Visions of Tomorrow: Art and Commerce at the 1939 New York World's Fair
Early on in the planning process for the 1939/1940 World's Fair, the potential existed for Noguchi to be involved in the Fair in three different ways that are emblematic of his flexibility, values, and interests. First he applied as an independent artist to produce sculpture for the Fair's public areas. The selection committee asked him to supply additional materials, but in the end he was not chosen. In the wake of that rejection, however, he requested a list of corporations planning pavilions which is how he ended up building a fountain for Ford Motor Company. Simultaneous with his independent application and the project for Ford, he was also working on a major sculpture for the facade of a proposed (but unexecuted) Model Community Center designed by the Architects, Painters, and Sculptors Collaborative.
Helen Harrison, Director of the Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center and Editor of Dawn of a New Day: The New York World's Fair, 1939/40, will discuss ways in which artists' participation in the fair, both directly and as the subcontractors of other participating organizations, reflected the planners' agenda, and what role art played in promoting the Fair's ostensible aim, "Building the world of tomorrow."