I knew this was almost certain to be a great show- although in many ways, it wasn't what I expected.
World's fairs and technology exhibitions are one of the biggest forming influences on the modern world-- and the even the design of cities like Pittsburgh. What I expected was an exhibit very heavy on text, photographs, historic documents, audio, video and displays telling this story.
Instead, the focus is on over 200 objects of furniture, jewelry, glass and design - most of which were actually shown at these fairs, unfolding in chronological order.
Fairs were almost the Olympics of their day, in which highly competitive craftsman and companies showed off both extreme craft, technique and the very latest technology. Even so, most of these works- but not all- transcend to become true works of high art. Many are actually mindblowing.
October 13, 2012–February 24, 2013
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I will try to return with another post about this show.