New Museum Exhibit

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Hi all, I just wanted to let the WFC know that the Long Island Museum in Stony Brook, NY (http://www.longislandmuseum.org) is soon hosting Centuries of Progress: American World's Fairs. Its a traveling exhibit that we are adding a large section to about the 1939 and 1964 NY fairs, including many great artifacts from our collection, the Queens Museum of Art, and the collection of John Ricardelli. If you are in this neck of the woods, please check it out!

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Posted · Report post

Welcome to the forum. I'm looking forward to seeing the show. I'll be in NY just in time to see it! I've seen the catalog from another venue and it looks like it will be a "must see" for fair fans.

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Posted · Report post

Thank you Bill! Folks: we are about 45 minutes or so east of the original fairgrounds. Make a day of it!

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Posted · Report post

If it has a bunch of John Ricardelli's pieces in it you'll definitely want to go. He has the creme of the crop of WF collectibles. I wouldn't be surprised if he had Robert Moses in a box somewhere!

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Board administrator note: Moved to the Events forum.

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Posted · Report post

Thank you Bill! Folks: we are about 45 minutes or so east of the original fairgrounds. Make a day of it!

Wow! What are you driving? I am 45 minutes or so east of the fairgrounds and Stonybrook is a ways away!

Best wishes,

Eric

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Posted · Report post

I'll be in NY next week and hope to see the show. I'll report back if I do get there.

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Saw the exhibit at Stony Brook yesterday, an eclectic collection of items from several fairs. Most of the exhibit was devoted to the '64 and '39 NY fairs with each of those fairs having a full room of pictures, framed brochures and articles, and some artifacts. There were some things we recognized from the QMA, such as the model buildings from '39 made from remnants of the actual buildings they represent. Fair fanatics will recognize most of the brochures and artifacts exhibited, but there was one thing I was really excited to see (which I fear makes me a true '39 Fair geek!)--they had the screen door from the Firestone farm building. I wanted to get a picture of it to post on here, but the guard freaked out when I took out my camera and said I couldn't film it because everything in the exhibit is "copyrighted."

The brochure from the exhibit lists an event that sounds really enticing:

World's Fair Memorabilia lecture/sharing session May 1, 2 p.m.

John Ricardelli presents a discussion on World's Fair memorabilia. Visitors are invited to bring their own World's Fair souvenirs and memories. Following the lecture, Mr. Ricardelli will lead a tour through the Centuries of Progress exhibition.

I hope to make it to this event...maybe I'll see some of you there! Now I have to start digging through my collections and decide what to bring for "show and tell!" :-)

Cathy

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Posted · Report post

Amazing that a guard can expand Federal law so that a screen door is now copyrightable. :) That said, banning flash photography is common because of the damage it can do to paint pigments. Then again, after the exhibit is done, the screen door will probably be returned to a barn somewhere. :(

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Posted · Report post

I was at the exhibit Saturday, Cathy, and had the same experience with the guard. Photography is allowed in the rest of the museum, so it was quite a surprise when he jumped out and started giving me a hard time for taking a picture. If they don't want pictures taken they should post a sign with that restriction noted rather than treat people like criminals. I was pretty annoyed at that. The ironic thing is I was trying to take a picture of a wall that had a photo on it that I had donated to the exhibit, thinking that would make a nice souvenir. I tried explaining that to the guard and pointed out that it had my name on it but he wouldn't budge.

Other than that I enjoyed the show. It was somewhat smaller than I had expected, given the number of US fairs there have been. Some are all but ignored. I think I saw one item each from Seattle, Expo 74 and Knoxville, and nothing from New Orleans. If there was more I might have missed it but there wasn't a lot for sure. I had offered to help with any gaps but unfortunately got to them too late and the exhibit was just about complete when we made contact.

What is there, though, is worth the drive out there. Fans of the 1939 and 1964 fairs will see some things that are probably new to them. The rest of the museum is also worth the visit. They have an amazing collection of old carriages that my wife and I both really enjoyed, as well as a vintage barn, schoolhouse, etc. We had a pleasant afternoon exploring.

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Posted · Report post

I was at the exhibit Saturday, Cathy, and had the same experience with the guard. Photography is allowed in the rest of the museum, so it was quite a surprise when he jumped out and started giving me a hard time for taking a picture. If they don't want pictures taken they should post a sign with that restriction noted rather than treat people like criminals. I was pretty annoyed at that. The ironic thing is I was trying to take a picture of a wall that had a photo on it that I had donated to the exhibit, thinking that would make a nice souvenir. I tried explaining that to the guard and pointed out that it had my name on it but he wouldn't budge.

Other than that I enjoyed the show. It was somewhat smaller than I had expected, given the number of US fairs there have been. Some are all but ignored. I think I saw one item each from Seattle, Expo 74 and Knoxville, and nothing from New Orleans. If there was more I might have missed it but there wasn't a lot for sure. I had offered to help with any gaps but unfortunately got to them too late and the exhibit was just about complete when we made contact.

What is there, though, is worth the drive out there. Fans of the 1939 and 1964 fairs will see some things that are probably new to them. The rest of the museum is also worth the visit. They have an amazing collection of old carriages that my wife and I both really enjoyed, as well as a vintage barn, schoolhouse, etc. We had a pleasant afternoon exploring.

Randy--Please don't suggest that the Firestone screen door might be returned to an old barn after the exhibit or you will tempt me to don Ninja garb, knock out that pesky guard and kidnap it! :-D But the no photos rule was annoying. I can understand no flash photography, I never use flash for photographing anything with historical value, but the idea that the objects were "copyrighted" was just silly. I photographed all the QMA exhibits on the fairs before they were dismantled for the remodeling so it gave me a chuckle that the objects from the QMA suddenly became copyrighted on the trip to Stony Brook.

Bill--I was trying to be diplomatic in my posting, but since you mentioned it--I had the exact same impression of the exhibit as you did. I was disappointed in the scope of it, and I thought they left out some of the most interesting exhibits and events from all the fairs, things that might have caught the attention of the casual visitor and sparked an interest in world's fair history. And you are correct--there was nothing from New Orleans. The first vacation trip my husband and I took after we were married was to the '84 fair, so it's special to us and we did notice that there was no mention of it. However, I also agree that the exhibit is still worth the trip for fans of the '39 and '64 fairs. But I sincerely wish they had taken you up on your offer to help with the exhibit, they really could have benefited from your collections and your expertise!

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Posted · Report post

The museum is going to tone down the guards a bit. Still no photograhy due to restrictions by some of the exhbitors, but hopefully a gentler approach to us "lawbreakers".

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Posted · Report post

I have only encountered one museum that proferred a believable (but unexpected) reason for prohibiting all photography. (Can't recall which one it was right now, either.) They said that there had been cases of thieves making a photographic shopping list for a quick heist.

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I always attribute the occasional total photography ban (not just flash photography, but ALL photos) to the admonishment 'if you want to be able to have a visual record of your memories of your visit today, buy the fully illustrated exhibit book! [which is available for an outrageous price in our gift shop]'

How many people actually lugged home the coffee table book on the King Tut exhibit? I'd rather get the King Tut exhibit "Mummy book" with a "real mummy with identifiable body organs" inside! LOL http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=390298595517

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"I always attribute the occasional total photography ban (not just flash photography, but ALL photos) to the admonishment 'if you want to be able to have a visual record of your memories of your visit today, buy the fully illustrated exhibit book! [which is available for an outrageous price in our gift shop]" - Randy

Hi Randy,

That assumes there is one! ;)

Best,

Eric

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Posted · Report post

I didn't see anything for sale in this case. I do have a catalog from an earlier tour stop so perhaps that's part of the plan.

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