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Mixed Media, print on DIA, plastic bags for DIA, print on paper, DIA projector

Dimensions approx. 5x3m

“Leisurama was a line of inexpensive prefabricated houses which were available for purchase through Macy’s department stores in the United States in the mid-1960s. The precursor to the final design was shown at the 1959 American National Exhibition in Moscow, which provoked the noted Kitchen Debate between Vice President Richard Nixon and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev.

Over 200 Leisurama houses are part of the Culloden Point vacation home development in Montauk, New York, which was constructed between 1963 and 1965 and was subject of a 2005 documentary, titled Leisurama, broadcast by PBS. Some of the Leisurama homes were exhibited at the 1964 New York World’s Fair,Lauderhill, Florida is another location which features numerous Leisurama houses.”

Here's your LEISURAMA check-list

1. The LEISURAMA home* of your choice on its own 7500 square foot plot in Montauk, Long Island.
2. Completely furnished and accessorised in your choice of four decorator color schemes, including:

1 sofa bed
1 phantom bed (double sized)
1 rectangular end table
1 round end table
1 small cocktail table
2 club chairs
1 drop leaf dining table
5 side chairs
3 lamps
1 rug
1 pair drapery, livingroom
1 pair drapery, sleeping area
1 pair drapery, dining area
5 piece dinette set
45 piece set of MELMAC, service for 8
50 piece set of stainless flatware, service for 8
24 piece set of plastic glassware
8 plastic place mats
8 napkins
4 bath towels
4 hand towels
4 wash cloth
1 shower curtain
1 tub mat
8 sheets
8 pillow cases
2 summer blankets, double
4 DACRON pillows
7 piece set of aluminium cookware

a) Unlimited Golf ($50 annual maintenance fee)*
b) Unlimited Pool and Surf Club use ($50 annual maintenance fee)

LEISURAMA living and total leisure enjoyment can be yours at a budget price and for as little as $490 down (to qualified purchasers under an F.H.A. program)

[Photos: Ricardo Almeida Roque]

The vacation culture of the late 1950s and early 1960s has become a unique slice of Cold War period - American World War II veterans now had families. Their children were teenagers. The American middle class was at its prime. At the same time man was faced with the realizatio of an atomic age, where opposing nations, steeped in vastly different ideologies, could destroy each other at will. The United States and the Soviet Union became gripped in a technological and social race. This battle affected the soul of every citizen, and revealed itself in unusual ways.

On July 24, 1959, Vice President Richard Nixon and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev spent hours publicly debating cultural ideology at the American National Exhibit in Moscow. What was the catalyst of this argument? An all-American kitchen, designed by architect Stanley Klein, Andrew Geller and Raymond Loewy Associates.

The Moscow house became the prototype for a 1963 housing development dubbed „Leisurama.” A full-scale model of the house was built on the 9th floor of Macy‘s Herald Square store in Manhattan. The homes were to be built in Montauk, NY and came fully furnished down to the toothbrush. Some models sold for $12,995. The marketing approach was genius.

The Leisurama story is one of ambition, creative marketing, and a desire to leave the daily grind behind and escape to a fun, playful utopia. It is a story about a post-war nation searching for peace and diversion on the home front. It is a story about the clash of ideologies. It is a story about suntans, fishing, and outdoor barbecues. (www.leisurama.info)

© Daniela Grabosch unless otherwise stated. Images, Videos and Texts can only be used under permission of the author(s).