Buying Home / Selling America: the House Catalog, 1906-1966
curated by Rebecca Price
The 20th-century American house catalog provides a rich resource for investigation, relating countless stories that reveal a developing suburban middle-class identity. Through their stories the catalogs chronicle and make visible the development of the American family, home, and community through the twentieth century.
The exhibit, highlighting the growing house catalog collection at the University of Michigan library, tells many of these stories: the historical story recounting Michigan’s industrial past transitioning from lumber to automobile; the architectural story showing changing arrangements of domestic space; the sociological story tracing gender roles in the home; the materials story describing construction to furnishing to decoration; the economic story exposing the sale and financing of the American dream; the communications story visually presenting house plans and their promise; and the urban story tracking the development of suburbia.
When: March 19 - May 19, 2020
Where: the Stephen S. Clark Library
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