An exhibition of dozens of advertising trade cards from the notable Daniel K.E. Ching Collection, Trading on Fear touches on the darker side of early American advertising.
Much as today’s television commercials are broadcast around the country, advertising trade cards were commonplace in 19th century households. They often commented on political and social issues, utilizing stereotypes of the Chinese to attract politically like-minded customers. Demonizing the Chinese, these images rarely matched the product being advertised. A reminder of the power of images in popular culture, Trading on Fear demonstrates how easily and dangerously anti-Chinese sentiment spread.
This exhibition is partially funded by Grants for the Arts, and is promoted in association with the Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center.