World’s Fairs and Expositions

Collection Description

World’s fairs were landmark events in an era before television and the World Wide Web, before long-distance travel became a routine experience for many people. The Wolfsonian’s collection traces the evolution of the fairs, from the 1851 Crystal Palace Exposition in London to the 1939 New York World’s Fair. Among the world’s fair material in the collection are souvenirs and other commemorative objects, drawings for the pavilions, objects and artwork that were displayed at the fairs, and a vast amount of publications, from multi-volume official catalogs to brochures.

Souvenir spoon from the Louisiana Purchase Exposition
Plate from the World's Columbian Exposition 1893
Grille, from the German pavilion at the Paris Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques
Esposizione D'Arte Ungherese Genova Palazzo Rosso [Exhibition of Hungarian Art Genoa Palazzo Rosso]
Souvenir plaque from the Century of Progress International Exposition, Chicago
Souvenir tray from the New York World's Fair, 1939
Design for logo for the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition, San Francisco
Esposizione Universale di Roma [Universal Exposition of Rome]
La Barre à Mine [Mining Bar], for the Belgian Congo Pavilion at the 1937 Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques, Paris
Plate from Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition 1909
Rendering of the Grand Salon du Reception, Pavillion des Arts Decoratifs
Radio Broadcasting, from the Westinghouse Pavilion, A Century of Progress, Exposition, Chicago, Illinois
Souvenir cane from A Century of Progress, Chicago
Pavillon des Stations Thermales Climatiques et Balnéaires à l'Exposition Internationale à Paris