Collage of images relating to the museum's entertainment collection

The American Scene


Why does entertainment matter in American history? The American Scene website 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.

Website temporarily off view

Some content on our site is still in the process of restoration after our recent website redesign. We apologize for the inconvenience.

View an archived snapshot of the previous site or contact the museum’s web team with questions.