Displaying Cold War Technology: The National Air and Space Museum, 1946-1976

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Traces the formative planning for the National Air and Space Museum between 1946 to 1976, reflecting changing ideas about aeronautics and space science in Cold War America. After numerous designs and delays, and in response to the new space age after 1957, the NASM opened on the National Mall on July 4, 1976, celebrating the Bicentennial of the American Revolution.


  • Obata, Gyo 1923-
  • Ripley, Sidney Dillon 1913-2001
  • National Air and Space Museum
  • National Air Museum (U.S.)


Smithsonian History Bibliography


Shin was a Smithsonian predoctoral fellow while completing this dissertation.

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20024-2520, SIHistory@si.edu




  • Aeronautics
  • Cold War, 1945-1989
  • New Museums
  • Museums
  • Space sciences
  • Museum architecture
  • Astronautics
  • Aeronautical museums
  • Cold War



Physical description

Number of pages: 295; Page numbers: 1-286

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