Once Upon a Playground (June 16, 2018 – October 16, 2018)
The classic metal and wood structures that have populated playgrounds for most of the twentieth century—towering metal slides, giant jungle gyms, whirling merry-go-rounds, bouncing seesaws—have become beloved artifacts of childhood. They are part of the personal histories of most Americans over the age of 30, as well as a tangible piece of the country’s cultural and industrial design heritage.
Once Upon a Playground offers a visual tribute to these vanishing playgrounds of our past, celebrating their place in American culture and the collective memories of generations. Co-curated by Brenda Biondo, author of Once Upon a Playground: A Celebration of Classic American Playgrounds, 1920–1975 (University Press of New England, 2014), and Carol Johnson, recently retired curator of photography at the Library of Congress, the exhibition combines contemporary photographs of classic equipment, vintage images of playground scenes from the Library of Congress’ collections, and images from period playground catalogs and other ephemera. By bringing together these diverse sources, the exhibition highlights a playground vernacular that developed over decades, while providing historical context and cultural insight.
Once Upon a Playground is organized by ExhibitsUSA, a program of Mid-America Arts Alliance, Kansas City, MO.
This exhibition is toured by ExhibitsUSA, a national program of Mid-America Arts Alliance. ExhibitsUSA sends more than 25 exhibitions on tour to over 100 small- and mid-sized communities every year. These exhibitions create access to an array of arts and humanities experiences, nurture the understanding of diverse cultures and art forms, and encourage the expanding depth and breadth of cultural life in local communities. For more about ExhibitsUSA, email MoreArt@maaa.org or visit www.eusa.org.
About Mid-America Arts Alliance
Mid-America Arts Alliance (M-AAA) strengthens and supports artists, cultural organizations, and communities throughout our region and beyond. We achieve this primarily through our national traveling exhibition programs, innovative leadership development, and strategic grant making. We are especially committed to enriching the cultural life of historically underserved communities by providing high quality, meaningful, and accessible arts and culture programs and services. Each year M-AAA’s programs reach one million people. We believe in more art for more people. Additional information about M-AAA is available at www.maaa.org.
America’s Road: The Journey of Route 66 (February 5, 2018 – May 6, 2018)
Route 66 is emblematic of the American experience. Nearly every aspect of 20th century United States history is reflected in the story of the people and events along the Mother Road. Those who take the journey down Route 66 today can still explore the Main Street of America. Nearly a hundred years of highway culture can be found, whether a thriving relic or decaying ruin. Thousands of people from around the country and around the world drive all or portions of the Route each year. The highway stretches 2,448 miles and crosses through eight states, tracing the migration of people from the Midwest to the Pacific coast.
The Park City Museum is pleased to host NRG! Exhibits’ America’s Road: The Journey of Route 66 exhibition. This exhibit shares the history of and fascination with one of the world’s most famous highways. It includes photographs, narrative, music, and objects from the Route 66 heyday. It is appropriate for all ages.
The Way We Worked and The Way Park City Worked (November 11, 2017 – January 10, 2018)
The Park City Museum is thrilled to announce a collaboration with Utah Humanities to bring The Way We Worked, a Museum on Main Street (MoMS) exhibition from the Smithsonian Institution on year-long tour through Utah. Park City is the final stop on the tour.
The Way We Worked exhibition examines the strength and spirit of American workers through archival images, compelling videos, and fascinating interviews. As the tour makes its way through Utah, we’ll be reminded that “we aren’t the Beehive state for nothing!” and will better understand how work is a key component of Utah’s own identity.
To accompany and complement the Smithsonian exhibition, the Park City Museum has created a new exhibition, The Way Park City Worked. The exhibition tells the stories of several Park City workers pre-1950, who pursued careers outside the mining industry, when mining was the backbone of Park City’s economy. In addition to the exhibitions, there are many family-friendly, no-cost events such as a writing workshop, storytelling, film screening, and book club discussion.
The Way We Worked has been made possible in Utah by Utah Humanities. The exhibition, created by the National Archives, is part of Museum on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and State Humanities Councils nationwide. Support for Museum on Main Street has been provided by the United States Congress.
The Hunt for Treasure! (June 23 – October 19, 2017)
The Hunt for Treasure! has four themes: sunken treasure, buried treasure, metal detecting, and the modern treasure hunt. Visitors will love hunting for “treasures” with a metal detector, digging for treasure on Virtual Oak Island, making a crayon rubbing of a coin replica, estimating the value of treasured object, smelling the scents of the pirate life, going on a treasure hunt in the exhibit, hoisting pirate flags up the mast, and exploring the contents of a geocache. Videos feature underwater Remotely Controlled Vehicles (ROV) and the story of geocaching: the modern treasure hunt.
Spirited: Prohibition in America (April 6 – May 25, 2017)
Last call, last call! The Park City Museum is going dry with its newest traveling exhibit, Spirited: Prohibition in America. On display from April 5 to May 25, 2017 in the Tozer Gallery, this exhibition details “the noble experiment” from start to finish, and everything in-between. Learn why America had a drinking problem, explore the loopholes in the Volstead Act (the law that enforced Prohibition), try your hand (err, foot!) at the Charleston dance craze, and celebrate “happy days are here again” with the repeal of Prohibition in 1933. The exhibit features semi-immersive environments, with text, photographs, objects and interactive elements, where visitors can experience the sights and sounds of this fascinating period in American history.
This exhibition has been made possible through NEH on the Road, a special initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities. It is brought to you by Mid-America Arts Alliance. Spirited: Prohibition in America was organized by The National Constitution Center, Philadelphia, PA.
Apron Chronicles (September 16 – December 11, 2016)
Apron Chronicles: A Patchwork of American Recollections presents the American experience through photographs, accompanying text in story form and over 100 vintage aprons. The exhibit explores the people behind the aprons, and is ultimately more about life than fabric. The diverse storytellers include a Holocaust survivor, a biology professor from Mali, Africa, and a preteen and her grandmother. Best selling author EllynAnne Geisel’s stories and vintage apron colleciton give voice to the exhibit, with award-winning photographer Kristina Loggia preserving the storytellers’ images in an environmental style that complements the unadorned honesty of their recollections.
House & Home (June 16 – August 11, 2016)
What make a house a home? Throughout American history, people have lived in all sorts of places, from military barracks and two‐story colonials to college dormitories and row houses. Drawn from the flagship installation at The National Building Museum, House & Home embarks on a tour of houses both familiar and surprising, through past and present, to explore the varied history, and many cultural meanings of the American home.
NEH on the Road’s House & Home encourages visitors to explore how our ideal of the perfect house and our experience of what it means to “be at home” have changed over time. The exhibition includes domestic furnishings and home construction materials, photographs, “please touch” interactive components, and films. Together, the objects and images illustrate how transformations in technology, government policy, and consumer culture have impacted American domestic life.
This exhibition is made possible by NEH on the Road, a special initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities. House & Home was organized by the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. It was adapted and toured by Mid-America Arts Alliance.
Go Figure! (February 12 – May 16, 2016)
This sensational exhibit transforms charming children’s books into a kid-sized world where children and adults delight in exploring math and books. The exhibit offers hands-on, play-filled experiences with simple math concepts and areas for children and adults to read together. Each environment offers a unique setting in which the vital link between parent and child is supported without being prescriptive. Parental interest and involvement can foster a child’s natural curiosity and intuitive sense of math, making a difference in school and later in life.
Copyright 2013 Minnesota Children’s Museum. All Rights Reserved. Go Figure! was created by Minnesota Children’s Museum in collaboration with the American Library Association with funding from the National Science Foundation.
Plastics Unwrapped (October 3, 2015 – January 8, 2016)
Can you imagine a time when there were no waterproof raincoats? No plastic buckets? Humans existed without plastics for centuries. Now, we rely on them to meet our basic needs. Plastics help keep us safe and healthy. They make our daily lives convenient in so many ways that it’s nearly impossible to imagine a world without them.
Before the 1950’s, we hardly used plastics. How did they go from being rare to being everywhere? Plastics Unwrapped explores how material culture was changed—rapidly and perhaps permanently—by plastics. Learn what life was like before plastics, how they are made, why they’re so convenient and beneficial to use, and what happens after we throw them away.
Plastics were marketed as the “material of the future.” Now, that prediction has come true. They will stay in landfills and oceans for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. In order to counter the impact of plastic waste, we need to rethink our relationship with plastics. Discover how, at Plastics Unwrapped.
Plastics Unwrapped is a traveling exhibit organized by the Burke Museum, University of Washington. The National tour has been generously sponsored by The Boeing Company and the University of Washington. Sponsorship of the local presentation of Plastics Unwrapped was provided by the Park City Museum.
Step Right Up! Behind the Scenes of the Circus Big Top, 1890 – 1965 (April 6, 2015 – August 11, 2015)
In an era spanning the early 20th century, through depression ridden times and a dust bowl, one form of revelry thrived – the circus. Traveling from coast to coast, rail cars packed with canvas, exotic animal menageries, strongmen, fat ladies, and roustabouts brought a much needed relief to millions of Americans. Starting in April, visitors to the Tozer Gallery will be able to view the Park City Museum’s newest traveling exhibition, Step Right Up! Behind the Scenes of the Circus Big Top, 1890 – 1965, which explores another side of this thrilling spectacle and a history fraught with intrigue and majesty.
The exhibition is toured by ExhibitsUSA, a national program of Mid-America Arts Alliance. ExhibitsUSA sends more than 25 exhibitions on tour to more than 100 small- and mid-sized communities every year. Mid-America is the oldest nonprofit regional arts organization in the United States. More information is available at www.maaa.org and www.eusa.org.
The Bison: American Icon (November 10, 2014 – January 7, 2015)
For thousands of years until the early 1860s, there were tens of millions of bison roaming the plains of North America. By 1890, there were fewer than 300. What happened?
The Bison: American Icon opens with this fundamental question, and takes visitors on a quest to discover the “before” and “after” of the bison’s dramatic decline. The exhibit tells the story of the Plains Indian peoples who relied on bison for nearly every aspect of their daily lives, and the devastating effect of the European fur trade demand which eventually transformed bison into a commodity.
A combination of Plains Indian artifacts, natural history materials, popular culture items, bold graphics and interactives will help visitors learn how bison almost became extinct, but also how they were brought back from the brink and evolved into a symbol of America.
This exhibition has been made possible through NEH on the Road, a special initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities. It is brought to you by Mid-America Arts Alliance. The Bison: American Icon was organized by the C. M. Russell Museum, Great Falls, MT.
Wild Land: Thomas Cole and the Birth of the American Landscape Painting (June 16, 2014 – October 20, 2014)
Wild Land: Thomas Cole and the Birth of American Landscape Painting explores the world of Thomas Cole, an English immigrant painter who revolutionized American landscape painting. Take a walk “into the woods” and step inside the artist’s studio to discover how Cole’s ideas on the natural world shaped our national landscape.
Through large-scale banner graphics, immersive environments and other interactive elements, the exhibit traces Thomas Cole’s transformation from an itinerant portrait artist to the founder of the Hudson River School. Discover how Cole transformed nature sketches into a new vision of wilderness, and how the meaning of nature itself has changed over time. Contemplate the importance of preservation and how to live in balance with natural resources.
This exhibition has been made possible through NEH on the Road, a special initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities. It has been adapted and is being toured by Mid-America Arts Alliance. Wild Land: Thomas Cole and the Birth of American Landscape Painting was organized by The Thomas Cole National Historic Site/Cedar Grove, Catskill, New York.
Mines to Moguls: 50 Years of Park City Skiing (November 23, 2013 – May 25, 2014)
In December 2013, Park City Mountain Resort turned fifty. To help celebrate the history of the resort and its impact on Park City’s development as a ski town, the Park City Museum showcased its newest exhibit, “Mines to Moguls: 50 Years of Park City Skiing. The exhibit featured a 35-foot timeline detailing the ski area’s evolution into a world-class resort, from its start in 1963 as Treasure Mountains to the glory days of the 2002 Winter Olympics. Visitors to the Park City Museum’s newest exhibit:
–Helped us document how skiing has grown in Park City over the years by placing a dot on the timeline for the year they starting skiing here.
–Stepped inside an authentic yellow gondola from the resort and listened to stories from former passengers.
–Took a seat at our coloring station to decorate a skier or snowboarder cut-out with their favorite ski outfit and added it to the wall of skiers on Park City’s slopes.
We were excited for the opportunity to share this significant part of Park City’s history with our members and visitors. Thank you for celebrating the 50th anniversary of Park City Mountain Resort with us!
Mail Call (May 11, 2013 – October 20, 2013)
A name is shouted out, and a parcel is handed through the crowd to its eager recipient—mail call is a moment when the front line and home front connect. Letters, news and packages from home unite families, boost morale and in wartime, elevate the ordinary to the extraordinary.
The traveling version of the National Postal Museum’s permanent exhibition, “Mail Call” explores the history of America’s military postal system, and examines how even in today’s era of instant communication, troops overseas continue to treasure mail delivered from home. Organized and circulated by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, the exhibition tells the fascinating story of military mail and communication—from the American Revolution to current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
With compelling documents, photographs, illustrations and audio stations, “Mail Call” celebrates the importance of this correspondence. Visitors can discover how military mail communication has changed throughout history, learn about the armed forces postal system and experience military mail through interesting objects and correspondence both written and recorded on audiotape. The exhibit offers an appreciation of the importance of military mail and the hard work that has gone into connecting service men and women to their government, community and loved ones at home.
SITES has been sharing the wealth of Smithsonian collections and research programs with millions of people outside Washington, D.C., for 60 years. SITES connects Americans to their shared cultural heritage through a wide range of exhibitions about art, science and history, which are shown wherever people live, work and play. Exhibition descriptions and tour schedules are available at www.sites.si.edu.
The National Postal Museum is devoted to presenting the colorful and engaging history of the nation’s mail service and showcasing one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of stamps and philatelic material in the world. For more information visit www.postalmuseum.si.edu.
Mail Call is a National Postal Museum exhibition organized and circulated by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service.
Eat Well, Play Well (February 2, 2013 – May 5, 2013)
What is in the food we eat? Are fruits and vegetables important? Can everyday activities burn calories? Visitors will find the answers to these questions by exploring nutrition and fitness in Eat Well, Play Well, an engaging and educational science exhibit. This hands-on exhibit appeals to children and their families and features text in English and Spanish.
Eat Well, Play Well encourages healthy living by teaching the science of making healthy food choices and helping children and adults discover many fun and interesting ways to stay active. Visitors will discover what an appropriate serving size looks like, see firsthand what it takes to burn off calories, test their flexibility and balance, review the latest clinical research and realize that they can reduce their risk of disease with healthy choices.
Eat Well, Play Well was produced and is toured by the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. This exhibit was made possible by a Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Administrative Supplement from the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Linedrives and Lipstick (November 10, 2012 – January 7, 2013)
Sounds of America’s pastime: the crack of the bat, the roar of the crowd, the cheers of “Atta girl!”. While the 1992 film, A League of Their Own, introduced contemporary audiences to the WWII-era All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, women’s baseball actually began with the creation of the Vassar College team in 1866. Women were paid to play ball less than a decade later, and a surprising number of women were included on 20th-century men’s teams.
Linedrives and Lipstick showcases many of the pioneering players who garnered cheers from adoring fans – and braved critics’ jeers – as they barnstormed across the country from one game to the next. While the boys of summer remained paramount in the minds of many fans, their female counterparts played with enthusiasm and pride on teams like the All-Star Ranger Girls, Philadelphia Bobbies, Rockford Peaches, Black Sox Colored Girls, and Racine Belles.
Their hard work and dedication earned them a place in the public eye. From the covers of national publications including the Saturday Evening Post and Collier’s to advertisements for soap and other household products, women ballplayers became inspirational icons and national celebrities. From early games played before small, yet curious crowds in 1875 to the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League’s 1948 season that attracted 910,000 paying fans, the history of women’s baseball was as exciting and tumultuous as a fast-paced game. Linedrives and Lipstick celebrates the legends and landmarks of the dedicated women athletes who hit, fielded, slid, and caught with passion.
Curated by Saint Mary’s College Archivist John Kovach, Linedrives and Lipstick also features additional commentary by Barbara Gregorich, author of Women at Play: The Story of Women in Baseball (Harcourt, 1993), winner of the SABR-Macmillan award for best baseball research.
A Program of ExhibitsUSA, a national division of Mid-America Arts Alliance and The National Endowment for the Arts.
Alert Today, Alive Tomorrow: Living with the Atomic Bomb, 1945 – 1965 (June 16, 2012 – October 21, 2012)
On August 6, 1945, a specially-equipped American B-29 Superfortress dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. On August 9, another atomic bomb fell on Nagasaki. For most Americans, the immediate reaction to the atomic bomb was relief: it had ended the war. But as the United States celebrated, it also braced itself for the uncertain future of the Atomic Age. For the next two decades, the looming threat of Atomic war dominated American society.
Traveling exhibition Alert Today, Alive Tomorrow: Living with the Atomic Bomb, 1945-1965, which opened at the Park City Museum June 16, explores the ways in which Americans experienced the Atomic threat as part of their daily lives—at school, in the home, and even at play. Visitors will experience how Americans were flooded with messaging through images and media that depicted the dangers of atomic energy. Although the threat of Atomic annihilation eventually drifted to the background of American consciousness in the late 1960s, the Atomic Age left a legacy of governmental response and civic infrastructure that remains relevant today.
Alert Today, Alive Tomorrow was curated by Michael Scheibach, an independent collector in Independence, MO, and Leslie Przybylek, Curator of Humanities Exhibitions at Mid-America Arts Alliance. The exhibition is toured by ExhibitsUSA, a national program of Mid-America Arts Alliance. More information is available at www.maaa.org and www.eusa.org.
Going Places (April 6, 2012 – May 28, 2012)
Before the dawn of the automobile, horse-drawn carriages were essential for providing Americans with goods, services and leisure opportunities. As the standard of living improved during the 19th century, more people began to own carriages. The demand for better roads grew, and better roads allowed people to go places faster and further than ever before. This boosted the economy and paved the way for the Industrial Revolution and the invention of the automobile.
This exhibition has been made possible through NEH on the Road, a special initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities. It is brought to you by Mid-America Arts Alliance. Going Places was organized by The Long Island Museum of American Art, History, and Carriages in Stony Brook, New York.
Park City Pets: Our Lives with Animals (October 2011 – March 19, 2012)
What would our lives be like without animals? For a town whose nickname is “Bark City,” it was only a matter of time before we focused on Park City’s four-legged history. From dogs dressed in Depression-era doll clothes to their own modern, designer duds, Park City has had a special relationship with their pets. However, animals have served more than emotional and social needs. 100 years ago, miners used mules underground. Even today, animal like dogs and horses work as therapy animals.
This exhibit featured stories of Park City Pets–like how the Dog Parade began, and how one candidate for city council ran on the “More Dogs on Main Street” ticket! Visitors could sculpt an animal and add it to the Pet Mobile, and add their pets to the Pet Census.