Object Timeline

1958

  • Work on this object began.

2016

  • We acquired this object.

2017

2021

  • You found it!

Textile, Suburbia, 1958

This is a Textile. It was manufactured by Preludes Inc.. It is dated 1958 and we acquired it in 2016. Its medium is cotton and its technique is printed. It is a part of the Textiles department.

An estimated twenty million Americans – many of them veterans returning from World War II – moved to the suburbs during the 1950s. These planned communities promised an idealized version of “traditional” family life, with quiet streets of close-set houses and tidy lawns. These semi-private outdoor spaces led to a sort of public domesticity which is the hallmark of suburban living.
Just as the skyscraper became an element of 1930s design, the suburbs themselves became a subject of novelty printed textiles and wallcoverings. An anonymous design of about the same date (2005-32-1) shows a variety of different housing styles, traditional and modern, side by side on the same street. This design, titled Suburbia, shares features of Lanette Scheeline’s 1939 Egyptian Garden (1984-56-1), which likewise depicts outdoor domestic activities like gardening, lawn mowing, and barbequing.

This object was donated by American Textile History Museum. It is credited American Textile History Museum Collection.

Its dimensions are

H x W: 215.9 × 118.7 cm (7 ft. 1 in. × 46 3/4 in.)

Cite this object as

Textile, Suburbia, 1958; Manufactured by Preludes Inc. ; cotton; H x W: 215.9 × 118.7 cm (7 ft. 1 in. × 46 3/4 in.); American Textile History Museum Collection; 2016-35-91

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If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1108711727/ |title=Textile, Suburbia, 1958 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=12 May 2021 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>