Park City wraps up exhibit with lectures and activities | ParkRecord.com

Park City wraps up exhibit with lectures and activities

The "Our Lives, Our Stories: America’s Greatest Generation" exhibit at the Park City Museum had entered its final three weeks.

The exhibit centers around those who were born during the Great Depression and went on to fight in World War II.

Throughout the exhibit’s run, the museum has presented events that tie in with the exhibit to the local population, said Wendy Ashton, the museum’s curator of collections and exhibits. A few weeks ago, the museum held a panel discussion about the bombing of Pearl Harbor with present and former Park City residents.

The latest event will start Thursday, March 3, with a lecture presented by Brigham Young University professor Susan Sessions Rugh, author of the 2008 book, "Are We There Yet? The Golden Age of American Family Vacations."

"Her book focuses on the years between 1947 and1973, and is about the post-war prosperity, including the paving of the interstate highways." Ashton said. "She’ll address the post-war rise of family vacations, and will put a Utah lean to it.

"Family vacations rose with prosperity and mass consumption," Ashton said. "People bought cars and TVs. The TVs showed everyone new places they could visit and they got into their cars and went to those places."

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The lecture will start at 6:30 p.m.

The next event, held on March 10, is called "’50s Family Fun Night." The hour-long event is appropriate for anyone age five and older, Ashton said.

"Throughout the exhibit’s run, we have done a lot of research for different arts and crafts of the era," she said. "That was the time period when ‘paint by numbers’emerged and families had a lot of free time.

"The board games that were developed, were big and since the population was booming, there was a rise in activities.

"We’ll have them go to the 1950s kitchen and do an activity that has something to do with the development of the TV dinner," she said. "Like the family vacations, people learned about new products on TV that helped simplify and enhance their lives. They started playing more games because they were advertised on TV."

"50s Family Fun Night" will start at 5:30 p.m.

The last program is a lecture on March 15 about the Topaz Internment camp that was located in Delta, Utah.

Jane Beckwith, president of the Topaz Museum Board, will bring some of the artifacts from those who were interned in the camp, Ashton said.

"Topaz was Utah’s only internment camp," she said. "While it is mentioned briefly in the exhibit, the lecture will be more expansive and closer to home."

A lot of art and crafts are among the items Beckwith will bring to the lecture, Ashton said.

"All these displaced families, mostly from the West Coast, were all very educated and tried to keep themselves busy while they were essentially prisoners.

"They didn’t have jobs, and the only possessions they had were basically what they brought in to the camp," Ashton said.

Art was a big activity in the camps, she said.

"There is one picture of flowers that were made entirely out of cucumber seeds and different things they found as they went through the site," Ashton said. "Jane has also gathered stories from some of the people who were in the camp, which gives some of the views of what it was like. It’s sort of an interesting overview of the experience."

The Topaz lecture will begin at 4 p.m.

Ashton said the museum was fortunate to bring the exhibit to town.

"Park City was a silver mining town," she said. "But during World War II, the backbone of the mining was lead. Since lead was used in the making of ammunition, the government sent people to help with the mining.

"It’s been a fun time having this exhibit here, and we wanted to make sure we brought things a little closer to home," she said.

The Park City Museum lectures and Family Fun Night are free with museum admission. Reservations suggested and can be made by calling 435-649-7457 or email Jenette Purdy at education@parkcityhistory.org .

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