Like Most Americans I have consumed a vast amount of advertising, media and pop culture imagery; as an artist and a collector I have amassed a formidable collection.
Curating the cultural clutter of Mid Century America has been a passion and avocation of mine for years and now thanks to the wonders of the digital age, all these dusty images can come out of hiding.
These images offer a mirror to the once upon a time American Dream as presented in a media calculated to sell the American Dream to the world and to ourselves.
Skillfully weaving fairy tales along with the Grimm Brothers, the Mid Century Mad Men of Madison Avenue spun a yarn or two themselves.
Of all the fairy tales I grew up with, the one about the American Dream would turn out to be the best fairy tale of all.
Though not part of my own memory, these three key events contained so many deeply embedded ideas about the American Dream that were passed on to me by my parents, helping to shape and define my own expectations.
If the seed of the American Dream was planted during the dark days of the Depression, germinated at the New York Worlds Fair of 1939, it was nurtured and cultivated during the solidarity, sacrifices and deprivations of WWII. By wars end it was ripe, ready to be harvested and it would blossom into full bloom in the Post-War years and beyond.
Yes, mine would be a magical life, handed the great American Dream with no strings attached, beneficiary of all the previous sacrifices and scientific know how, living out the suburban dream of plenty, sailing comfortably into easy retirement.
No dream so new and shiny would ever tarnish.