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 Saint Louis World's Fair
Hagoita [Battledore] Fair at Yawata Shrine, Fukagawa, December 1935
Vystava Manes u Praze
Souvenir pen tray from the Saint Louis World's Fair
Teaspoon from the New York World's Fair, 1939
Souvenir spoon from the Pan American Exposition, Buffalo
Jaarbeurs Utrecht 1934 Dagkaarten [Industrial Fair Utrecht 1934, Day tickets]
35ste Jaarbeurs Utrecht [35th Industries Fair Utrecht]
Tape measure from the Empire Exhibition Scotland 1938
Koloniale Tentoonstelling Semarang 1914 [Colonial Exhibition Semarang 1914]
Design for promotional materials for the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition, San Francisco
Exposición Internacional Barcelona [Barcelona International Exhibition]
Fairsex Toilet Soap box from the Chicago World's Fair 1933
San Francisco Bay Exposition, Yerba Buena Island: Sculptural Models of the South Gardens (Enchanted Garden)