Monday, November 24, 2008

Five Fairs

I do love the world's fairs.  They encapsulate so much of what is brand new in ideas and forms at the times they're held, are normally spectacular, and they've also offered conceptions of the future, which, aside from being almost more representative of their times than what was going on in the present, were just campy and fun.  Though it may start to appear that I'm obsessed with them, I still felt compelled to report that Life magazine has recently unleashed an astonishing collection of high-quality images of the 1939 World's Fair.  They have the Brussels and San Francisco fairs included there, as well, but not the 1964, it appears.

Another related thing I discovered and never mentioned is that the Urban Simulation Team at UCLA has digitally recreated the entire Chicago Columbian Exposition of 1893, by Daniel Burnham and Frederick Law Olmstead, amongst others.  There are also some truly exquisite platinum prints by photographer, C. D. Arnold:

--Photo courtesy Columbia University.
But the CGI walk-through is amazing.  It gives this unprecedented impression of how the whole thing was laid out.

©2008, Ryan Witte

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