Parables of Promise: American Advertising Fiction, 1856-2014

Parables of Promise: American Advertising Fiction, 1856-2014

Opening Event: Reception and talk by guest curator Marc Selvaggio

Date: Thursday, March 27, 2014
Time: 6:00 reception, 6:30 lecture
Place: DeGolyer Library

About the exhibit

One could say that a piece of fiction is always selling something, such as a political idea, a belief of how the world operates or how people (especially men and women) interact, or the promotion of religious or philosophical ideas. So it is not surprising that fiction—simply put, a non-true or non-realistic story—has also been used to sell material goods, whether plows, windows, patent medicines, cereals, the telephone, bicycles, railroad travel, or insurance, to name a few topics found in this exhibit. American companies and their advertisers have long exploited the medium. The golden age of the genre was roughly 1890-1930, but, as our exhibit shows, examples exist to the present day. We think our show breaks new ground (“Father, have you ever tried any other chilled plows besides the Oliver?”) and we encourage you to be the first to see these long-neglected but culturally important pamphlets from the past.

Exhibit dates: March 27 – May 23, 2014
Location: DeGolyer Library (view website)
Times: Monday – Friday, 8:30 am – 5:00 pm