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Bill Cotter

Restored images - Part 3

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4120 - Court of Peace and US Govt Bldg

4120.jpg

4121 - Brass tower of Polish Pavilion

4121.jpg

4125 - Lights reflected in lagoon

4125.jpg

4126 - Netherlands Pavilion, Continental Avenue

4126.jpg

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4127 - Italian Pavilion with statue of Marconi

4127.jpg

4128 - Perisphere reflected in lagoon

4128.jpg

4129 - Time and Fates of Man (possibly my favorite!)

4129.jpg

4130 - Bridge to Perisphere at night

4130.jpg

And that's the last of the ones I have!

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Sweet!

4129- Best photo yet of the moving clouds projected on the Periphere's surface (I'll bet in a motion picture it would look pretty cool). I see on the statue on the right, the upper part of the statue is lit up by the projection, but the lower half is not. Also, look at the people up on the helicline- even at night it looks absolutely jam-packed with people.

4127- I find the architecture of the Italian Pavilion very interesting- I've seen quite a few pictures of it before. It's definitely different than the art deco or moderne looks of the other pavilions. Why?

You have to understand- the head of state of Italy at the time was Benito Mussolini. He was at the absolute peak of his dictatorial powers. Italy had just embarked on a brutal invasion and occupation of Ethiopia two years previously. Images of the latest technology fighter planes strafing spear-carrying tribesmen are quite accurate. It is often quoted of Adolf Hitler that in spite of his problems 'he made the trains run on time'. That slogan was actually first used to describe the regime of Mussolini.

This Italian Pavilion design is meant to evoke strength, power, order, classical design (Mussolini thought of himself as a modern reincarnation of one of the Roman Emperors, with his fascist regime being a "natural" successor to the power of ancient Rome in world affairs), and the series of steps leading upward is meant to portray something which is upward- toward the clouds- and gave a sense of being 'above' the other European nations (and their pavilions).

The Italy Pavilion image speaks volumes if you know something about what was going on in Italy at the time.

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I think the statue was supposed to be the 'Goddess of Radio' or something like that. (that sounds kind of dumb, and I probably don't have it exactly right, but you get the idea...)

Marconi.jpg

The plaque on the front of the Marconi monument-

Guglielmo_Marconi.jpg

What you can't see in the photo is that way up on top was a huge allegorical statue-

273_Italian_Pavilion.jpg

Italian_pavilion.jpg

On the back of this postcard (which was produced by Albertype under contract to the Italian Pavilion), besides statistical information on the pavilion's size, also says: "Two thousand years of magnificent historical background."

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<!--coloro:blue--><span style="color:blue"><!--/coloro-->Simply Amazing.

The atmosphere of this fair (and the photos of it) feel otherworldly. Stunning. Wonderful.

Chairman...I was about to post exactly the same statement in regard to the Netherlands Pavilion. That design certainly speaks of the 64-65 fair.

Just a wow, Bill. I'm agog!<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc-->

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I remember reading that the bronze statue of the Polish king (I do not recall his name but it begins with a W) which stood just below the magnificent tower (and can be seen in the photograph above) was removed to Central Park after the Fair. I have read this several places and one of the sources is Richard Wurts' THE 1939 NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR IN 144 PHOTOGRAPHS.

Can anybody verify this? Has anybody actually seen it? I would love to know if it remains there today. That would be a most treasured legacy.

The Polish Pavilion sat empty for the entire 1940 edition of the Fair (as did the pavilions of several other conquered nations). Overrun by the Nazis and the Soviets, Poland had ceased to exist by the end of September of 1939.

The Netherlands Pavilion was a gem and considerably ahead of its time. It actually reminds me of the architecural excellence of their pavilion at Expo 67.

These photographs are absolutely the best I have ever seen of the 1939 NYWF and the very best ever posted on this site. The capture the wonder of the greatest fair of all time. Thank you so much for sharing them with us.

PS: Another question: Was the Russian Tea Room a direct result of the 1939 NYWF? I have heard that it was first opened and operated by the people who had operated a restaurant in the Soviet Pavilion in 1939 but that lead to some other questions. Is this correct? It closed a year or two ago but I could not find information on the Tea Room's early years. Any ideas out there?

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I remember reading that the bronze statue of the Polish king (I do not recall his name but it begins with a W) which stood just below the magnificent tower (and can be seen in the photograph above) ...

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Statue_of_King_Wladyslaw_Jagiello.jpg

Ah yes, that would have been King Wladyslaw Jagiello-

He led Polish forces in decisive battles over the Teutonic knights in 1410.

Today in the 21st Century it's easy for us middle aged folk to forget our European history; but the Teutonic knights came from Germany. Is there any doubt what message this statue was meant to send in 1939? Heinrich Himmler was quoted many times as saying that his S.S. paramilitary arm of the Nazi Party was a direct descendant of the Teutonic Knights.

While the Poles were correct in their attention on the threat from the German border, they missed the boat on the threat from the east, thinking the Baltic States would be an adequate buffer between themselves and Communist Russia. They didn't contemplate the secret agreement between Ribbentrop and Molotov dividing up the territory- Russia grabbed the Baltic States while the Poles with their mounted cavalary were left to the invading Wehrmacht armored divisions. The Polish military was thus squeezed out of existance, and mutual defense treaties with Britain and France meant nothing when those countries had little in the way of expeditionary forces. It was over practically overnight (a couple of weeks actually), and the legacy of King Jagiello didn't help against the Panzers and Stukas.

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The Polish Pavilion sat empty for the entire 1940 edition of the Fair (as did the pavilions of several other conquered nations). Overrun by the Nazis and the Soviets, Poland had ceased to exist by the end of September of 1939.

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There was a 1940 exhibition with photos and artwork concerning the plight of the Poles. I'm not sure who sponsored it- perhaps the Polish Government which was exiled in London.

Poland_Exhibition.jpg

Poland_Exhibition_more.jpg

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<!--coloro:blue--><span style="color:blue"><!--/coloro-->Jim, the statue is, indeed, in central park.

Here's a link from the Central Park site that has a brief history of the statue:

<a href="http://www.nycgovparks.org/sub_your_park/historical_signs/hs_historical_sign.php?id=13318" target="_blank">http://www.nycgovparks.org/sub_your_park/h...gn.php?id=13318</a>

You can find a close up of the statue's face here (bottom of page):

<a href="http://mywebpages.comcast.net/mdemkowicz1/dobra/enoble.html" target="_blank">http://mywebpages.comcast.net/mdemkowicz1/dobra/enoble.html</a>

The link below mentions that a "folk dancing group" gathers under the statue during warmer months. The page itself is a description of the turtle pond area where the statue is now located.

<a href="http://www.centralparknyc.org/virtualpark/thegreatlawn/turtlepond" target="_blank">http://www.centralparknyc.org/virtualpark/...lawn/turtlepond</a>

I also found note that the statue was cleaned and repatinated in 1986.

There is more on the king and the statue on the web.

Randy, thank you so much for your posted images. I had never heard of the Polish exhibit in 1940.<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc-->

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Rose and Randy:

Many thanks. I now remember the name of the Polish king, Randy. I was completely unsure how to spell it and I do understand the significance of his presence in front of their pavilion. It was an act of Polish defiance. I am sure you are familiar with the facades of the Nazi and Soviet pavilions at the 1937 Paris exposition. Two global giants squaring off by means of their respective massive pavilions and political symbols. I think Mr. Whalen was correct in keeping Nazi Germany out of the 1939 Fair. They did not need one more opportunity to propagandize their hatred to the rest of the world.

Thanks to both of you for sharing more photographs and information. Rose, I am just about to check that link. You guys are great.

Jim

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PS: I know that the pavilion of France was closed in 1940 and that the British Empire Pavilion displayed captured German war materiels--a parachute and a tank, as I recall.

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Richard Wurts and the 1939 NYWF Guidebook refer to the statue on the very top of the Italian Pavilion as "The Goddess Roma." I am not familiar with that personage from Greco/Roman mythology. I wonder if it was another part of Mussolini's fascist view of classical history. In any event, the fascist message is clear.

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Richard Wurts and the 1939 NYWF Guidebook refer to the statue on the very top of the Italian Pavilion as "The Goddess Roma."  I am not familiar with that personage  from Greco/Roman mythology.  I wonder if it was another part of Mussolini's fascist view of classical history.  In any event, the fascist message is clear.

According to classic Italian mythology, Rome was founded by Romulus, who as an infant with his brother Remus was suckled from a cow or pig or something (ha! come on Randy!) provided by the Gods.

The Goddess Roma indeed sounds like a fanciful fascist invention.

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<!--coloro:blue--><span style="color:blue"><!--/coloro-->I think, maybe, Romulus and Remus suckled a wolf.

I suppose it's fortunate for Roman civilization that the brothers were not lactose intolerant. <!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc-->

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My mother has talked about being at the 1939-40 Fair the night Italy closed for the war. She said when the lights went out on the building people started crying, knowing that the world had just changed. She said it was one of her favorite pavilions and that it was tough to see it stand empty for the rest of the fair.

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The lights on the Italian Pavilion would have gone out sometime in May of 1940 following Mussolini's attack on France just a day or two before France fell to the Nazi Blitzkrieg. Italy's declaration of war on helpless France was the event FDR called "the stab in the back."

The 1940 Fair must have battled some melancholy moments. Because of the War, the Soviet Pavilion was gone, the Pavilions of Finland, France, Poland, Italy, Lithuania and others were closed. The British Empire Pavilion devoted itself to the War effort and even had a donation box at the main entrance. The Fair Corporation would not allow any news of the European War to be broadcast on the Fairgrounds and patrons of the various restaurants were asked to refrain from discussing the world situation lest it upset other dinner guests. And over in the Pavilion of Japan, Americans could marvel at a pearl encrusted replica of the Liberty Bell--a gift from the Japanese people to the American people.

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And over in the Pavilion of Japan, Americans could marvel at a pearl encrusted replica of the Liberty Bell--a gift from the Japanese people to the American people.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

And on December 7th another surprise in 1941

Dave

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According to classic Italian mythology, Rome was founded by Romulus, who as an infant with his brother Remus was suckled from a cow or pig or something (ha! come on Randy!) provided by the Gods.

The Goddess Roma indeed sounds like a fanciful fascist invention.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Ahh Yes - the Romulans and Remans of Star Trek are direct decendants of those God's...didn't you know?

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The Goddess Roma indeed sounds like a fanciful fascist invention.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Not at all. Most large cities of the age had a deity who personified the city. The Roman concept of piety involved large measures of duty to the city, the state, and one's fellow citizens - service to others was very much bound up in concepts of moral obligation, as to a large extent it still is today. A civic deity who personified the city provided a way for the Romans to think about their duties and attachments to the city and state.

roma-01.jpg

The Goddess Roma

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According to classic Italian mythology, Rome was founded by Romulus, who as an infant with his brother Remus was suckled from a cow or pig or something (ha! come on Randy!) provided by the Gods

It was a wolf, guys.

st_112a.gif300px-Romulus_and_remus.jpg

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<!--coloro:blue--><span style="color:blue"><!--/coloro-->It's refreshing to know that as I read, and don't understand a single word of, the escorter box thread: I at least know of two twins who suckled a wolf.

Sad, really.

Rose, of the arcane and trivial.<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc-->

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