Chicago’s World’s Columbian Exposition, popularly called the Chicago World’s Fair, or the White City, was the largest and most spectacular world’s fair ever built. The Columbian Exposition opened on May 1, 1893, and more than
21,000,000 people visited the fair during the six months it was open to the public. The White City was a seminal event in America’s history that changed the way the world viewed Chicago. Fortunately, the fair was documented in stunning photographs by commercial and amateur photographers. This volume tells the story of the fair from its construction in Jackson Park to its destruction by fire after the fair had closed. Photographs of the exhibition halls, state buildings, foreign buildings, indoor and outdoor exhibits, the attractions of the Midway, and the various ways to move about the fairgrounds give a sense of how visitors
experienced this extraordinary time and place.
About the Author:
Russell Lewis, Executive Vice President and Chief Historian of the Chicago History Museum, is responsible for the day-to-day implementation of the museum’s mission to explore and showcase Chicago’s history and culture, and to preserve, manage, build, and make accessible to the public the museum’s collection of more than 22 million documents and objects. A member of the Chicago Historical Society and Chicago History Museum’s staff since 1982, Lewis has held numerous editorial and director positions prior to his current appointment. He has been involved in developing numerous exhibitions, including We the People: Creating a New Nation, 1765–1820 and A House Divided: America in the Age of Lincoln. He served as project director for the exhibition Chicago Goes to War, 1941-45, the urban history conference Modes of Inquiry for American City History, and the community history initiative Neighborhoods: Keepers of Culture. He has also led a number of digitization projects, including The Great Chicago Fire and the Web of Memory, Wet with Blood: The Investigation of Mary Todd Lincoln’s Cloak, and Studs Terkel: Conversations with America, and the online version of The Chicago Encyclopedia. Lewis is the author of Historic Photos of Chicago (2006), also available from Turner Publishing. He holds a B.A. in historical archeology from the University of Florida and an M.A. in American culture from the University of Michigan.