GLENS FALLS, New York—The Hyde Collection starts the new year with an exhibition that evokes a sense of nostalgia for a period in American history captured in large-scale images by Kodak.
Colorama examines the enormous advertisements displayed in New York City’s Grand Central Terminal for more than four decades. The 18-foot-by-60-foot images affirmed a picturesque notion of everyday American life, depicting an idyllic nation: beautiful landscapes, holiday celebrations, world-changing historical events, family road trips, and patriotism.
Through the captivating advertisements, this exhibition offers insight into the mind-set of mid-century America and the histories of advertising, photography, and technology. Thirty-six reproduced images re-create the nostalgia of these captivating advertisements in Colorama, which runs from January 13 to April 14 at The Hyde Collection.
With bold, bright colors and sharp, clean lines, the photographs sold a desire for the products and activities they marketed from 1950 to 1990. Most images in the exhibition are from the 1960s, a critical period of change in the nation and arguably the heyday of Colorama.
“Kodak photography redefined America for consumers across the country and around the globe,” said Jonathan Canning, director of curatorial affairs and programming at The Hyde. “For those of us of a certain age, this imagery resonates. Something subliminally tells us we want and need to be in the midst of one of these perfect panoramic images; to experience the natural beauty or idyllic family moment. And what’s more, we feel we should capture it forever — the famous Kodak moment.”
These images depict an idealized past for a new generation, and a welcome reintroduction for those who lived through the decades that helped shape popular photography. Colorama, which is organized by the George Eastman Museum, will be exhibited in Wood Gallery.
A Member Opening will be held for Colorama from 2 to 5 pm Saturday, January 19. That event — which is free for members, but also offers non-members a paid Member for a Day opportunity — will also celebrate the opening of From the Vault: Staff Selections.
It seems impossible to pick a favorite from The Hyde’s 4,000-work permanent collection. But Museum staff members — education, administration, security, operations, visitor services, finance, and curatorial — have done just that.
“This exhibition provides visitors a unique insight into what moves the people who keep The Hyde running from day to day,” said Curatorial Assistant Nicole Herwig, who curated the exhibition.
With selections from prominent artists including Winslow Homer, Pablo Picasso, Edgar Degas, and Elihu Vedder, and significantly more obscure artists such as Greg O’Halloran and the Master of Monte Oliveto, From the Vault provides a deeper look into The Hyde’s collection and insight into the people who work at the Museum.
“The works in this exhibition span seven centuries and feature paintings, sculpture, prints, photographs, and more — our tastes are as diverse as we are,” Herwig said. “From the Vault has been a really fun, interesting way to learn more about my colleagues and, in turn, more about the Hydes and the Museum’s amazing collection.”
The exhibition runs January 20 through March 31 in Whitney-Renz and Hoopes galleries.