Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Pavilion of 1964

I have been doing image research on the 1964-65 New York World's Fair, ostensibly to gather examples for a "vintage" graphics look for my Trader Joe's work. But I am also re-living my own memories of that time, when I was eleven years old. I went to the 1964 New York World's Fair with my parents and I vividly remember it. I love World's Fairs, along with theme parks like Disney World's "Epcot Center" which closely resemble them. These are some of the only places where fantasy architecture can be built that ordinary people see and enjoy and actually walk through. World's Fairs and theme parks are full of color and domes and swooping lines and cheerful visions of the future (which we no longer have). And you can get cool stuff. Somewhere buried in the clutter of my old parents' house are some collectibles from the '64 World's Fair. I currently have a souvenir highball glass (value unknown) from the Fair depicting the "Hall of Science." 

The drawing above is a sketch from an old photo of the Johnson's Wax pavilion and the "Golden Rondelle" theater. The Golden Rondelle, somewhat re-designed and without the arched canopy, was moved to the Johnson's Wax corporate headquarters in Racine, Wisconsin (the headquarters with the famous Frank Lloyd Wright buildings) and is still in use as an auditorium and film theater. 

Back in 1964: I also vividly remember that when my parents decided not to go back to the fair, and thus I would not see it again, I pitched a terrible fit of anger and tears that lasted for hours. If something like that fair existed now (at least somewhere in the USA) I would definitely try to go. I visited Epcot Center in 1998, and it was almost as good, so maybe I will try to get back to Florida.

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