An upcoming exhibit at the Smoky Hill Museum will dig below the nostalgic surface of the 1950s.
The 1950s: An American Dream? is an exhibit designed to bring about nostalgic feelings for this period, but to also shed light onto some of the less remembered aspects that sat just below the surface, according to information from the museum.
The 1950s beamed with prosperity with new homes, automobiles, and appliances. It stands as a symbol of good times. Yet, under this decade’s shiny appearance, many felt pressured to conform to societal norms.
The American dream of the 1950s centered on nuclear families living in modern, suburban homes. However, not all was ideal. Family roles were changing. The business industry used color theory to encourage consumer spending. Everything from leisure activities to automobiles to appliances pushed for sameness and for keeping up with one’s neighbors. The countryside itself shifted as new highways were built. Changes were brewing below the surface of the American dream.
This exciting topic will be a two-part exhibit with Part I, The 1950s: An American Dream?, opening to the general public Oct. 19, 2019. Part II, Beyond the American Dream, is currently scheduled to open April 4, 2020. As always both exhibits will feature some great artifacts and hands-on fun.
The Smoky Hill Museum is a nationally accredited history museum located at 211 West Iron Avenue in downtown Salina. The museum is open to the public at no charge from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.