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Chrysler Museum of Art Opens Panoramic Photographs from the Kodak Colorama Campaign

The Chrysler Museum of Art’s newest photography exhibition invites viewers to discover America in the 1960s as it probably never was. Colorama’s amazing array of 36 panoramic prints presents the American ideal—heartwarming holidays, sweeping landscapes, fun family vacations, grand excursions—and the virtue of amateur photography. The exhibition is on view OCT 15, 2011. – DEC 31, 2011.

Jim Pond, Family In Convertible Somewhere in Texas. This Colorama was on display in Grand Central Terminal June 3—24, 1968.

For 40 years travelers at New York’s Grand Central Terminal scurried to their destinations under the brilliance of one of the most effective advertising programs in history, Kodak’s 18-by-60 feet Coloramas. The massive panoramas were known as the largest photographs in the world.

All told, 565 of these 18’ x 60’ illuminated illustrations adorned the terminal from 1950 to 1990, and the campaign included some of the top photographers in the country, including Ansell Adams.

With both technical and marketing brilliance, Coloramas extolled an idealized version of America—not to mention the need to capture this version of the good life on film. The nostalgic prints may seem almost kitschy today, but in their time, they represented amateur photography as an essential element of family life, travel, and leisure. Now they represent a time that, in a sense, never was.

The Chrysler’s Colorama exhibition of one-twelfth-size prints proves that advertising can also be art—and rarely has nostalgia looked so good. The exhibition is organized by the George Eastman House, the international museum of photography and film.

The Chrysler Museum of Art is one of America’s most distinguished mid-sized art museums with a world-class collection of more than 30,000 objects, including one of the great glass collections in America, and a new Glass Studio opening November 2, 2011. The Museum is located at 245 West Olney Road in Norfolk and is open Wednesdays, 10 a.m. -9 p.m.; Thursdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sundays, noon-5 p.m. The Chrysler is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, as well as major holidays. Admission to the Museum’s collection is free. Special exhibition may have an admission fee. For exhibitions, programming and special events, visit or call 757-664-6200

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