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Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums since 1997

1950s: An American Dream?

Many have a nostalgic view of the 1950s. On the surface, this decade beamed with prosperity with new homes, automobiles and appliances. Yet, under this decade’s shiny appearance, many felt pressure 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 to target consumer behaviors. Everything from leisure activities to automobiles to appliances pushed for sameness and for keeping up with ones neighbors. The countryside itself shifted as new highways were built.  Changes were brewing below the surface of the American dream.

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