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Bill Cotter

FINALLY! There will be an exhibit for the 50th Anniversary!

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Wonderful news and fun to share! I have been working with a very dedicated team at the Port Authority to put together an exhibit showcasing their exhibits at the Fair. That has grown now and they have joined forces with the Queens Historical Society and other groups in New York. Space has now been secured on the second floor of the Hall of Science to house a display on the Fair. The exact dates are being finalized but it will run from June to September.

Do you have any items you would like to have displayed? Say an Escorter, luminaire, etc.? I've reached out to some known owners of those items, but they would welcome any other items such as costumes, street signs, "You Are Here" maps (hint to Mitch), etc. Items are also welcome from the 1939 Fair. Provisions would be made for the transport and display, making it as easy on you as possible.

We are working on other items like films, panel discussions, etc. One person on Facebook had suggested modeling the Heliport in Legos and that is being arranged, so feel free to come forth with any other programming ideas as well.

So - if you would like to participate now is the time. Let's see what we can do to showcase the wonders we all experienced in 1964 & 1965. And hopefully all of this will help in the efforts to preserve the New York State Pavilion as well. You can list what you have here or drop me a note. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Hope to see you there!

Bill

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That's a great news! I would like you to know that I just published a monography on Michelangelo's Pietà. There is a large section dedicated ti the first and only trip of the statue out of St. Peter's basilica to be exhibited at the New York's World Fair. My work is in Italian, but I am working on an English version focused on the 1964-'65 event with an interesting (in my oponion) comparison with the exhibition of Leonardo's Mona Lisa just a year earlier, sponsored by Jackie Kennedy. If you evaluate that any form of collaboration might be considered between your initiative and my work, I would be most grateful and keen to further discuss the issue with you, giving all the details you may ask.

I would highly appreciate an answer in any case, for which I thank you in advande. Sincerely,

Franco OLIVA

fraoli2@libero.it

MY BOOK ON THE PIETA' in AMAZON KINDLE (http://www.amazon.it/La-Piet%C3%A0-Michelangelo-fiore-letame-ebook/dp/B00FY3YPCW/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1382028519&sr=1-1&keywords=piet%C3%A0+michelangelo)

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Welcome, Franco. I would love to see your work when it's in English. Please keep us posted.

The Queens Museum has a nice replica of the Pieta. I'll see if they can take it out of storage for this show!

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Thank you very much for your immediate feed back to my message. TheEnglish version of my work on the Pietà is work in progress, and is going to be quite different from the original Italian, to take into account a localized approach. Thus the trip to NYC - with all the controversy and finally astonishing success - is the core, altogether with the history and art analysis of Michelangelo's early masterpiece.

Just to give you an idea I can send you a firts chapter-

In New York: disputes
and record number of visitor
s

The Pietà, the undisputed queen of the statuary art, was awakened in the early hours of April 3, 1964, just before dawn. She had to get ready for a very long journey – at least 7,000 km (more than 4,000 miles), by land and sea - and had to be prepared adequately. In the cold and still dim light of St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican, seven persons with palpable emotion and respect were ready to start one of the most challenging and controversial operation in the history of art conservation and logistics.

It was not simply cosmetics. Her extremely delicate, shining, alabaster translucent skin needed a special protection to avoid the slightest friction, even of human hands. It was the first time that she was moved from her abode, in the first chapel of the right aisle of the Basilica, where she was definitely collocated in 1749, exactly two centuries and a half after she was created by Michelangelo Buonarroti in the last years of the 15th century. Actually, the Pietà was the first - and so far only - work of art to be moved from the Basilica of St. Peter’s.

The program was a long journey across the Atlantic Ocean and an even longer staying in New York City, at the Vatican Pavilion where she would illustrate the World’s Fair, that was going to show to millions of visitors the state of art of science, production, culture in our planet. Marvel among marvels, the Pietà was to represent an oasis of spirituality and quiet contemplation in the midst of the peculiar mayhem of all fairs.

Furthermore, she was to materialize the message flagging as a heading on this World Fair: “Peace through Understanding”. And what more than the meditation on the supreme sacrifice of Jesus Christ and the desperate though silent sorrow of his mother, the Virgin Mary, could suggest the repulse of any thought of violence and death?

The Pietà would be with no doubt the most important work of art on display at the Fair, that anyhow would host a number of other masterpieces of highly respected artists of all times, from Rubens to El Greco to Picasso. Actually, the statue, carved in pure Carrara marble, is generally held to be one of the finest examples of Christian art in any medium. It is not an exaggeration to state that it is one - if not the one- most famous universal art works, a masterpiece recognized since it came out from the hands of its incredibly young creator. The Florentine Michelangelo was just 22 years old when he got the commission for this statue by a cardinal, ambassador of the king of France at the Pope’s court in Rome. When the statue was unveiled in 1500 he was still unknown to the most so much that he decided to carve his signature on the belt crossing Mary’s chest to claim his authorship. And almost over nightly he became the most acclaimed sculptor in Rome and by large in the world, spanning his genius for the next 65 years, marking all the fields of arts in that splendid spectrum of European 16th Century.

The improbable, or at least unpredictable journey of the Pietà was the climax of a story that time was swollen overflowing in the religious, political, artistic and even technological. Splitting into two confronting camps professionals, experts, critics and general public, becoming a topic of debate in intellectual circles, in newspapers and earnest discussions in the bars and cafes.

The controversy broke out immediately, as soon as it became known that the powerful Cardinal and Archbishop of New York, Francis Spellman, had put forward a request to Pope John XXIII absolutely unprecedented: the loan of the art world's most popular, the early masterpiece by Michelangelo Buonarroti. The statue was supposed to be the central point of the pavilion that the Vatican had set up, with the dollars of the American Church, inside the World's Fair in New York, in two scheduled semi-annual sessions (April to October) in the period 1964-65. To many it seemed like a joke or an attempt to propagate the Fair that due to various boycotts, national and especially international, was in danger of sinking at the start. But they did not know enough about the Cardinal with a steady hand that held the powerful and wealthy diocese of New York since 1939.

Spellman, the typical Irish self-made man of the “American dream”, had been the pupil of Eugenio Pacelli even before he became pope Pius XII and in time he had woven a series of friendship and mutual protection threads with personalities from all theological and ideological sides, never hiding the fact that his own choices were decidedly conservative and always pursuing the interests of "his" Church.

Confidant of Democratic President Franklin D. Roosevelt; closely tied to the military in his office of Vicar General for Catholics enlisted in the U.S. Army; major sponsor during the Cold War of the anti-Communist crusade of Senator Joseph McCarthy, who went on to justify from the point of view of religion; feared by John F . Kennedy, the first and so far only Catholic president of the United States; at the side of President Lyndon Johnson during the escalation of the Vietnam War, who blessed as a "clash of civilizations"; member of the Bureau of the Second Vatican Council; influential kingmaker in the conclaves of 1958 (Pope John XXIII) and 1963 (Paul VI): Cardinal Spellman was not one to whom one could easily say "no". Especially if, as in this case, as we shall see, his prestige was at stake, or at least he thought so.

---------------------

Thanks for your attention!

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This is great news of course. And I'm amazed that space is available on this short notice!
It's great to have Curtis Cates involved, and others with connections that I've seen on FB.
I wonder if the "Remembering The Fair" folks know about this. They may have some connections still, to some resources.

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Silence? No one here cares or wants to help?

I agree with Mike, this is great news Bill - unfortunately I've never been much of a "landfill" collector (I'm more into photos and documents), so I don't really have any artifacts to offer up for a display...

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I was just looking for an excuse to get you there so I could see it in person. The photos you sent are amazing. I guess I'll have to swing up your way instead.

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Hey Bill,

That's great news, important news, exhilarating news!

If I had a "big" from the Fair, I'd lend it! I have a decent collection, but I don't think anything would turn heads.

If I was retired, I'd camp out in Space Park and help out.

Maybe for us weekender helpers, you could post a "day laborer wanted ad"?

That could let some of us drive down for a day or two of assistance.

Uh, just don't ask me to clean the windows in the Hall of Science!

Hopefully, with the aforementioned participants on board, more will get involved.

Thanks for the announcement and please keep us posted every step of the way.

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Thanks, Robby, will certainly keep you posted. We will have a series of "1 day" events so there will likely be ample opportunity to pitch in. Lots of fun so far, and hopefully the best is soon to come.

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The only, "From the Fair", piece that I have is a large (5ft tall...I think - maybe a bit shorter) section of the roof panel from one of the NYS levels. Without knowing what it is, it really just looks like an old dirty piece of hard plastic - not much to exhibit but precious to me.

So wish I had a luminaire to loan.

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UPDATE ON ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS

Two requests for info on a 4/13 event by Parks & Req have gone unanswered.

I did hear from Rob MacKay, the Director of PR & Tourism for the Queens Economic Development Corp.

He sent me a schedule of events thru the summer. How can I post this on here? It's a Word document.

His website is itsinqueens.com. These events are not yet posted, tho.

Waiting to hear if he knows anything about the April 13 thing.

My room is booked for the 4/26 weekend. Seeing a comedy show at the Theaterama Saturday night and the Warhol exhibit opens Sunday. Relics & Remnants list complete (for now). Planning to photograph the central Fairgrounds first.

Anyone else going to the QMA???

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I had a call with Parks yesterday. Their schedule for the 13th is not yet finalized. I am supposed to meet with them next week and will report back. The call yesterday was encouraging.

You could cut and paste the schedule you do have into a message, or e-mail it to me and I can put it on my site with a link to it here.

I expect to be in the Park on 4/22 at this stage, but exactly where remains a mystery. I don't have plans to be at the QMA event now as I will likely be back in LA by then.

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Hi Bill - I have a large Topping Unisphere model which may have been a Topping prototype (it is RM desk model size) but it is colored and the nations are labeled. I also have a set of Unisphere plans. Not sure if these are of interest as the real Unisphere is right in FMCP.

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Thanks Bill and Randy - as I wrote Bill Young yesterday life has intervened. I enjoy reading the board and am looking forward to participating more. Hello again to all.

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Here is the latest from Janice Melnick, Flushing Meadows Park Administrator...

We have changed the date of this event from April 13, 2014 to June 8, 2014. The event will include games, inflatable rides for children, crafts, World's Fair memorabilia, and tours of our many World's Fair sculptures and structures. We will also have entertainment throughout the day culminating with a concert in the evening. In addition, many of the cultural institutions in and around Flushing Meadows Corona Park will also have exhibits relating to the World's Fair. For example, the Queens Theatre will host "Lego Exhibit of Iconic Buildings associated with the World's Fair", the Queens Museum will have Andy Warhol's "13 Most Wanted Men" exhibit as well as a World's Fair exhibit and the famous Panorama, and the New York Hall of Science will host their "Innovation and the Fair exhibit".

If I can juggle a commitment on June 7th, I will be there. It would be cool to hook up with some WFCers...?? The tours sound awesome. And I can't wait to see Guy Lombardo!

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This is great news regarding June 8th. I'll definitely be there along with friends and family. In addition, will anyone be going to Flushing Meadows on April 22nd, the anniversary of Opening Day for the "64 Fair?

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