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The American Road exhibit

Milwaukee

“Road Trip!” These words conjure all sorts of imagery, vivid memories, and nostalgia. The Harley-Davidson Museum’s special exhibition The American Road traces the rise of the road trip as an American ritual. The story unfolds in the 1930s, when leisure travel and the open road offered an escape for a small but growing number of affluent Americans. By the post-WWII years, taking to the road became the template for the average family vacation. “Westward ho!” was their cry, albeit in a station wagon rather than covered wagon, as celebrating the frontier and old west became central to defining uniquely American ideals of freedom and exploration. Though this Golden Age of the road trip ended with the gas crisis of the early ‘70s, the ritual remains a fundamental American experience, evidenced by its place in pop culture as well as the curiosity it sparks globally as motorists and motorcyclists retrace historic routes.

Museum/Gallery Type

  • Other

Features

  • Disabled Access