Time Machines: Robots, Rockets and Steampunk

Time Machines: Robots, Rockets and Steampunk

Jun 16 - Oct 28

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Time Machines explores the power of imagination to transport us to another time and place. From Flash Gordon to neo-Victorian steampunk, Time Machines is a fanciful and nostalgic exploration of dreams of the future.

The exhibit includes toys and textiles, decorative, graphic and fine art representing the Golden Age of sci-fi – the 1930s-1950s – as well as work by contemporary artists and designers.

Time Machines examines past views of the future and present views of an alternate past in three parts:

Blast from the Past: Space Exploration

This section explores the mid-20th century fascination with space travel and the attendant evolution of space-themed toys. From the rockets and ray guns of Buck Rogers to the replicas of   NASA space capsules  exploring the final frontier at the time,  Blast from the Past examines how technology, the Cold War, and a nation’s frontier spirit transformed  the understanding of space travel and affirmed a sense of national identity.

The Promise of Robots: Yesterday and Today

Imagination meets reality in a look at robotics. Once firmly rooted in the realm of sci-fi, robots are no longer just campy sidekicks to human space cadets.

This section includes iconic twentieth-century robot toys, then explores the dynamic world of contemporary robotics. From helper robots to killer robots, an examination of the many mechanical realities that have grown out of yesterday’s fantasies.

Steampunk: In Reverse Gear

Pulls back the curtain on steampunk, a back-to-the-future lifestyle that’s part Jules Verne and part high tech. (Imagine the world if steam was the primary energy source, dirigibles were the preferred form of air travel, and mad scientists ran amok.)

Steampunk artists turn this fantasy into reality by forging a futuristic Victorian lifestyle that encompasses fashion, technology, and household furnishings.

On view in Webb Gallery, June 16-October 28.

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Shelburne Museum
6000 Shelburne Road
PO Box 10
Shelburne, VT 05482