Arts » Visual Arts

Review: Covering America in the 1950s and early 1960s: The Saturday Evening Post Magazine



3.5 stars

The Rose McKee Lanham Gallery, Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center. An engaging exhibition of "30 original works of art alongside the covers they graced showcases a magazine that captured the heart and soul of the United States" during the post-WWII decade of suburban boom when returning veterans moved out of cities into new developments featuring lawns and trees and attached garages. One lingers over the seeming fulfillment of "the American Dream" with changing gender roles, shifts in family expectations, and the ascendancy of the automobile and a must-have material culture. The themes reflect changing life patterns and values from self-sustaining homey small towns and energy-filled city neighborhoods to nondescript sprawl, sparking nostalgia for the simpler times when life may have been harder without the array of modern conveniences including washers and dryers, air conditioning and the ubiquitous vacuum cleaner. The covers invite reflection -- do we do we really need all the stuff overflowing in our current lives and directly traceable to "the decade of tremendous growth and change"? Along with three works by Norman Rockwell, artists showcased include John Clymer, StevanDohanos, John Falter, George Hughes, Amos Sewell, Richard Sargent, Mead Schaeffer and ThortonUtz. At the exhibit's opening on Oct. 7, Joan SerVaas, chief executive officer and publisher of The Saturday Evening Post, said, "It's a pleasure to share some of our many famous covers illustrating the American life and experience with the people of our hometown of Indianapolis, where The Post remains headquartered today." Through Feb. 19, 2011. – Rita Kohn


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