Atomic Alert!: Confronting "The Bomb" in the New Atomic Age

  • June 28, 2021 – August 08, 2021
  • /
  • The Museum of Russian Icons
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  • Clinton, MA
  • /
  • Exhibit, Other

Atomic Alert!: Confronting "The Bomb" in the New Atomic Age

The exhibition explores the U.S. government’s Cold War era efforts, in the 1950s, to educate Americans about what to do before an atomic attack, how to react to a sudden blinding flash, and what action to take in the aftermath of a catastrophic blast.

A special feature of the exhibition will be a large interactive element called “When the Bomb Falls,” which allows visitors to explore the impact of a nuclear blast on a geographic area. This striking artistic installation features the silhouette of a bomb roughly the size and shape of the bombs dropped in World War II. Coming face-to-face with the silhouette, and exploring the impact of an atomic explosion on a typical metropolitan area, gives visitors a sense of just how devastating nuclear war could be on communities and the people who live in them.

Five fascinating elements of the "Atomic Alert!" exhibition:

  • A selection of educational films about the dangers of an atomic attack: From the iconic Duck and Cover,featuring Bert the Turtle, to more adult videos on home preparedness in the event of an atomic attack, the videos bring home the climate of scared anticipation so prevalent in the 1950s. 
  • Atomic Age comics: The Golden and Silver age of comics in America were sensitive to the realities and terrors of nuclear war. A selection of comics from the time illustrate just how pervasive the bomb was in American culture. 
  • Tabletop exhibits from the 1950s: The apocalyptic mindset of the Atomic Age brought practical concerns, like where to seek shelter in public places, or how to build your own fallout-proof space at home. These dynamic tabletop exhibits provided information on how to get started building your own shelter, or finding safety in office buildings, schools, and other areas. 
  • Civil defense posters: Published and distributed by the Federal Civil Defense Administration, these civil defense posters painted a grim picture of what would happen if a Cold War adversary pulled off a successful atomic attack. 
  • Evacuation maps of Nashville and Denver: These maps drive home the stakes of an atomic attack on an American city. These artifacts make clear the challenges facing civic governments in the face of nuclear war. 


Times: Daily    Tickets: Adults $12, seniors (59+) $10, Students $5, Children (3-7) $5, Children under 3 Free.    Phone: 978.598.5000    Website    Email

The Museum of Russian Icons
203 Union St, Clinton, 01510

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