“For forty years, the enormous color transparencies that graced Grand Central Terminal touched the hearts of millions. Today, they represent not only an appealing and believable idealization of American life, but a nuanced and effective use of photographs to create desire for the products and activities they sold. As a museum of the photograph in history and culture, located in the city that Kodak made and made famous, George Eastman House is uniquely equipped to celebrate and explore these innovative and seminal advertisements. Now, twenty years after the last Colorama left Grand Central, a re-examination of these enchanting images offers insight into the histories of photographic practices and technologies, advertising, and the American story.
“Five hundred and sixty five Coloramas were produced between 1950 and 1990. Thirty-six are reproduced in the George Eastman House exhibition Colorama. The majority of the images in the exhibition were made in the 1960s-arguably Colorama’s heyday and a time of great social change in America. We are pleased to share these Coloramas with a new generation of viewers, who, we hope, will respond, not only as Edward Steichen did in 1950, ‘agog and smiling, All just feeling good,’ but with a thought to how these productions shaped a generation and its ideas about the world.”
-Jessica Johnson, Assistant Curator, and Alison Nordtrom, PhD, Curator, Department of Photographs, George Eastman House