Page Title: Ordinary Life in Extraordinary Times
Image: Poster

"Joyously Proclaim the Birth of a New Tianjin" (Poster)

Workers (flat caps), peasants (headscarves), soldiers (red star caps), and students (armbands) celebrate the formation of a new city government. The soldier holds Mao's Selected Works.

Ordinary Life in Extraordinary Times is one of the few museum exhibits to examine the tumultuous Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, which shook China from 1966 to 1976. Based upon a collection made by David J. Davies in 2001, the exhibit ran at the Burke Museum from January to March, 2002, and at the Maxey Museum at Whitman College from March to May. It is scheduled to run at the University of Oregon in November, 2002. Ordinary Life is the first exhibit in the United States to show both the political paraphernalia of the time--Red Guard armbands, flags, and Mao badges--and the objects of everyday life, from rice bowls and a chopstick holder to utility bill receipts, a radio, and a cigarette lighter.

The physical exhibit is organized around 9 panels, each dealing with a different phase or aspect of the Cultural Revolution, and containing objects and pictures from that time. In this on-line exhibit, you can click to see each panel with its accompanying text, and within each panel section, you can click to see and read about some of the most interesting objects in that section. When you are finished, we invite you to share your thoughts in our discussion space.

Start On-Line Exhibit


Physical Exhibit Runs at:
Burke Museum (University of Washington): January - March 2002
Maxey Museum (Whitman College): March - May 2002
University of Oregon: November 2002

This page last updated September 27, 2002

All material © 1998-2002
Burke Museum of Natural History & Culture
University of Washington, Box 353010
Seattle, WA 98195

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