The classic metal and wood structures that have populated playgrounds for most of the twentieth century—towering metal slides, giant jungle gyms, whirling merry-go-rounds, bouncing seesaws—have become beloved artifacts of childhood. They are part of the personal histories of most Americans over the age of 30, as well as a tangible piece of the country’s cultural and industrial design heritage.
Once Upon a Playground offers a visual tribute to these vanishing playgrounds of our past, celebrating their place in American culture and the collective memories of generations. The exhibition combines contemporary photographs of classic equipment, vintage images of playground scenes from the Library of Congress’s collections, and images from period playground catalogs and other ephemera.
A program of ExhibitsUSA, a national division of Mid-America Arts Alliance and The National Endowment for the Arts.