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Two Minutes to Midnight and the Architecture of Armageddon - Opening November 12th

The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History announces the opening of the special traveling exhibition “Two Minutes to Midnight and the Architecture of Armageddon” on Saturday, November 12, 2022. Through this photo exhibition, visitors are offered a calculated look at architectural spaces, devoid of people, that provide present nuclear realities as well as a look into the collective psyche of the American people during the Cold War. “Two Minutes to Midnight and the Architecture of Armageddon” will remain on display through January 8, 2023.

The Doomsday Clock is a symbol created in 1947 by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists as a metaphor to communicate humanity’s proximity to self-destruction. In 2018, the Doomsday Clock was set to two minutes to midnight, the closest it has ever been to striking midnight since the height of the Cold War in 1953 when both the United States and the Soviet Union tested thermonuclear weapons for the first time within ten months of each other.

Today, while the Cold War’s lessons and fears have largely faded from our collective memory, it is critical to view a decidedly uncertain present through the lens of the past.

Through two photographic essays, photographers Jeanine Michna-Bales and Adam Reynolds share “Architecture of Armageddon,” both the offensive and defensive implications of nuclear war. Reynolds’s project, No Lone Zone, documents the offensive side of the Cold War through nuclear missile silos in the United States. It provides a look at the nuts and bolts of Mutually Assured Destruction, the MAD logic behind nuclear deterrence. Michna-Bales’s project, Fallout, delivers typological documentation of the defensive side through various shelters and propaganda across the United States, both private and public.

This exhibition is aimed to spark curiosity and encourage discourse among audiences of all backgrounds as the works seek out places that are often hidden in plain sight.

“Two Minutes to Midnight and the Architecture of Armageddon” is organized by ExhibitsUSA, a program of Mid-America Arts Alliance, and it is supported by the generous support of National Endowment of the Arts. Visitation to see this exhibition is included with the price of admission into the museum. This exhibition will be on display at the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History from November 12 through January 8, 2023.