Monthly Archives: October 2010

The eclectic modernism of the fairs

Designing Tomorrow co-curator Laura Schiavo has said that the exhibition contains a lot of information, but at its heart it really answers a few big questions: What did the “modern” world’s fair of the 1930s look like?   How was modernism … Continue reading

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Bob Rydell on world’s fairs past and present…

It’s only fitting that the first chat on the Designing Tomorrow blog is with Robert Rydell, Professor of History and Director of the Montana State University Humanities Institute.  Not only is Rydell a preeminent scholar and historian of world’s fairs—publications … Continue reading

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Welcome to the Fairs, part 6

The last of the decade and one of the largest fairs of all time, the New York World’s Fair was the beneficiary of ten years of experiment in exposition architecture and design.  The architecture was modern in form and function—“a … Continue reading

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Welcome to the Fairs, part 5

The Golden Gate International Exposition celebrated the modern industrial west, best symbolized by the completion of two engineering marvels—the Golden Gate and the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridges.  The fair was staged on another feat of modern engineering, the manmade Treasure … Continue reading

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Welcome to the Fairs, part 4

Cleveland’s Great Lakes Exposition, sited on 135 terraced acres along the city’s lakefront, celebrated Cleveland’s centennial with a nautical theme.  The exposition was characterized as “ultra-modern American” for its unification of architecture, landscape, and lighting into “one colorful, artistic, living … Continue reading

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Welcome to the Fairs, part 3

The Texas Centennial,  more than any other fair of the 1930s, looked backward as well as forward, celebrating the frontier past of Texas.  Chief architect George Dahl and designer Donald Nelson led a team of 100 architects, artists, and craftsmen … Continue reading

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Welcome to the Fairs, part 2

Hoping to match the success of the Chicago fair which had closed the previous summer, civic and business leaders in San Diego opened the California Pacific International Exposition on Memorial Day 1935. Situated in Balboa Park, the exposition incorporated Spanish-Colonial … Continue reading

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