History 102 Nabb Research Project

Fall 2012


Illustrations can serve as important sources to help us understand previous periods and to help us make comparisons between earlier times and our own time. Advertisements in magazines show a variety of features of popular culture—clothing, personal habits (smoking, drinking, eating), modes of transportation, and changes in the way we have decorated our house interiors. The purpose of this assignment is to examine visual records of a period to glean the subtle cultural information presented. You will need to sharpen your skills of observation and infer from clothes, expressions, even hair styles, the values of popular culture from a time and place.

You have five categories to select from: transportation, women’s apparel, home interiors, tobacco, and beverages. Each category has about four "early" paintings (pre-20th century) and approximately 12 mid-20th century print ads from Life magazine primarily. As you write your paper, you must select one category and use two of the "early" visuals and then select a minimum of four print ads to examine.

Here are some questions to ponder:

Note the year/timeframe of each visual and what has changed in the theme over time.

What are the obvious versus the subtle differences from one visual to another?

Who is the intended audience/viewer?

What does the visual tell you about the values of the people living at that time?

How did the utility of these various items/categories change over time? (their use)

These are just a few suggestions. Try to tie these items into an historical context, particularly as they are viewed today.

These visuals are housed in the Nabb Research Center for Delmarva History and Culture on the east campus of Salisbury University. You will need to visit the Center to study the visual grouping you choose. Take careful notes as you study each one as this data will provide the basis of your analysis.

This exercise should be a minimum of 4 pages, type-written. It should be double-spaced, 12-point, 1" margins on all sides, in black ink, and stapled. Proofread and edit your work. Please include a "Works Cited" page and list each visual used as it is defined below on the List of Visuals. You should not need to consult other sources for your analysis but if you do, you must credit and cite the source and explain why you include their wisdom.

Please check the SU website for the Nabb Center’s hours and rules. You can find this through the library portal.

All work is expected to be that of the student submitting it – no collaboration will be tolerated. This assignment is due in class on October 10, 2012. No late papers will be accepted. You must also submit electronically a copy to Turnitin via MyClasses.


HIST 102 Nabb Research Project

List of Visuals



Jan Van Goyen, Street in Bilt, with Troops, 1623
Claude Lorrain, A Seaport at Sunset, 1639
Louis Le Nain, The Milkmaid’s Family, 1648
Giovanni Paolo Pannini, Piazza del Quirinale, 1733
Richard Parkes Bonington, Boats on the Shore of Normandy, 1825

Ads from Life Magazine & others:

1941 Oldsmobile
1953 Studebaker
1956 Dodge
1957 GM Air conditioning
1959 Buick
1961 Cadillac
1963 Rambler
1965 Ford
1965 Continental
1965 Plymouth
1967 Pontiac



Anthonis Van Dyck, Philadelphia and Elizabeth Wharton, 1630s
Johannes Vermeer, The Milkmaid, 1658-60
Johann Baptist Lampi the Elder, Catherine II (the Great), 1830
Charles-Auguste-Emile Duran, N.M. Polovtsova, 1876

Life Magazine ads:

1940 Ivory Flakes
1955 Lettuce Look
1956 Stewart Slip
1956 Ganton
1956 Hochschild Kohn
1958 Mennen Baby products
1958 Burlington
1962 Airstep
1964 Jantzen
1964 Maidenform
1969 Tampax
1971 Hutzlers



Pieter Janssens, A Dutch Interior, 1623
Jan Steen, The Prayer before the Meal, 1663-65
Johannes Vermeer, Lady Writing a Letter with her Maid, 1670
Johannes Vermeer, The Glass of Wine, 1696

Life Magazine Ads:

1940 Bedroom with red bedspread
1940 Green living room with leather chair
1940 Red Room
1940 Armstrong linoleum
1940 Armstrong floor
1947 Red sofa
1948 Living Room – McMillan
1954 Green den
1955 Living Room with 4 paintings
1958 Room with wicker
1963 Floor squares
1971 Hotpoint



Adriaen Brouwer, The Smoker, 1605-06
Pieter de Hooch, Card Players by the Fireplace, 1656
Jan Steen, As the Old Sing, So Pipe the Young, 1663-65
Emile-Jean-Horace Vernet, Self Portrait, 1789-1863

Life Magazine Ads:

1940 Lucky Strike
1941 Chesterfield
1950’s Tareyton
1950’s Pall Mall
1956 Winston
1958 Marlboro
1959 Dutch Masters
1963 Marlboro (w/1972 on back)
1964 Salem
1967 Kool (w/1972 on back)
1971 Benson & Hedges
1972 Marlboro



Valezquez, Three Men at a Table, 1599
Heda, Still Life, 1637
Mathieu Le Nain, Peasants in a Tavern, 1640’s
Johannes Vermeer, The Procuress, 1656
Jan Steen, Rhetoricians at a Window, 1663-65
Jan Steen, Twelfth Night, 1668

Life Magazine Ads:

1941 Calvert Blend
1952 Beer
1955 Gordon’s Gin
1957 Seagrams
1957 Schlitz
1958 Dr. Pepper
1957 Budweiser
1961 OFC Schenley
1963 Pepsi
1963 Miller
1964 Coke
1964 Coke