An estimated twenty million Americans – many of them veterans returning from World War II – moved to the suburbs during the 1950s. These planned communities promised an idealized version of “traditional” family life, with quiet streets of close-set houses and tidy lawns. These semi-private outdoor spaces led to a sort of public domesticity which is the hallmark of suburban living.
Just as the skyscraper became an element of 1930s design, the suburbs themselves became a subject of novelty printed textiles and wallcoverings. An anonymous design of about the same date (2005-32-1) shows a variety of different housing styles, traditional and modern, side by side on the same street. This design, titled Suburbia, shares features of Lanette Scheeline’s 1939 Egyptian Garden (1984-56-1), which likewise depicts outdoor domestic activities like gardening, lawn mowing, and barbequing.
This object was
American Textile History Museum.
It is credited
American Textile History Museum Collection.
Its dimensions are
H x W: 215.9 × 118.7 cm (7 ft. 1 in. × 46 3/4 in.)
Cite this object as
Textile, Suburbia; Manufactured by Preludes Inc. ; cotton; H x W: 215.9 × 118.7 cm (7 ft. 1 in. × 46 3/4 in.); American Textile History Museum Collection; 2016-35-91