Century of Progress Collection

Inclusive Dates: 
circa 1920s–1980

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

3 linear feet (9 boxes), 2 oversize portfolios, and flatfile materials consisting almost entirely of published materials and visual images related to the Century of Progress, including guidebooks, catalogues, brochures, newspaper and magazine articles, and press releases produced by the Century of Progress and its exhibitors; black and white and color photographs and printed illustrations, including postcards; maps and architectural drawings of some fair buildings; and ephemeral items, including souvenir items and tickets.

Biographical Historical Note

The Century of Progress International Exposition, also known as the World's Fair of 1933, took place on Chicago's lakefront from June through November 1933, and reopened for several months in 1934. The purposes of the fair were to celebrate Chicago's 100th anniversary as an incorporated village and to present to the public the multi-faceted effects of scientific research on industry and society in the 20th century. The fair's avant-garde aesthetic style received particular acclaim, as seen in the work of such architects and designers as Edward Bennett, Paul Cret, Holabird and Root, Raymond Hood, Albert Kahn, George Fred Keck, Ragnar Ostberg, Andrew Rebori, and Joseph Urban. Additionally, many artists contributed to the fair, including Thomas Hart Benton, Carl Milles, John Warner Norton, Edward Steichen, and Emil Zettler.

Additional Notes

Related collections: Century of Progress : Chicago world's fair centennial celebration, [ca. 1933-1934], Photographs of the Century of Progress, 1933-1934, Official Kaufmann & Fabry photographs of the Century of Progress, 1933-1934, Photographs of the Century of Progress, 1933-1934, and Laban Deardorff collection of visual materials, ca. 1890-1933, bulk 1893-1903,Chicago History Museum; A Century of Progress memorabilia collection, 1933-1999, and A Century of Progress Records, 1927-1952, University of Illinois at Chicago.