Exploring the Mid-Century Backyard
The suburban backyard is an American original—an invention so familiar it hardly seems invented at all. Patios, Pools, & the Invention of the American Backyard explores the midcentury backyard from the rise of the suburbs and tract houses, to the beauty of postwar garden design, and the birth of the environmental movement. Filled with vintage photographs, historic drawings, and fun period advertisements, the exhibition reveals how these spaces became such an integral part of American popular culture.
“Patios, Pools, and the American Backyard”
runs from October 30 – December 31, 2021 and is open for all ages.
The Fairfield Museum looks forward to sharing this incredible story. The Fairfield Museum is located at 370 Beach Road, Fairfield, CT and is open every day from 10am to 4pm. Admission for Museum Members is free, non-member adults are $5, students and seniors $3, and kids under 5 are free. Become a Fairfield Museum member for only $30 and enjoy free admission plus many other benefits.
“Patios, Pools, & the Invention of the American Backyard” is presented by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service and the Smithsonian Gardens’ Archive of American Gardens.
Image credits, in order of appearance:
Lakewood Plaza, outdoor living space. Long Beach, Calif., 1950s. Maynard L. Parker, photographer. Courtesy of The Huntington Library, San Marino, Calif.
Lakewood Plaza, exterior and family. Long Beach, Calif., 1950s. Maynard L. Parker, photographer. Courtesy of The Huntington Library, San Marino, Calif.
Carol Holloway, 14, in her backyard in Jefferson Heights, Los Angeles, June 1961. Phyllis Kelson Holloway, photographer. Courtesy of a private collection
The Farnham family in their Mendham, New Jersey garden, 1960s. Molly Adams, photographer. Smithsonian Institution, Archives of American Gardens, Maida Babson Adams American Garden Collection
Benton House, Phoenix, Arizona, 1940s or 1950s. Smithsonian Institution, Archives of American Gardens, Garden Club of America Collection