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.

Commemorative Liberty Bell Bookend from the Philadelphia Sesquicentennial
Souvenir box from the New York World's Fair, 1939
Utrecht Februari 1929 Jaarbeurs [Utrecht February 1929 Industries Fair]
Vase: Monart, similar to shape QE
Polyorama Panoptique: instruction card
Souvenir pen tray from the Saint Louis World's Fair
History of Eire: mural study for Irish Pavilion at the New York World's Fair, 1939
Untitled [Mural study for Palace of Fine Arts, Golden Gate International Exhibition, San Francisco]
Design for promotional materials for the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition, San Francisco
Design for pamphlet for the 1939 World's Fair and the Bridge on San Francisco Bay
Souvenir parasol from A Century of Progress, Chicago
Futuristic building at dusk with searchlights and fireworks
New York World's Fair 1939
S.A.R. le Prince Albert de Liège from the Exposition Internationale de l'Eau Liège 1939 [S.A.R. Prince Albert of Liege from the 1939 International Exhibition of Water]
Exposition Internationale Bruxelles 1935 Section Francaise