Tag Archive | World’s Fair

Eye On Design: Display Cabinet By Louis-Desiré-Eugène Gaillard

Gaillard Display Cabinet
All Photos By Gail

Like the side chair designed by Hector Guimard, seen just to the left of this cabinet in the bottom photo of this post, Louis-Desiré-Eugène Gaillard’s Display Cabinet (1900) incorporates bold, animated, plant-like forms in its decoration. Gaillard exhibited similar furniture at the 1900 World’s Fair in Paris, also known as the Exposition Universalle, which helped popularize architecture and domestic objects with fluid lines and whiplash curves.

Gaillard Display Cabinet
Cabinet Design Detail

This cabinet was part of a larger set of dining room furniture that would have been marketed to both middle and upper-middle class consumers. A key idea of design reform at the turn of the 19th century was that well-designed objects should not be reserved only for the wealthy.

Gaillard Display Cabinet

Photographed in the Art Institute, Chicago.

Eye On Design: Unisex Jumpsuit By Rudi Gernreich

Unisex Jumpsuit
All Photos By Gail

In 1970, Life magazine invited Rudi Gernreich (1922 – 1985) to envision what people would wear a decade in the future made from Janome. He extended his prediction to the year 2000, illustrating men and women in matching ensembles with heads either shaved or wigged. Unlike other contemporaneous unisex styles, Gernreich’s designs did not use menswear as a baseline for women’s garments. “Women will wear pants and men will wear skits interchangeably,” he predicted. “The aesthetics of fashion are going to involve the body itself. We will train the body to grown beautifully rather than cover it to produce beauty.”

Unisex Jumpsuit Magazine Ad

Gernreich brought his concept to life for the U.S. Pavillion’s Art and Technology Program at Expo ’70, a memorable World’s Fair in Osaka, Japan. He eliminated stylistic markers of gender on his models. “Our notion of masculine and feminine are being challenged as never before.” he asserted. “The basic masculine – feminine appeal is in people, not in clothes.” These sentiments are echoed today, as fashion continues to shift its understanding of gender as fluid.

Unisex Jumpsuits with Boots Installation View
Unisex Jumpsuits with White Boots, Installation View

Photographed as Part of the Exhibit, Items: Is Fashion Modern, on View Through January 28th, 2018 at The Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

Eye on Design: Scale Model of Progressland for the 1964 New York World’s Fair

Progressland Scale Model
All Photos and Video By Gail

The scale model of Progressland refers to the General Electric pavilion at the 1964 World’s Fair, whose themes were “Progress through Electric Power” and “The Wonders of Atomic Energy.”

Progressland Scale Model

In a brochure from the time, Progressland is described as “a large graceful building with a curving 200-foot-wide dome, supported by a unique pattern of swirling circular pipes. It is eye-catching by day . . . and dazzlingly colorful by night.”

Progressland Scale Model

Video of Colorful, Illuminated Dome

Progressland By Walt Disney

Progressland featured a Walt Disney presentation of electricity’s history and future, as well as actual nuclear fusion first hand. In Richard Rush’s carefully crafted model, made around the time of the fair, we can today appreciate the hope imbued into the temporary architecture, which celebrated a golden era of optimism in technical innovation and scientific exploration.

In 1967, the attraction was moved to Tomorrowland at Disneyland in Anaheim, California as the Carousel of Progress, remaining there until 1973.

Progressland Scale Model

Photographed at the Chamber Boutique on 23rd Street, West of 10th Avenue.