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Raphael Beck (1858-1947), Design for the Pan-American Exposition Logo, 1901; Collection of the Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society

Raphael Beck (1858-1947), Design for the Pan-American Exposition Logo, 1901; Collection of the Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society

The Pan-American Exposition Centennial: Historic Collections / Hand in Hand: Aesthetics and Commerce at the 1901 Pan-American Exposition

On View Saturday, May 5–Sunday, September 30, 2001

Buffalo was the site of the 1901 Pan-American Exposition, an international extravaganza featuring the innovations, arts, culture, and industry from countries of the western hemisphere. Documentary photographs by C. D. Arnold, art works that were shown at the Exposition, and memorabilia, recreated the optimism that this twentieth-century event inspired before its tragic end, with the assassination of President William McKinley on September 6, 1901.

Areas explored in this exhibition included designs for Pan-American Exposition architecture and grounds, symbols that reflected changes evolving in technology and women’s rights, and the adaptation and the commodification of artistic designs, such as Raphael Beck’s logo of two women as the North and South American continents. Lenders to the exhibition included collector Charles Rand Penney and other members of the Pan-American Collectors’ Club. This was one in a series of exhibitions at the Burchfield Penney and throughout Buffalo that celebrated the centennial anniversary of the Pan-American Exposition. Opening festivities were organized jointly with the Albright-Knox Art Gallery and the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society.