Fringe 2018: Lexicon

A Celebration of Mid-20th Century Pop Culture

Words by Cameron Lowe

Picture this: you are a pop culture fanatic living in Adelaide. The Fringe is on and you are not sure of what event to go to that relates to your tastes. Well, fear no more, for Unley Museum and Flinders student Stuart Blair have the answer for you. And that answer is Lexicon!

Held at the Unley Museum, Lexicon is an exhibition dedicated to the “Golden Era” of popular culture. Spanning from the 1940s to the 1960s, Lexicon spans the three major media platforms of the era: film, TV, and radio. You will find everything and anything in this exhibition, from a 1950s toy of Gort from The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), to original comics of Spiderman. Along with these, you will also come across rare and unique pieces of memorabilia, like a 1960s wind-up Star Trek watch, Coca-Cola bottles from the era, and a sculpture from The Blue Lotus (a Tin-Tin story).


The items of this exhibition are from the personal collection of pop culture historian and Flinders student Stuart Blair. Blair, who has previously done a thesis on Tin-Tin creator Hergé and classes on the Klingon language, said that this exhibition is what Unley Museum was looking for. Blair says that Lexicon is a showcase of the era and acts as both an educational tool for the young, and a nostalgic trip for the young at heart.


Perhaps the major key vocal point to Lexicon is for attendees to find the connections and origins of the pop culture icons of today. Attendees may discover connections between The Simpsons and radio (later TV) series Howdy Doody, as well as Forbidden Planet (1956) being an inspiration for the original series of Star Trek.


Lexicon also focuses on pop culture from all over the world, rather than just British and American. You will find other pop culture icons like Godzilla and Lucky Luke here too, even Australia’s own Ginger Meggs.

Anyone who might be interested in visiting this exhibition, it will be on at the Unley Museum from Thursday February 15th to March 25th. Entry is free and bookings are not required. A further note, Stuart Blair will be doing a talk about the exhibition on Sunday March 18th at 3pm. 

Exhibit snapshots have been given to us by Blair. Any further information can be found here