Posts Tagged ‘1964 NY World’s Fair’

POSTPONED: Time Capsules: Relics of History & Hope

Westinghouse workers admire the time capsule created by the company for the 1939 World’s Fair in New York


In light of the changing COVID-19 situation in NYC and to allow our speaker to avoid unnecessary air travel, we have decided to postpone Time Capsules: Relics of History and Hope until Fall 2020, when we’ll celebrate the 80th Anniversary of the Westinghouse time capsule. Hope to see you then!

Thursday, March 19 at 6:30 pm at the City Reliquary

$10 AdmissionMembers free (Join Today!) – Space is limited and advance tickets are recommended!

Precious antiques and relics are usually either handed down from generation to generation, traded by collectors, or preserved and exhibited in museums such as the City Reliquary.  But with time capsules, one can transform an ordinary artifact of the present into an instant relic, packaged and sealed for future antiquarians

In this talk, Prof. Nick Yablon will discuss the origins of this practice in Gilded Age America, drawing on his new book, Remembrance of Things Present: The Invention of the Time Capsule. In keeping with this museum’s emphasis on cultural ephemera, he will focus less on the written messages than on the artifacts that he found in various chests and boxes around the country—from handcrafted objects and exotic oddities (such as Robespierre’s molar) to manufactured items such as shoes or a telephone.

What kinds of insights or hopes did people hope to convey by depositing these things?  Why did historians and museum curators disdain such ordinary artifacts until well into the twentieth century?  And could such deposits, as material links spanning the centuries, foster respect for the rights of posterity?

Copies of Remembrance of Things Present will be available for purchase and signing, and the Museum will have a special selection of rarely-displayed artifacts on view in keeping with the time capsule spirit of the event.

What’s New in our Making A Museum Exhibit? 1964 World’s Fair Souvenir Pins

These two souvenir pins come to us as a generous donation from Lindsay McGuire of Belfast, Maine. On her recent visit to the City Reliquary, she was reminded of her childhood visit to the 1964 World’s Fair in Queens and was inspired to donate these souvenir pins to our collection.

Both of these pins were distributed at the General Cigar Company building. The White Owl was the animal namesake of one of General Cigar’s brands, and a special White Owl New Yorker cigar was sold: “A cigar that’s the very essence of New York, and the great new Fair,” according to the advertisements. The Smoke Ring refers to a mechanism outside the General Cigar building at the Fair that sent a plume of white smoke into the sky every few minutes, thus providing a notable landmark for visitors to meet by. Visitor accounts are divided as to whether the smoke successfully formed visible rings as was intended.

One of Lindsay’s most vivid recollections of the Fair is the typo – a repeated “the” – on the Smoke Ring badge. (Did you notice it?) In addition to the smoke rings (or plumes), the General Cigar building housed a Hall of Magic in which performers showed off many illusions and tricks. One of these illusions is the repeated word “the” on the smoke ring pin, which our eyes very commonly skip over because it is separated by a line break. The General Cigar Hall of Magic urged visitors to try it on their friends!

New York State Pavilion Show Extended/Modern Ruin Screening!

NYS Pavilion exhibit extended! Encore screening of Modern Ruin!
Sunday, January 15 @ 7 PM
Tix: $8 general/$5 Reliquary members

Modern Ruin cover copy
By popular request, we’re offering an encore screening of Modern Ruin: A World’s Fair PavilionMatthew Silva’s documentary on Philip Johnson’s New York State Pavilion. The building, designed for the 1964 New York World’s Fair, is now best known as a fascinating ruin in the middle of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.Silva’s film chronicles the many transformations of the Pavilion, from World’s Fair exhibition space, to concert venue, to roller rink, and asks viewers to envision their own plans for the building’s future.

Tickets available through Artfully!

Previous screenings of this film at the Reliquary sold out. Secure your tickets now! Don’t miss your chance to see this gorgeous treatment of one of NYC’s most iconic curiosities. Check out this stellar review from Untapped Cities!

After an overwhelmingly positive response, we’re extending our exhibition on Philip Johnson’s New York State Pavilion to Sunday, January 29.


Closing Reception for Life of an American Ruin

Closing reception for Life of an American Ruin: Philip Johnson’s New York State Pavilion
Sat., Jan. 7, @ 5:30 PM
Tickets: $8 general/$5 Reliquary members

Join us as we bid farewell to our fall exhibition, Life of an American Ruin: Philip Johnson’s New York State Pavilion–the first show dedicated exclusively to the decaying structure from the 1964 NY World’s Fair. See works never before exhibited in this group exhibition before it closes on January 15! Featuring archival images from Bill Cotter; urban explorer photography by Phil Buehler, Marco Catini, and Robert Fein; installation by Aaron Asis, painting by Eric Doeringer, and a short film by Alex Zandi.

The evening will include two screenings of Modern Ruin: A World’s Fair Pavilion at 6 PM and 8 PM. One screening is included with the price of admission (run time: 1 hr 18 min). The screenings will take place indoors at the Reliquary. Seating is limited. Reserve your tickets now! 

Modern Ruin is a documentary by filmmaker Matthew Silva. It presents the rich history of the Pavilion, from World’s Fair exhibition space to concert venue to roller rink, and possible paths for its future. The film is a must-see for anyone who has been captivated by Philip Johnson’s structure, either during the ’64 Fair or in the intervening years as it grew into a ruin of American postmodern architecture.

Tickets on sale now through Artfully! $8 general/$5 Reliquary members.

Beverages available on a donation basis, with beer courtesy of Brooklyn Brewery.

Life of an American Ruin on NY1!

NY1’s Roger Clark talks to Us about Life of an American Ruin!

Courtesy of Marco Catini, 2012

Courtesy of Marco Catini, 2012

Roger Clark talks with curator and Reliquary manager Sarah Celentano and Reliquary founder Dave Herman about our latest exhibition, Life of an American Ruin: Philip Johnson’s New York State Pavilion!

Check out the video!