Museum of the Decades: 1980s

Every decade has a personality, the ethos that marks the people living together during that time, giving us shared experience that shapes our day-to-day. It bonds us and reminds us we belong to a specific time, place and group, that we are a part of something larger than ourselves.

Here, Jamie Phillips helps us wander through the 1980s and explore items that mattered to her when she was growing up during that decade. Remember your own experiences with these cultural touchstones; maybe they’re artifacts that mattered to you, too.

Here’s to recalling what has been good.

Curated by Jamie Phillips

Photo by Aaron Eisenhauer

Cabbage Patch Kids Doll

My first CPK doll still lives with me today. Her name is Betsy Lynette, and my mom got into a fight at Goldsmith’s, a Memphis department store, to get it for me.

Pac-Man soup

Pasta in golden chicken-flavored sauce? Move over, Chef Boyardee. This was liquid gold in my house in the ‘80s.

Clear telephone

My cousin and I are pretty close in age, so we always got similar Christmas presents. I don’t remember the year this clear telephone showed up, but we were ecstatic.

Photo by Aaron Eisenhauer

Yellow Coca-Cola shirt

This shirt was a wardrobe staple. I remember wearing it to a birthday party in second grade at McDonald’s, and I have never felt cooler.

Debbie Gibson “Out of the Blue” cassette tape

Debbie Gibson was ‘80s pop music at its best. I thought she was the absolute coolest, from the way she rolled her jeans to the hats she wore. Honestly, songs from the ‘80s are something I could go on about forever. There were just so many good ones!