“Pictures from an Exposition: Visualizing the 1893 World’s Fair” is free and open to the public and will be on display at the Newberry Library through Dec. 31 at Trienens Galleries.
As the grandest international spectacle in a great age of spectacles, the World’s Columbian Exposition held in Chicago in 1893 captured the public’s imagination through a dazzling array of visual images, from photographs, paintings, and illustrated albums to souvenirs, guidebooks, magazine features, and popular histories. But the allure of the fair depended less on the aesthetics of single objects than upon its status as a total, unified work of art.
Featuring works of art and ephemera from the Newberry’s extensive collection of exposition materials, Pictures from an Exposition explores the fair’s tremendous power of attraction, both at the time of its presentation and through history into the present, for both those who attended and those who experienced it from afar. Opening during the exposition’s 125th anniversary year, the exhibition will pay special attention to the dynamic between fine art and popular imagery, the intertwining of aesthetic and economic imperatives, and the ways in which the exposition’s visual language reflected the important role that images played in late 19th century American history and culture.
Free, curator-led tours of the exhibition will be offered on Tuesday, December 11, 6 pm. The tour groups will gather in the lobby and then move into the galleries.
We can’t stop thinking about the 1893 World’s Fair, as the Newberry Library’s new exhibit demonstrates, Steve Johnson, Chicago Tribune, 10/17/18
Chicago’s Historic Newberry Library Unveils New Look, Exhibition, WTTW Chicago, Eddie Arruza, 9/26/18 VIDEO