All the world’s a fair

Thanks to Flavorpill, I explored the Beinecke Rare Book Collection at Yale University today, and more specifically, the library’s collection of posters and plans from every World’s Fair that was. Oo-wee, as Jones from A Confederacy of Dunces would say – it’s a great collection. My favourites are the posters dating from the 30s, in classic Art Deco style, and my least favourite ones are the posters for the colonial world’s fair (disembodied heads of colonised peoples of the world, looking suitably exotic and morose) and posters of the Third Reich’s pavilion in 1937, complete with Nazi flag flapping merrily (below) … but these less savoury aspects are still pretty fascinating.

And of course I saved the best til last… the crappiest poster of them all: Brisbane ’88 (below). I can still picture that stupid little platypus mascot who was called, in strikingly original fashion, Expo Oz. Wonder what marketing whiz kid dreamt that one up. Did anyone actually go to Brisbane for the Expo? No doubt some enraged Brisbanian will respond in the affirmative shortly.

:: Arwen ::



Filed under Books

4 responses to “All the world’s a fair

  1. Kerry

    I did go and I am sure I wore my Ken Done sunglasses too. It was then on to the singles pleasurse island of the time, Great Keppel! Those were the days.


  2. Actually, what I neglected to mention in the above post is that I desperately wanted to go to Expo ’88… it was the platypus that sealed it for me.

    I was probably at Lindeman Island at the time instead. I suspect that was the daggy family isle, rather than the singles pleasure isle.

  3. ha ha ha.
    I grew up in brisbane & I was 6 at the time.
    I performed at expo 88, I was a dancer & we had a performance on pretty much every day. I don’t remember much else though, so it must have been pretty lame.

  4. I went! I travelled up from Sydney and was the envy of my friends!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s