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 pen tray from the Saint Louis World's Fair
Electricity, from A Century of Progress Exposition, Chicago, Illinois
In 1939 the New York World's Fair
Design for promotional materials for the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition, San Francisco: A Pageant of the Pacific
Buttresses of the Transportation Building, 1933 Century of Progress Exposition, Chicago
Tobacco Box, Feinhals, Köln Deutsche Werkbund Ausstellung, 1913-14
Utrecht Februari 1929 Jaarbeurs [Utrecht February 1929 Industries Fair]
Exposition Nationale Suisse Berne 1914
Ford A Century of Progress Chicago
Souvenir coaster from A Century of Progress, Chicago: Travel Building
Souvenir spoon from the 1962 Seattle World's Fair, Century 21 Exposition
View of Fair Buildings Texas Centennial Exposition
Design for promotional materials for the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition, San Francisco
Opening Jaarbeurs Utrecht, 11 Maart [Opening Industries Fair Utrecht, March 11]
Souvenir handkerchief from the Golden Gate International Exposition: Tower of the Sun