Searching for the Seventies? They’re at the library.

Searching for the Seventies: The DOCUMERICA Photography Project runs Sat. May 23 through Aug. 2 at the Alice C. Sabatini Gallery

banana girl web

“Young woman watches as her car goes through testing at an auto emission inspection station in Downtown Cincinnati, Ohio” – Photographer’s words. Lyntha Scott Eiler, Cincinnati, Ohio, September 1975

Searching for the Seventies: The DOCUMERICA Photography Project is a powerful exhibit of images of everyday life in 1970s America: disco dancing and inflation, projects and bell-bottoms, gas shortages and suburban sprawl. At a time when the war in Vietnam and the Watergate scandal wore on the national psyche, a burgeoning movement to protect our natural environment was gaining force.

Documentary photographers from the newly-formed Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) captured the style, blights and culture of a decade on the brink of the future. They toured the U.S. – from its inner city projects to its threatened grasslands and further.

latin girls web

“Two Latin girls pose in front of a wall of graffiti in Lynch Park in Brooklyn, New York City. Today’s inner city is a contradiction to main stream America’s gas station expressways shopping centers and tract homes. Blacks, latins and poor whites live there” – Photographer’s words. Danny Lyon, Brooklyn, N.Y., June 1974

Searching for the Seventies: The DOCUMERICA Photography Project is on display at the Alice C. Sabatini Gallery May 23 – Aug. 2. It’s a full color, close-up look at a decade with unique trends, fashions, problems and achievements.

gross water web

“Mary Workman holds a jar of undrinkable water that comes from her well, and she has filed a damage suit against the Hanna Coal Company. She has to transport water from a well many miles away. Although the coal company owns all the land around her, and many roads are closed, she refuses to sell.” – Photographer’s words. Eric Calonius, near Steubenville, Ohio, October 1973

#HumansOfTopeka, 70s Saturdays & First Fridays


Humans of Topeka

Become a documentary photographer with the gallery’s #HumansOfTopeka project, kicking off with the DOCUMERICA exhibit. Help to create an archive of our city in its current moment. #HumansOfTopeka is a documentary project in partnership with Topeka Metro.

70s Saturdays


70s Saturdays | Saturdays, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. | Gallery
Craft-making was all the rage in the seventies. Take a trip back in time with quirky crafts that explore the decade and its culture.

First Fridays

4edfcbd31fdea_220838nJune 5: 70s-Inspired Night – Search your closet for your best 70s-inspired outfit and disco down to the gallery. Show off your 70sbomb-pop best, take some selfies and join fellow Topekans for viewing the show.

July 3: Bomb Pop Party on the Lawn – Get an early start on your 4th of July celebrations. Spend time listening to sounds of the 70s, play backyard games and enjoy a refreshing bomb pop with friends and family.

Searching for the Seventies: The DOCUMERICA Photography Project is an exhibition created by the National Archives and Records Administration and organized for travel by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service.

SI 1l_stacked_color_3x-centbelow

ExperienceSquare [Converted]NationalArchives small

The Sabatini Gallery is your connection to the Arts: inspiring curiosity, developing visual literacy and building our community.

Leah is a former employee and wrote many stories and articles for the library.