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Chicago Cabinet: C. D. Arnold Photographs of the World's Columbian Exposition

December 19, 2009–March 21, 2010
Galleries 3–4

Chicago Cabinet is an exhibition series showcasing the Art Institute’s photographic holdings relating to the city of Chicago: its built environment, neighborhoods, and civic history.

The first exhibition in the series features highlights from the Ryerson Library’s archive of large platinum prints made by C. D. Arnold, the official photographer of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. The Chicago World’s Fair, as it is also known, attracted some 27 million people, or nearly half the population of the United States, to the city during its six-month run. Arnold’s photographic project, begun two years earlier and completed in 1894, traces the fair’s development, particularly the architectural concept put in place by Daniel H. Burnham, who is perhaps best known for his 1909 Plan of Chicago.

C. D. Arnold. Chicago Day, Grand Plaza in front of Administration Building from Official views of the World's Columbian Exposition, 1893.