The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Tuesday, October 4, 2022

America's World's Fairs of the 1930s Subject of Exhibition at National Building Museum
General Motors Building, New York World’s Fair, 1940. Courtesy Albert Kahn Family of Companies. Albert Kahn, architect and Norman Bel Geddes, designer collaborated on the General Motors Building for the New York World’s Fair in 1939. The building featured the popular Futurama exhibit that took people on a narrated trip across a 35,000-square-foot model of an imagined metropolis, and its surrounding countryside, of 1960.

WASHINGTON, DC.- In the midst of the Great Depression, tens of millions of visitors flocked to world’s fairs in Chicago, San Diego, Cleveland, Dallas, San Diego, and New York where they encountered visions of a modern, technological tomorrow unlike anything seen before. Architects and industrial designers like Raymond Loewy, Norman Bel Geddes, Henry Dreyfuss, and Walter Dorwin Teague collaborated with businesses like General Motors and Westinghouse to present a golden future complete with highways, televisions, all-electric kitchens, and even robots. The National Building Museum’s new exhibition Designing Tomorrow: America’s World Fairs of the 1930s is the first-ever exhibition to consider the impact of all six American world fairs of the depression era on the popularization of modern design and the creation of a modern consumer culture. On display from October 2, 2010 through July 10, 2011, Designing Tomorrow brings together more than 200 never-before-assembled artifacts from the six fairs. The exhibition further explores how the 1930s world’s fairs were used by leading corporations and the federal government as laboratories for experimenting with innovative display and public relations techniques, and as grand platforms for the introduction of new products and ideas to the American public.

Designing Tomorrow is organized into seven thematic galleries: Welcome to the Fairs, A Fair-going Nation, Building a Better Tomorrow, Better Ways to Move, Better Ways to Live, Better Times, and Legacies. The first gallery Welcome to the Fairs answers the question: What is a world’s fair? There visitors will discover promotional memorabilia for the fairs of the 1930s and be introduced to the industrial designers who helped shape the fair landscape. Visitors then move onto A Fair-going Nation where an oversized map of the U.S. shows the location of each of the 1930s fairs and wall displays showcase artifacts such as guidebooks, posters, and postcards from each of the fairs. The next gallery, Building a Better Tomorrow, focuses on the architecture and modern design of the fairs which included streamlined buildings, innovative display techniques, modernist murals, colored neon, and more. Travel and transportation pavilions and exhibits were some of the largest and most impressive at the fairs and are the focus of the next gallery Better Ways to Move. Visitors will view footage from the New York Fair’s Futurama display designed by Norman Bel Geddes for General Motors, which took fairgoers on a narrated trip across a 35,000-sqaure-foot model of an imagined metropolis, and its surrounding countryside, of 1960. At the fairs, millions of visitors walked through model homes replete with innovative floor plans and modern furnishings. The Better Ways to Live gallery mimics this experience at the fairs with a space dedicated to innovative domestic architecture and furnishings from four model homes. Through original artifacts and interactive stations the Better Times gallery explores how fair exhibits translated the story of scientific advances in electronics and chemistry into a promise of better, more modern living to the public. The spread of home electrification in the 1930s meant that innovations displayed at the fairs—from television to all-electric kitchens—were within reach, or soon would be. The architectural and design legacies of the 1930s world’s fairs are visible in American building and consumer culture of the past 50 years. The final gallery, Legacies, reveals how the fairs foretold much of what would become modern post-war America—from the national highway system to glass-walled skyscrapers and the spread of suburbia. This gallery will also answer questions such as: What happened to the fair sites? And how are the fairs remembered?

The National Building Museum | Designing Tomorrow | America's World's Fairs |

Today's News

April 26, 2010

Chateau de Versailles Marks the 300th Anniversary of the Royal Chapel with Exhibition

German Impressionism Presented at the MFA Houston September 2010

National Photographic Portrait Commission 2010 Works on Show

Nathan Oliveira: Drawings 1960 - 2010 at DC Moore Gallery

Tim Bavington Uses Pop and Rock Music as His Source for New Exhibition

Survey of Stephan von Huene's Work on View at Hamburger Kunsthalle

Drawings for Esquire Magazine Made by George Grosz at Moeller Fine Art Berlin

The Intriguing Story of Muralist Pablo O'Higgins Told in New Book

Exhibition Series "Saw it, Loved it: A Look at Private Collecting" at Ludwig Museum

New-York Historical Society and El Museo del Barrio Join Forces for Nueva York

Wesleyan University Presents Bearing Witness: Stories from the Front Lines

Colorful, Ethereal Sculptures by David Altmejd at Xavier Hufkens

Martin Schwenk's The Secret Life of Plants Opens at Number 35

Multiple Canvases Configured to Read as a Whole by Wendy White at Leo Koenig Inc.

The RISD Museum of Art Presents Siebren Versteeg: In Advance of Another Thing

New Orleans Bounce and Hip-Hop in Words and Pictures at Ogden Museum of Southern Art

Maguey Fields as Cultural Good, to be Proposed at UNESCO

America's World's Fairs of the 1930s Subject of Exhibition at National Building Museum

NEA Announces the Second Round of FY2010 National Endowment for the Arts Grants

Video Art Premiere by Internationally Acclaimed Cleveland Institute of Art Professor Kasumi

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. Hommage
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful