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1893 Columbian Exposition Fan and View of Chicago

World's Columbian Exposition Fan.

1893 Columbian Exposition Fan and View of Chicago


Decorative view of the 1893 Chicago World's Fairgrounds turned into a fan.



World's Columbian Exposition Fan.
  1893 (dated)    13 x 24 in (33.02 x 60.96 cm)


A stunning 1893 fan with a view of Chicago and the grounds of the 1893 Chicago World's Fair or, as it is more commonly known, the Columbian Exposition. The fair was situated along the Chicago waterfront in what is today Jackson Park. While most of the buildings constructed for the fair are now gone, several, including the Museum of Science and Industry and the Field Museum of Natural History. The fan was drawn by J. W. Green for sale in gift shops during the fair.

The 1893 Columbian Exposition or Chicago World’s Fair was a pivotal moment in the history of the United States. Chicago won the right to host the World’s Fair over New York, Washington D.C., and St. Louis. During its six month run, nearly 27,000,000 people, roughly half the population of the United States at the time, attended the fair. Its numerous displays and exhibits established conventions for architecture, design, and decorative arts, in addition to initiating a new era of American industrial optimism.

The layout and design of the fair, as seen here, is the work of Daniel Burnham and Frederick Law Olmsted, the genius behind New York City’s Central Park and Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, among others. Most of the fair was designed in the Beaux Arts tradition, a popular movement in Paris that was quickly gaining global momentum. In the years following the fair, this influential architectural style redefined the cityscape of Chicago, Boston, New York, and many other prominent American cities.

All such fans are extremely scarce. We have been able to identify only one other open-market example, which sold with another similar fan at Sotheby's in 2011 for about 5000 USD. In terms of institutional collections, we have identified this fan in only two holders: the Hagley Museum and Library in Wilmington Delaware, and the Wolfsonian-Florida International Library.


Good. Some wear on original folds. See image.
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