Behind the Curtain
Collecting the New York Fairs
Jul 27 2014
Jan 31 2016
Behind the Curtain: Collecting the New York Fairs reveals little known artifacts and souvenirs drawn from national and regional private collections, as well as the museum’s own. Loans from the 1939-40 fair include a Kan-O-Seat signed by Billy Rose, George Burns & Gracie Allen, Rudy Valle, Abbott & Costello, J. Edgar Hoover and others, the guest book from the British Pavilion with the signatures of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth of England, and a member’s badge from the Society of American Magicians (who also performed at the 1964 fair). From 1964-65, a newly restored Cushman 3-wheeled Scooter joins a baby brontosaurus from the family that resided in GM’s Futurama, Mold-a-rama machines that produced plastic vacuum-formed Unispheres and the only known Picturephone from the Bell System Pavilion. Recent acquisitions from the museum’s collection include two marvelous photo albums from the 1939 fair, a Boy Scout jacket and ephemera preserved from a boy’s week working at the 1964 Boy Scouts of America pavilion, and original blueprints of the proposed Willets Point Boulevard subway station addition and the proposed World’s Fair district map, 1936.
Behind the Curtain: Collecting the New York Fairs has been organized by Louise Weinberg, Registrar, Archives Manager and Curator.