Kitsch and Tell

There’s a retro bug in all of us that never tires of things from the pop culture of the past. And for some, it’s a real memory, while younger folks are simply amused by the phenomenon of how people used to live in the decades before they were born. Both groups are likely to find something to enjoy at Powers of Persuasion: Advertising in America, a new exhibit that opens today at the Aurora History Museum.

The trove of historical adverts, both local and national, from magazine pages and the offices of Madison Avenue, tracks the rise and fall of products through time while focusing on the march of kitsch from one generation to the next, mainly in the ’50s and ’60s. “With the popularity now of Mad Men and mid-century clothing, we thought it would be fun to take a look at some of the items that inspired it all, and also to see how advertising campaigns changed over time,” says curator MaryJane Valade. Items on display vary from Coca-Cola and Coors beer memorabilia to old signs from Aurora businesses, as well as actual products, from cameras to health and beauty products, touted in the retro ads.

Take a trip back in time through April 27 at AHM, 15051 East Alameda Parkway in Aurora; the museum is open daily except Mondays, and admission is free. Go to or call 303-739-6660 for information.
Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: Nov. 26. Continues through April 27, 2013

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd