World's Fairs at the National Building Museum

design & desire in the twentieth century pointed to an article by Stephen May on Antiques and the Arts Online , on the exhibit “Designing Tomorrow: America’s World’s Fairs of the 1930s” at the National Building Museum in Washington D.C.

I thought the National Building Museum was somewhat disappointing (remember the context: in D.C., every museum has to compete with a world-class Smithsonian Museum on almost every corner), but the World’s Fair exhibit was fantastic — well produced, great items and informative. It’s not a destination exhibit, but if you are anywhere near D.C., it’s worth an hour or two to see it.

Two National Building Museum notes. 1) For God’s sake, skip the Lego exhibit. Much of my ambivalence towards the NBM is due to the pointlessness of the Lego exhibit. 2) Formerly free, the museum began charging for admission at the end of June. If you aren’t interested in the exhibits, it won’t be worth the price of admission; if you are interested in the exhibits, the entry fee will feel like a bargain.

The building housing the NBM is a post-Civil War beautiful monstrosity. It’s nice to see the world that Louis Sullivan, Frank Lloyd Wright and the Modernists saved us from.

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