|One of the things the 1939 New York World’s Fair was known for was its rich colors. Many visitors commented that they felt that they had left a black- and- white world for one of extraordinary color when they entered the Fair. Buildings, fountains, flags and signs all shouted out in bold colors, especially blue and orange, the official colors of the Fair, and, not coincidentally, New York City. The iconic scene in the 1939 MGM film The Wizard of Oz where Dorothy opens the door and leaves the black- and -white (actually sepia) world of Kansas for the brilliance of Oz parallels such a shift. This program will highlight the Farnsworth’s current The Wonderful World of Oz exhibition, and examine how the Fair and the Oz film changed the way that people not only saw the world, but how they thought about the present and the future.
The program will start with the screening of New York filmmaker Amanda Murray’s new film World Fair. The film weaves together the impressionistic memories of former fairgoers with vibrant archival footage, transporting viewers to the futuristic and hopeful realm of the Fair. As a meditation on the ways we remember and preserve the past, World Fair celebrates the stories contained in photographs, home movies, illustrations and the ephemera we collect and save. After the film, Oz collector Willard Carroll and Director of Education Roger Dell will discuss the film and the Fair in relation to Oz, exploring how the year 1939 was critical in the areas of popular culture, as well as in world history.