VERMILLION, S.D. -- The exhibition, “Utopian Visions: Illustrations of the Mid-20th Century,” will open July 30 in the John A. Day Gallery at the University of South Dakota. The exhibition, scheduled for display through Sept. 21, presents 40 illustrations from the University Art Galleries permanent collection. These illustrations, from the late 1940s through the early 1970s, were originally published in Man’s Magazine, Challenge for Men Magazine, pulp and sci-fi novel covers from Pyramid Books, and federally-funded public service announcements.
According to Alison Erazmus, Gallery Director and one of the exhibition’s curators, “Utopian Visions” is an opportunity to look into popular American culture in the mid-20th century and examine the traumas of WWII, the restriction of gender roles in America and anxieties of the Atomic Age. The illustrations provide a unique insight of a society coping with the effects of atomic power and a lost generation of men due to the brutality of war.
A reception for the student curators, USD graduate student Matt Presutti of Knockemstiff, Ohio and USD undergraduate student Zach DeBoer of Brandon, S.D., is Friday, Sept. 14, from 5 to 7 p.m. and is open to the public. Presutti received a 2012 Graduate Student Research Grant and traveled to New York City during the past academic year to meet with the director of The Society of Illustrators, Eric Fowler, where he learned more about the illustrations in the UAG’s permanent collection.
Located in the Warren M. Lee Center for the Fine Arts on the USD campus, the John A Day gallery is free and open to the public Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information about the exhibit, contact Alison Erazmus, Director of the University Art Galleries, at (605) 677-3177 or Alison.Erazmus@usd.edu.