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This exhibition will consider the pivotal role the automobile played in advancing societal and political revolutions in the United States in the 20th century. During the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s, buses and cars were used to combat systematic racism and segregation enforced by Jim Crow. This was exemplified most famously in the Montgomery bus boycott and in the Freedom Riders’ journeys to the South. Moreover, the modification of American landscapes—with drive-ins, parking lots, and highways—created new spaces and possibilities for leisure, consumption, and self-expression. Featuring 20th-century photographs from the museum’s collection, this exhibition shines a light on the largely liberating impact of automobility in this moment of American history.

This exhibition is organized by Telfair Museums and curated by Anne-Solene Bayan, Assistant Curator.

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