Retromania: graphic design and the American Dream
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] This body of work examines the cultural history of the American Dream through the visual language of mid-century graphic design and illustration. Rather than just a powerful ideology, the American Dream is thoroughly woven into the fabric of everyday life, playing a vital role in who we are, what we do, and why we do it. In this paper, we survey the history of the American Dream from the Great Depression to the present. We also explore the history of graphic design throughout this period and consider its complex and sometimes contentious relationship with the fine art establishment. Finally, we examine a visual thesis body of work that explores the hypocrisy and artificiality that exists within the American cultural tradition. Through this examination, readers and viewers will begin to reflect on their own experiences and thoughtfully consider what America truly represents as a nation in terms of class, desire, status, and consumption.
Access is limited to the campuses of the University of Missouri.