Art Uncovered -- 1939 New York World's Fair

Premiere DateJul 26, 2011
00:00 Thomas Intro
01:23 Louise Weinberg Interview pt. 1
03:49 When You Know The Feelies
06:35 Louise Weinberg Interview pt. 2
09:28 The Channon High Places
11:30 Louise Weinberg Interview pt. 3
13:59 Germ of Youth Part II Comet Gain
16:11 Louise Weinberg Interview pt. 4
18:50 Tuesday Grass Widow
21:24 Louise Weinberg Interview pt. 5
25:31 I Am Let Me Crazy
28:27 Louise Weinberg Interview pt. 6
32:06 Leave the Planet Galaxie 500
34:01 Louise Weinberg Interview pt. 7
37:45 Cyanide Breath Mint Beck
39:20 Louise Weinberg Interview pt. 8
41:58 English Cities Brilliant Colors
43:59 Louise Weinberg Interview pt. 9
46:16 Human Body Pylon
47:22 Finish

“To Exhibit Fastest Fighting Plane at New York World’s Fair,” 1938 Vintage gelatin silver print

My guest on the show today is Louise Weinberg. She is the Registrar and Archives Manager at the Queens Museum of Art here in New York City,  and she has recently put together an  exhibition for the museum called Future Perfect: Reconstructing the 1939 World’s Fair. The exhibit collects photographs and other artifacts  that chronicle the production of one of the most ambitious, and expensive, World’s fairs in history.

The 1939 World’s  fair  was constructed over 1200 acres on the site of a former dump in Flushing Meadows, Queens, and presented visitors from all over the world with an optimistic vision of the future: modern life as a technological utopia.

The Queens museum itself is located in one of the few structures that remains from the fair. Louise spoke with me from her office at the museum  about the fair’s origins, the construction process, and how the fair’s utopian optimism didn’t sit so well with a lot of working class Americans.

First Trees for New York World’s Fair 1939, digital print

Robert Moses, Grover Whalen and Mayor La Guardia review plans at groundbreaking ceremony of Flushing Meadows, Queens, June 29, 1936, Vintage gelatin silver print

Building the Fair model, vintage gelatin print


Host Thomas
Thomas grew up in Northern California where he fell in love with music and photography while going to punk shows and shooting skate photos. He photography in college, which may or may not qualify him to host an…