcement Itinerary" dated 17 January 1992; "Points to be clarified by State Board of Elections" including whether the assumed name Joan Jett Blakk can be used on a ballot; press releases; fliers; the "Joan Jett Blakk Presidential Announcement" speech; and letterhead.

Thick binder of about 40 photocopies and clippings on the campaign, 1991-1992.

Group of publications featuring Joan Jett Blakk, including The Advocate," 30 June 1992, with an interview on pages 68-71; "Oblivion: San Francisco's Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Guide," 18 January 1996 (article by Joan Jett Blakk, page 13); "Out Front: Colorado's Gay Community Forum," 29 April 1992 (cover article); "The Drama Review," Fall 1993, featuring an article titled "Joan Jett Blakk for President: Cross-Dressing at the Democratic National Convention"; 4 issues of "Nightlines Weekly," 22 January, 18 March and 30 September 1992, 21 February 1996 (all cover stories); program for Steppenwolf Theatre Company's production titled "Ms. Blakk for President," [2019]