Outdoor Recreation

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Post World War II America saw the emergence of commercialized outdoor recreation as an integral part of the expression of domesticity and gender roles. This movement was reflected through the widespread proliferation of camping, hunting and outdoor sports as activities for the middle-class American family.

The exhibit is broken up into six sections:

A general look at how the American family used the outdoors as a kind of escape and how it influenced the culture of the era.

How hunting is intimately tied to the idea of masculinity and how that expression was linked to the relationship between a father and his son(s).

A brief history of the National Park system and how it grew at an astonishing rate due to increased usage by families and other tourists.

A synopsis of how the outdoors became commercialized during the Cold War and how the outdoorsman developed into a thriving economic consumer.

A few examples of automotive makers really began to invest in the new outdoor family vacation market with jeeps and other off-road vehicles.

Finally, we look at the camper-trailer movement and the influence it had on families with regard to their ability to travel across the country and spend more time together.