The 1968 exhibit at OMCA is so packed with facts and experiences I needed a second visit to take it in. As years go, it’s hard to imagine many more momentous in modern U.S. politics and culture than 1968, considering the assassinations of King and Kennedy, a pivotal election, the Vietnam War, and countless civil rights clashes.
Balancing the social upheaval were charming artifacts of my childhood. The living rooms were comfortingly familiar, complete with glass grapes on the cabinet TV, mid-century furniture, and World Book encyclopedias. Between the homes of my family and neighbors, every single item was familiar. There were also fun collections of advertising and, naturally, plastic.
For me the biggest highlight was the TV nook, a nice mood lifter following the Vietnam War exhibit. It doesn’t sound like much on paper — cartoon-like MDF television frames housing clips of movies and shows — but in execution it was a fantastically engaging, seamless symphony of audio and video. There’s a particularly nice moment in the beginning of the loop where Planet of the Apes melds into the Star Trek voiceover, drama contrasted by the gentle ending of Mister Rogers promising us a smile and a hello tomorrow.
OMCA creates relevant, contemporary exhibits that inspire me. I’m so privileged this is my local museum!