‘Colorama’ exhibit captures Kodak moment at Hyde Collection

Kodak moment

Norman C. Kerr (American, 1930–2000), ‘Family by fireplace,’ displayed March 15–May 5, 1965. George Eastman Museum. © Eastman Kodak Company

GLENS FALLS, New York – The Hyde Collection starts the new year with an exhibition that evokes a sense of nostalgia for a period in American history captured in large-scale images by Kodak. “Colorama” examines the enormous advertisements displayed in New York City’s Grand Central Terminal for more than four decades.

The 18-by-60-foot images affirmed a picturesque notion of everyday American life, depicting an idyllic nation: beautiful landscapes, holiday celebrations, world-changing historical events, family road trips and patriotism.

Through the captivating advertisements, this exhibition offers insight into the mindset of mid-century America and the histories of advertising, photography, and technology. Thirty-six reproduced images recreate the nostalgia of these captivating advertisements in “Colorama,” which runs from Jan. 13 to April 14 at the Hyde Collection.

With bold, bright colors and sharp, clean lines, the photographs sold a desire for the products and activities they marketed from 1950 to 1990. Most images in the exhibition are from the 1960s, a critical period of change in the nation and arguably the heyday of the Colorama campaign.

“Kodak photography redefined America for consumers across the country and around the globe,” said Jonathan Canning, director of curatorial affairs and programming at the Hyde. “For those of us of a certain age, this imagery resonates. Something subliminally tells us we want and need to be in the midst of one of these perfect panoramic images; to experience the natural beauty or idyllic family moment. And what’s more, we feel we should capture it forever—the famous Kodak moment.”

These images depict an idealized past for a new generation and a welcome reintroduction for those who lived through the decades that helped shape popular photography. “Colorama,” which is organized by the George Eastman Museum, will be exhibited in Wood Gallery.