Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Meet Me at the Fair
We are just over a couple of weeks out from the opening of Inventing the Modern World; Decorative Arts at the World's Fairs, 1851-1939 at the Nelson.
Perhaps you've seen or heard a little something about the exhibit as it is getting a nice amount of national press. The exhibit comprises over 180 pieces, including dozens of international loans, some of which have never been seen in the United States.
It may be hard for some of us to keep in perspective the significance of World's Fairs, but they were in every way a meeting of the minds. Long before ideas, innovation and technology was unlocked with a click of a mouse, these fairs provided the opportunity to showcase and exchange all that was the cutting edge. These Lobmeyr bowls, designed by Marianne Rath, were exhibited in Paris in 1925. The inclusion of different earths, such as uranium, allows the glass to change color under different lights. I had the opportunity to see this transformation a few weeks ago and it is stunning. The display case at the exhibit includes a light box so visitors can witness this themselves.
For more information on the exhibit, which runs in Kansas City April 14th through August 19th, visit the Nelson-Akins here.
All images courtesy of the Nelson, the image, center, is of the moving sidewalks in Paris in 1925.