VOLUME 33, NUMBER 25 THURSDAY, April 18, 2002

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Lockwood exhibit celebrates fab fifties
Display coincides with "The Fifties" course, "Tumultuous Fifties" at Albright-Knox

Reporter Editor

Yes, Elvis is in the building.

Lockwood Memorial Library, that is.
  Comic books and automobile memorabilia are among the items in the exhibit, "Fifities Flashback," on display in Lockwood Library.

Tunes by the "King" are among the memorabilia from the 1950s featured in an exhibit, "Fifties Flashback: Popular Culture and American Society," on display in Lockwood through May 31.

As part of this exhibit, the Arts and Sciences Libraries is sponsoring a series, "Reading the Fifties," in which faculty members discuss the classic '50s novels "Things Fall Apart," "On the Road," "The Catcher in the Rye" and "The Fellowship of the Ring."

The Lockwood exhibit coincides with "The Fifties," an undergraduate course being taught this semester by Bruce Jackson, Distinguished Professor and Samuel P. Capen Professor of American Culture in the Department of English, and "The Tumultuous Fifties," an exhibit of photos from The New York Times' photo archives that recently closed at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery.

UB librarians developed the Lockwood exhibit because several of them had selected advertisements for digitalization and display via computer as part of another exhibit of '50s memorabilia Jackson was asked to put together to accompany the Albright-Knox exhibit, says Charles A. D'Aniello, associate librarian in Lockwood who coordinated the Lockwood exhibit along with Don Hartman, associate librarian in Lockwood, and Michael Morin, senior assistant librarian in the Educational Technology Center.

"As we did this, our interest in the decade grew and we decided to do our own exhibit," says D'Aniello.

The librarians also wanted to support Jackson's course and com-plement the various events associated with it," he says.

The material in the exhibit was pulled from the UB collections as well as other sources, D'Aniello notes.

Students and others perusing the Lockwood exhibit will find 45 rpms and hula hoops hanging from the ceiling.

Timelines introduce the exhibit, D'Aniello says, "enabling the viewer to appreciate the progression of events."

"As is always the case from decade to decade," he says, "the '60s was a reaction to the '50s, "and a maturation of problems seething beneath the surface of that earlier decade.

"The impact of science, the struggle against segregation and for civil rights, labor unrest, fears of Communism spreading across the planet and infiltrating the United States, the agony of Korea and the threat of nuclear annihilation are present in the many of the '50s photographs we've displayed in collages on three panels."

The collages also feature images of famous and infamous celebrities—DiMaggio, Marilyn, Lucy, Annette, Howdy Doody, Jack and Jackie, Buddy Holly—that immerse visitors in mid-20th century culture.

Selections from the libraries' George Kelley Paperback and Pulp Fiction Collection provide lurid and seductive cover art, with such titles as "Darling, It's Death" and "Teen Age Jungle."

America's fascination with consumer goods—from automobiles to toothpaste, canned goods and personal hygiene products—is documented in collections of advertisements and displays of automotive memorabilia from the personal collection of librarian Tom Pirrung.

Via dedicated computer stations, visitors can see how fall-out shelters became part of the national defense by viewing an educational film on civilian defense training. They also can look at digitalizations of images of 1950s advertisements, and listen to Bebop and rock 'n roll tunes—including classic Elvis—that changed the culture forever.

The libraries' book talk series, "Reading the Fifties," began on April 10 with a discussion of J.D. Salinger's "Catcher in the Rye" led by David Willbern, professor of English. The second session, discussion of "Things Fall Apart" by Chinua Achebe, led by Claude Welch, SUNY Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Political Science, was held on April 17.

The series will continue on Wednesday with a discussion of "On the Road," by Jack Kerouac, led by Jeannette Ludwig, associate professor of French. The series will conclude on May 1 with a discussion of J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring."

Both sessions will be held at 4 p.m. in the Friends Room on the second floor of Lockwood in the newspapers and microforms area.

D'Aniello points out that the series "does not pretend to cover the decade comprehensively or evenly."

Along with D'Aniello, Carole Ann Fabian and Cynthia Tysick put together the book talk series.

Contributing exhibit materials, expertise or design to the "Fifties Flashback" exhibit were Kathleen Delaney, Daniel DiLandro, Edward Herman, Michael Lavin, Sharon Murphy, Peggy Pajak, Rachel Penniman, Tom Pirrung, Kathleen Quinlivan, Cindi Tysick and Kim Wagner.