Friday, April 30, 2010

Meet Me in St. Louis, We Can Pick Up a Picasso or 20...


- When in doubt, haul the Picassos out : "There have already been several such haulings-out this year, and now comes the biggest of all, “Picasso in the Metropolitan Museum of Art,” a display of nearly every scrap in the Met’s scrappy Picasso collection: 34 paintings, 58 drawings, a dozen sculptures and ceramics, along with 200 of the museum’s 400 prints... "Read the full story

- Sotheby's to Sell John Lennon's Handwritten Lyrics for A Day In The Life : "On 18 June 2010 Sotheby’s New York will offer for sale John Lennon’s autograph Lyrics for A Day In The Life – the revolutionary song that marked the Beatles transformation from pop icons to artists. The double-sided sheet of paper in Lennon’s hand is complete with cross-outs, corrections, reworkings, and chronicles the evolution of one of the most famous pop masterpieces from conception to the lyrics presumably used in the recording studio. A Day In The Life was the final track of the Beatles legendary 1967 album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, which spent 27 weeks at the top of the UK’s charts and 15 weeks at number one on the American Billboard 200. The lyrics once belonged to Mal Evans, the Beatles’ road manager and are estimated to fetch $500,000/700,000..." Read the whole story


April 30, 1904: The Louisiana Purchase Exposition, informally known as the Saint Louis World's Fair, opens in St. Louis, Missouri. "The Fair celebrated the centennial of the Louisiana Purchase (1803), one year late. It was delayed from a planned opening in 1903 to 1904 allow for full-scale participation by more states and foreign countries. The Fair opened April 30, 1904, and closed December 1, 1904. There were over 1,500 buildings, connected by some 75 miles of roads and walkways. It was said to be impossible to give even a hurried glance at everything in less than a week. The Palace of Agriculture alone covered some 20 acres."

"A number of foods are claimed to have been invented at the fair. The most popular claim is that the waffle-style ice cream cone was invented and first sold during the fair. However, it is widely believed that it was not invented at the Fair, but instead, it was popularized at the Fair. Other claims are more dubious, including the hamburger and hot dog, peanut butter, iced tea, and cotton candy. It is more likely, however, that these food items were first introduced to mass audiences and popularized by the fair. Dr Pepper and Puffed Wheat cereal were first introduced to a national audience at the fair."

April 30, 1939: The 1939-40 New York World's Fair opened. "The fair, which covered the 1,216 acres of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park (also the location of the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair), was the largest world's fair of all time. Many countries around the world participated in it, and over 44 million people attended its exhibits in two seasons. The NYWF of 1939-1940 was the first exposition to be based on the future, with an opening slogan of "Dawn of a New Day", and it allowed all visitors to take a look at "the world of tomorrow". According to the official New York World's Fair pamphlet-

The eyes of the Fair are on the future – not in the sense of peering toward the unknown nor attempting to foretell the events of tomorrow and the shape of things to come, but in the sense of presenting a new and clearer view of today in preparation for tomorrow; a view of the forces and ideas that prevail as well as the machines. To its visitors the Fair will say: "Here are the materials, ideas, and forces at work in our world. These are the tools with which the World of Tomorrow must be made. They are all interesting and much effort has been expended to lay them before you in an interesting way. Familiarity with today is the best preparation for the future."

Of course, the immediate future included the outbreak of the Second World War, but that wasn't the Fair's fault.


"The Story of Exhibitions"

By Kenneth W. Luckhurst.
Published in London by Studio Publications in 1951.

The first industrial exhibition was held in London in 1761; everybody knows of the Great Exhibition at the Crystal Palace in 1851, and the World's Fair of 1939. Here are those, and countless others, in an entertaining survey of exhibitions, mostly Great, all certainly meant to be, from the 18th to the 20th century.



In the film, Mr. & Mrs. Smith (1941) a comedy directed by Alfred Hitchcock, Carole Lombard and Gene Raymond visit the New York World's Fair after a dinner date and find themselves stuck high in the air on the fair's popular parachute ride when it malfunctions-

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