C. D. Arnold photographic collection

Inclusive Dates: 
1891–1893

This record forms part of the Chicago’s Art-Related Archival Materials: A Terra Foundation Resource project funded by the Terra Foundation for American Art. For this project, the Archives surveyed archival repositories throughout the Chicago region to identify art-related materials contained in their holdings. While the Archives of American Art does not own any of the materials described herein, information about those materials and links to the original repositories have been included when available.

Descriptive Summary

12 Volumes, 1091 plates (some containing multiple images) of photographs of the World’s Columbian Exposition, including main exposition buildings, state and international buildings, and structures on the Midway Plaisance and the Wooded Island, as well as fountains, statuary and other features on the fairgrounds. Volume 8 contains photographs of the Palace of Fine Art, including nine views of the United States painting exhibition, and miscellaneous statuary on the exposition grounds.

Biographical Historical Note

Organized to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus's voyage to the New World, the World's Columbian Exposition was held in Jackson Park, Chicago, between May and October, 1893. An estimated twenty-seven million visitors from around the world visited the fair during that time. The fair is recognized today as one of the defining moments of American cultural history and was especially influential in the fields of architecture and urban planning, laying the groundwork for the "City Beautiful" movement of the early 20th century.

Charles Dudley Arnold was the official photographer of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition, documenting nearly every detail of the construction and operations of the fair.

Additional Notes

Related collections: Other collections of photographic views of the fair are World's Columbian Exposition card photographs, 1893; World's Columbian Exposition and other lantern slides, 1893-1900; Photograph album of the World's Columbian Exposition, 1893, and C.D. Arnold photograph albums of World's Columbian Exposition construction, 1891-1892, Chicago History Museum; World's Columbian Exposition Photographs by C.D. Arnold, 1891-1894, Ryerson and Burnham Archives, Ryerson and Burnham Libraries, The Art Institute of Chicago; C. D. Arnold Photographic Collection, 1891-1893, Chicago Public Library, Harold Washington Library Center.