Monday, January 21st, 2019

Vintage Portland

Photo Courtesy of Flickr

Posted on February 23, 2016 in Arts & Culture
By Krysteana Scribner

By Amanda Melanson

There is a saying that history is often doomed to repeat itself, but many say that the world has become a bit more peaceful, whether we believe it or not. Not only that, but often times many people think that we are meant to learn from history and that is something easily done through exploring artifacts and objects from the past.

This is done through vintage furniture, keepsakes, time capsules and other miscellaneous objects. Vintage has become more popular and it often times depends on the era as it’s been glorified in the media, skirting over some of the more unsavory parts of those eras as a result to grow more popularity. When asked why we want to preserve history, Portland Resident Lauryn Goodall had this to say,

“It seems to have sentimental value to people, even if it’s not a personal history it can be a shared history of people… I feel that because that sentimental value brings a certain nostalgia and emotion to people where if it’s a shared history they feel unified as citizens or people.”

When we think of antiques or vintage, we often ask ourselves what it was like during that time period. We use time period fashions to express ourselves in more recent times, when back then that was the current trend and what we now call “vintage” was all the rave for that time. Goodall also noted that she “ … likes a lot of the 20s and 40s style stuff because it was such a different time than what we have now and it shows how different they were compared to how we are now.”

This same trend can also be said of furniture. It’s easy to pick up a piece of antique furniture and try to fix it up and polish it a little more so that it looks like brand new. It is easy for us to want to emulate times gone by because it makes us feel connected to those times. That seems to be where the Vintage craze stems from.

Sean Keukelaar gave a more political take on things, saying, “I think it’s a mixture of wanting to acknowledge where we’ve come from … as well as wanting to learn from mistakes. I don’t agree that as a society we haven’t learned; despite what the media would have you think …We are having the least amount of wars – especially civil wars – and the least amount of global conflict that has been recorded. … Each generation – in this country in particular – becomes more and more progressive, more open minded, and I think that comes a lot from seeing the mistakes of the past and learning how to correct them.”

Just this recent Democratic Nomination is enough proof to show the shift we have had in our society.. We collectively take our past and shape it, be that artistically, expressively or politically. USM has been around for many decades and has such a large and diverse community that seems to carry that ideal with them that the history we know does not always have to be set in stone. We can actively shape it and express it in the present.


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