Against the Grain

Creativity, Children, and the Cold War

Are children inherently creative? What might be taken as a given is actually a relatively new notion. And, as Amy Ogata argues, it took hold in the United States under particular circumstances: driven in part by Cold War anxieties about the health of the nation, along with the desire by toy manufacturers to sell products to unlock children’s creative process. The art historian reflects upon the preoccupation with nurturing childhood creativity, which remains with us today.

Resources:

Amy F. Ogata, Designing the Creative Child: Playthings and Places in Midcentury America University of Minnesota Press, 2013

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