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Pop Culture: A Cultural Revolution

February 3, 2018- December 2018

Harrington Changing Gallery

A Cultural Revolution will take a look at major historical events of the last sixty years and beyond that have shaped society and influenced popular culture. This exhibition will bring to light how these historical events influenced popular culture and entertainment in ways the general public may not realize.

The visitor’s journey will begin by stepping into the 1950s, with the rise of the Cold War, and touch on topics like the Red Scare and McCarthyism. We will take them into a 1950s bunker, presenting the opportunity to touch items and supplies that were deemed necessary to survive an attack by the USSR. It will then move into major historical topics, covering the Civil Rights Movement, the Space Race, the Cuban Missile Crisis, Vietnam, Counter Culture, and much more. As we look at these issues, visitors will be able to see how the rise of comic books, like X-men, Captain America, and Wonder Women, still relevant in television and other entertainment outlets today, were directly influenced by history.

PPHM wants the visitor to not only see the artifacts, but also, experience them and the decade they represent. It will be an immersive experience, allowing visitors to see a piece of the Berlin Wall, learn not only about the history and context of its significance, but the significance of the messages and artistry on the wall as well. This will provide visitors with an interactive platform to share and reflect their own artistry and thoughts.

It is vital to the people of the Panhandle-Plains region to tell this story of how the world we live in today came to be, while also telling the story of how we fit into the context of major world issues.

Paul Levitz, the former head of DC comics said, “All pop culture reflects the time it was created in, great pop culture helps change the time it lives in.”[1]

We hope the pop culture exhibition, A Cultural Revolution at the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum will reveal that, just beneath the surface of all of these items, is an incredible story of our own history that created who we are today.

[1] Paul Levitz, Superheroes Decoded, TV Series, Narrated by Kevin Conroy, New York: Warrior Poet, 2017.

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