I think I finally got used to WordPress’ interface. Just in time, thank goodness.
In Sturken & Cartwright‘s Practices of Looking, they say that “viewers/consumers of images often choose to read particular meanings into them for emotional and psychological reasons, and to ignore those aspects of an image that may work against this response” (p. 296). They are mostly referring to the strong cultural ties of images associated with science, but in the George Eastman House Exhibit, 60 from the 60s we have on display something very different.
The exhibit displays many images from the American 1960s Experience, and as many others have posted here, we see demonstrations, momentous hippie moments (including Charlie Manson), counter-culture, and a rapid expansion of mental capacities (Pot is Fun). Still, this was not the 1960s experience for every American, and this pic exemplifies that. We see two Boy Scout-looking lads here, the one on the right holding Old Glory looks scared to death, and their father figure is towering over them, yet obscured by the flag. Perhaps he is obscured by their own patriotism, or Family Values attempting to make a stand in an era that seemed to challenge them. As we’re reading meanings into these pictures from the 60s it’s easy to create a simplified mental schema of the decade and ignore those images that worked against the swell of counter-culture.
For the other two pictures I found interesting (and they were all right next to each other!) check out my blog.