ABOUT THIS EXHIBIT
No other nation left its mark on Western Europe like the United States has. From the arrival of wild west shows in the late nineteenth century to Black Lives Matter protests in the twenty-first, America and Americans have shaped the ways in which Europeans think about themselves, their societies, and their place in the world.
The story of the American presence in Europe is not a straightforward one. Europeans have responded to American influence with joy, anxiety, gratitude, and outright rejection. Elites worry about the loss of national cultures, while most Europeans adore American consumer culture—and make it their own. Many Europeans gratefully remember American liberation during World War II, while US military bases can be sites of clashing interests. Some look down on American race relations, while others welcome the knowledge of American Black activists—and use it to challenge racism at home.
The growing number of collections presented here each reveal part of the story of the “American Century” in Europe. Based on the archival research of graduate students of the American Studies program at Radboud University in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, the exhibit showcases the rich textures of US-European encounters and reflects the insights and perspectives of a new generation of Transatlantic scholars.