Free & Open to All, NO RSVP necessary.
On the occasion of the 75th and 50th Anniversaries of the World’s Fairs in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, we’ve invited renowned architectural historian John Kriskiewicz to lead a tour of the extant structures from the 1964 World’s Fair in Queens. Explore the moment in time when we were poised to race head long into the “Space Age”, but were beginning to have doubts about the meaning of progress. Conceived in a period of relative consensus in 1958, the Fair opened during the turbulent mid-Sixties. The Unisphere, The Port Authority Heliport, Westinghouse Time capsule and Wallace Harrison’s Hall of Science/Space Park still stand to remind us of that anticipation of the future. Philip Johnson’s wry New York State Pavilion draws on this anticipation with its structural virtuosity, but employs a dawning “Pop Art” sensibility of the Sixties, becoming an instant icon.
The tour meeting point will be the East Entrance information desk of the Queens Museum, and the tour will start with the nearby temporary sculpture Wayfinding: 100 NYC Public Sculptures, a site-specific installation, composed of 100 directional signs, each with a drawing of a public sculpture in NYC and the distance (mapped with GPS coordinates) between the source- sculpture and the sign. We will have the honor of meeting the artist Bundith Phunsombatlert.
The tour will conclude at the Queens Museum, where you will also have the opportunity to visit the new exhibition 13 Most Wanted Men: Andy Warhol and the 1964 World’s Fair. 50 years have passed since an up-and-coming Pop provocateur named Andy Warhol sparked a minor scandal at the 1964 New York World’s Fair. As part of a prominent set of public commissions for the Philip Johnson-designed New York State Pavilion’s exterior, Warhol chose to enlarge mug shots from a NYPD booklet featuring the 13 most wanted criminals of 1962. Forming a chessboard of front and profile views, 13 Most Wanted Men was installed by April 15, 1964, and painted over by Fair officials’ direction with silver paint a few days later. When the Fair opened to the public, all that was visible was a large silver square. Later in the summer of 1964, Warhol produced another set of the Most Wanted Men paintings with the screens he had used to make the mural and nine of these are assembled in New York for the first time since their creation, forming the core of the 175 or so objects in the exhibition.
About the Tour Leader
A native New Yorker, John Kriskiewicz holds a professional degree in Architecture from Pratt Institute, is an associate member of the American Institute of Architects, and a board member of DOCOMOMO New York Tri-State. Over the past two decades he has taught courses focused on architectural and planning history at Parsons School of Design, The Cooper Union, Fashion Institute of Technology, Stern College for Women and Manhattan College while designing tour programs and lectures for many of New York City’s institutions and corporations. Exhibitions and articles have revealed history and preservation issues to a broad audience.
John admits to a special affinity for New York’s extensive infrastructure as well as its Mid-Century Modern heritage.
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