What makes 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. House & Home, a new exhibition opening June 14, 2014, 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.
Drawn from the flagship installation at The National Building Museum, House & Home explores how our ideal of the perfect house and our experience of what it means to “be at home” have changed over time. Visitors will learn about issues of housing inequality, land distribution and the role of the government, from the Colonial period through the Homestead Act and the creation of the Federal Housing Administration in the 1930s.
Featured films, construction materials, domestic artifacts and photographs immerse viewers in how transformations in technology, government policy and consumer culture have impacted American domestic life. Related sections of House & Home look outward, exploring the relationship of the individual house to the larger society by presenting examples of contemporary community development through the film.
The Museum is planning several events in conjunction with the exhibit, including an illustrated lecture, “A Cultural History of Domestic Advice” presented by Dr. Sarah Leavitt, and a Family Program for all ages with Museum Educator Abby Miller on June 14th, and a special Opening & Public Reception on June 15th, with House & Home curator Sarah Leavitt of the National Building Museum. These programs are free and open to the public.
The House & Home exhibit will run through August 10, 2014
House & Home has been made possible through the 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. House & Home was organized by the National Building Museum, Washington, D.C., and curated by Sarah Leavitt. Additional support was provided by the Home Depot Foundation. Founded in 1972, Mid-America Arts Alliance is the oldest regional nonprofit art organization in the United States. For more information visit www.maaa.org or www.nehontheroad.org.
Special thanks to media sponsors: The Wichita Eagle; KMUW; and KPTS. Supported in part by the City of Wichita and the Board of Commissioners of Sedgwick County.
The Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum is open Tuesday – Friday from 11am to 4pm, and Saturday and Sunday from 1-5pm. Admission is $5.00 for adults and $2 for children 6-12. Children under 6 and Museum members are admitted free of charge.