Summer Potpourri I

June 6th- Pop Art and 1960s Consumer Culture
This lecture explores the broad social, political, and economic context out of which Pop Art emerged in the early 1960s. Were Warhol, Lichtenstein, and their peers celebrating popular culture? Playfully spoofing it? Condemning it? Was it an ambivalent combination of all three? To try to answer that question, we will explore the varied, and often surprising, ways that ideas about consumerism fit into the intellectual and cultural landscape of post-World War II America.

June 12th- Sally Rand: An American Sex Symbol
Sally Rand sky-rocketed to fame with her infamous Fan Dance at the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair. She was one of the first celebrities to become famous for being famous, and her life reflected many of the highs and lows of such celebrity. We’ll take a look at Sally Rand’s long career (from her teen into her seventies), how it compared to that of her contemporary sex symbol (Mae West), and some personal anecdotes about working with Miss Rand.

June 19th- Ben Franklin: Inventions and Achievements
Many of Ben Franklin’s inventions have stood the test of time. We will discuss his numerous inventions, and how his discoveries caused him to be be ranked among the prominent world scientists of his day. We will also examine Franklin’s extraordinary achievements in applying the arts of compromise and diplomacy, showing leadership, at significant times in U. S. history. His goal in life was to be useful. The study of Franklin’s life shows how successful he was in this quality of being useful.

Dates and locations to be announced.

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