Lounging in the 60s

Exhibit Goals


This online exhibit was compiled by the students of Colorado State University's Material Culture class during the 2017 fall semester. With the generous support of Kelly Cahill, the curator of collections at Beaver Meadows Visitor Center in Rocky Mountain National Park, we were able to contextualize fourteen objects that give a wider picture of the culture surrounding Mission 66-era projects in the national parks. An accompanying report providing further detail on the objects and their connections to Mission 66 as a whole is accessible here. Mission 66 was a seminal movement in the National Park Service that drastically altered the degree to which visitors could interact with the parks.

Throughout this exhibit, you can explore the objects as they relate to different National Park Service directors, renowned designers, and cultural trends. Objects as simple as a brass doorstop have many stories to tell and present information that illuminates much beyond simple visitor center design. We invite you to explore not only the objects and their contexts, but also the connections between the objects, the construction of Beaver Meadows Visitor Center, and how together they illuminate the wider goals of Mission 66.


A combined analysis of material culture and the historical record permits a deeper understanding of the ways in which Mission 66 initiatives unfolded at Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) and, specifically, at Beaver Meadows Visitor Center (BMVC). Examination of both the structure and its furnishings provides a more holistic perspective on the manifestations of this agency-wide initiative. These material objects, considered in tandem with the Taliesin Associated Architects-designed visitor center, reflect both concurrent stylistic trend in design and the core values of Mission 66.

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