June 3 – October 7

Eisentrager-Howard Gallery

120 Richards Hall
Lincoln, NE

EuroDisney Commercial Matte Painting, 1992 by Syd Dutton, oil on glass


Consumerism and merchandising build upon the collective ideals of childhood, nostalgia, and self-identity. Theme parks, children’s cereal boxes, cartoons, and popular trading cards all encourage consumption and serve as examples of the materialization of fictional worlds.

Walt Disney had a clear vision for the theme park he opened in Anaheim, California in 1955: adults and children would enjoy leisure time together. Selective advertising to children, particularly on Saturday mornings, inspired the creation of iconic characters who transcend a simple cereal box into the common culture. Once a form of personal expression, lunch boxes and trading cards are now a collectible part of commercialism.

Retail and service industries promote personal expression and rekindling of fond memories. Merchandising uses characters from popular culture to persuade purchases as both a social and personal activity with strong ties to individual identities.