February 2017

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Traveling Exhibitions

House & Home House & Home

House & Home is going on the road!

House & Home, which opened at the National Building Museum in April 2012, was funded in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Each year, the NEH chooses a few projects, prepares them for travel, and sends them across the country to increase visibility for the exhibitions and provide access for visitors nationwide. Through NEH on the Road, a division of Mid-America Arts Alliance, House & Home begins its journey in September 2013, and will travel for five years to venues across the country.

Drawn from the flagship installation at the National Building Museum, the traveling version of House & Home explores houses both familiar and surprising, past and present, and reveals the varied history and cultural meanings of the American home. Though smaller than the original exhibition (currently on view), the traveling version draws on similar themes, encouraging visitors to explore how our ideal of the perfect house and our experience of what it means to "be at home" have changed over time.

The exhibition includes domestic furnishings and home construction materials, photographs, "please touch" interactive components, and films. Together, the objects and images illustrate how transformations in technology, government policy, and consumer culture have impacted American domestic life. Quotations, toys, and other graphic advertising materials prompt visitors to think about the different ideas embodied in the words "house" and "home." The exhibition also showcases domestic objects−from cooking utensils to telephones−and traces how household goods tell the stories of our family traditions, heritage, and the activity of daily living.

House & Home also explores how different laws, historic trends, and economic factors have impacted housing in America. The American Dream, once more generally seen as an aspiration to prosperity, grew in the 20th century to be synonymous with home ownership. Visitors learn about the economy of housing and how homes have been promoted and sold. Issues of housing inequality, land distribution, and the role of the government are examined, from the Colonial period though the Homestead Act and the creation of the Federal Housing Administration in the 1930s; and from the Oklahoma Land Rush to the subprime loan crisis. Related sections of House & Home look outward, exploring the relationship of the individual house to the larger society by presenting examples of contemporary community development through film. House & Home moves beyond the bricks and mortar to challenge our ideas about what it means to be at home in America.

For booking information, contact NEH On the Road Client Relations at 800.473.3872, ext. 209/208 or visit nehontheroad.org.