On View> The Future of Yesterday

Midwest
Crystal Palace. (Ives Maes & Christian Nagel)

Crystal Palace. (Ives Maes & Christian Nagel)

The Future of Yesterday: Photographs of Architectural Remains at World’s Fairs
Nelson-Atkins Museum
45th and Oak Streets, Kansas City, MO
Through September 9

In conjunction with Inventing the Modern World: Decorative Arts at the World’s Fairs 1851–1939, the Nelson-Atkins Museum presents the first solo American exhibition of Belgian artist Ives Maes. In contrast to the technological and stylistic innovation showcased in the companion exhibition, Maes provides a study of the lasting artifacts of the world’s fair utopian aspirations. The photographs uncover fair grounds as they stand today, sometimes repurposed but often abandoned or in ruins (such as the site of London’s Crystal Palace, above), juxtaposing the optimism of the architects’ vision with the reality of the present. Co-curator Catherine L. Futter explains, “Ives’ visually compelling images and sculptural presentation lead us to examine the condition, context and activities of the sites in the present, yet evoke the magnificent and progressive ideals of these global events.”

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