“Reconstructing the World’s Columbian Exposition at The Newberry Library” by S.M. O’Connor

Dr. Lisa Snyder will be returning to Chicago from the University of California, Los Angeles (U.C.L.A.) in December to deliver a lecture and presentation at The Newberry Library, “Behind the Model: Reconstructing the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition.”  The event will be on Saturday, December 8, 2018 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in Ruggles Hall.  Dr. Snyder will be discussing the U.C.L.A. Urban Simulation Team’s computer-animated simulation of the White City fairgrounds from Chicago’s first World’s Fair, the World’s Columbian Exposition (1893).  This event will be free and open to the public, but one must register via Eventbrite in advance to attend.

Viewers will be able to virtually fly over her reconstruction of the White City and Midway Plaisance.  The World’s Columbian Exposition opened to the public on May 1, 1893.   Over 27,000,000 people visited the White City in Jackson Park to see scientific, industrial, and artistic marvels.  The City of Chicago commemorates with one of the four stars on the municipal flag.

Dr. Snyder of the U.C.L.A.’s Office of Information Technology (O.I.T.) and Institute for Digital Research and Education is Director of Campus Research Initiatives, Acting Director of the Research Technology Group, and Manager of its GIS, Visualization and Modeling Group.  She earned her Master of Architectural History degree from the University of Virginia and her Ph.D. in Architecture at U.C.L.A.  Her research is primarily on pedagogical (teaching) applications of interactive computer models (reconstructions) of historic urban environments (cities).  With funding of a Digital Humanities Implementation Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, she is leading a team to develop VSim, a software interface that provides users with the ability to craft narratives in three-dimensional space as well as the ability to embed annotations and links to primary and secondary sources and content from the World Wide Web from within modeled environments.  Using this software, Dr. Snyder and Tim Samuelson, Cultural Historian for the City of Chicago, Cultural Historian for the City of Chicago, periodically present her simulation of the White City at the Museum of Science and Industry (M.S.I).  [The M.S.I. is housed in the Palace of Fine Arts, the only major pavilion from the White City to remain standing in Jackson Park.]  Recently, they presented her popular simulation of the White City for the event “Celebrating 125 Years of the White CityCelebrating 125 Years of the White City” at the M.S.I. over the weekend of May 19-20, 2018.

This event is funded by a grant from the Terra Foundation for American Art.  It is part of the ancillary programming for the exhibition Pictures from an Exposition: Visualizing 1893 World’s Fair, which The Newberry Library will host in the Trienens Galleries from Friday, September 28, 2018 to Monday, December 31, 2018.  The Newberry Library has, as one would expect, a wide variety of primary and secondary sources on the World’s Columbian Exposition.  The secondary sources are published bibliographies and reference works, while the primary sources are manuscripts and published books and newspapers.

As previously mentioned, Professor Rebecca S. Graff will be giving a presentation on her archeological and archival research on the White City and Midway Plaisance at The Newberry Library on Thursday, October 4, 2018 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.  This presentation is called “The Vanishing City” and it is free.  Rebecca S. Graff is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Chair of Urban Studies at Lake Forest College.  She is the authoress of the forthcoming book The Vanishing City and the Enduring Home: Approaching Modernity at Chicago’s 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition and the Charnley House.  Click on this Eventbrite link to sign-up to attend this event.  If you sign up to attend either program, you will begin to receive The Newberry Library’s twice-a-month e-newsletter.

As a whole, The Newberry Library is closed on Sundays.  The Newberry Library’s Exhibition Galleries are open on Mondays, from 8:15 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., but the Reading Rooms and Bookstore are closed. Otherwise, the Reading Rooms are open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, and from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Saturdays; the Exhibition Galleries are open from 8:15 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, and from 8:15 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays; and the Bookstore is open from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Fridays, and from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturdays.  The Bookstore is closed daily for lunch from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.  The Newberry Library will be closed on Labor Day Weekend (Saturday, September 1, 2018 through Monday, September 3, 2018); will close early (at 5:15 p.m.) on Wednesday, November 21, 2018; will be closed on Thanksgiving Day Weekend (Thursday, November 22, 2018 through Sunday, November 25, 2018); will be closed for Christmas from Saturday, December 22, 2018 through Wednesday, December 26, 2018; and will be closed for New Year’s Eve (Monday, December 31, 2018) and New Year’s Day (Tuesday, January 1, 2019).  Check this Webpage and follow social media for updates.

The address is 60 West Walton Street, Chicago, Illinois 60610.  The Website is https://www.newberry.org.  The phone number is (312) 943-9090.


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