The American Scene

Collage of images relating to the museum's entertainment collection

Why does entertainment matter in American history? The American Scene is a study of the history of American entertainment through oral history interviews with some of America’s culture makers.

We hope the stories found here, in addition to being compelling and fun, inspire readers to think about how entertainment addresses our national values and identity. Success in art, sports, and entertainment is hard won and not always easy. It’s a process that is shaped by individual determination and skills, but also external forces that include politics, gender and race bias, economics, beliefs, and opportunity. From the unique perspective of the culture makers themselves, these stories reveal why entertainment matters to them personally and to the nation.

The American Scene is one of the projects supporting the museum’s work on a new space, set to open in late 2020, dedicated to sharing the power of entertainment with millions of visitors and audiences across the world.

View the American Scene website