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.

Inkwell from the Great Exhibition of Industry of All Nations
Arbeidsbeurs Utrecht [Labor Exchange Utrecht]
Design for promotional materials for the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition, San Francisco
Fiasta Nazionala 1940. Per Nossa Schuldada [National Festival 1940. For Our Debts]
In 1939 the New York World's Fair
Exposition Coloniale Internationale 1931
Wineglass: Embassy 4900 Line
Crociera Aerea del Decennale 1933-XI [Decennial of Long-Distance Flight 1933 -XI]
Souvenir coaster from A Century of Progress, Chicago: Golden Pavilion of Jehol
Souvenir spoon from the Pan American Exposition, Buffalo
Design for pamphlet for the 1939 World's Fair Facts
Glass from the Chicago World's Fair 1933
Hagoita [Battledore] Fair at Yawata Shrine, Fukagawa, December 1935
Commemorative plate from the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, 1904