Behind the Model: Reconstructing the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition | Newberry

Behind the Model: Reconstructing the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition

From William Walton, Art and Architecture, an official illustrated publication of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition.

A Lecture and Demonstration by Lisa M. Snyder
Saturday, December 8, 2018

10 to 11:30 am

Ruggles Hall

Free and open to the public. Registration required.
Open to the Public

Listen to an audio recording of this program.

Reclaim the lost experience of navigating through the White City with this digital visual simulation.

Lisa Snyder will discuss the technology and research behind her rich computer reconstruction of the 1893 World Columbian Exposition’s White City. This combination allows interactive exploration of Chicago’s legendary exposition and unprecedented opportunities for teaching and learning. Using the model as illustration, Snyder will highlight both key features of the reconstruction and the archival resources that informed the project.

Dr. Lisa M. Snyder, of UCLA’s Office of Information Technology and Institute for Digital Research and Education, is Director of Campus Research Initiatives, Acting Director of the Research Technology Group, and Manger of its GIS, Visualization, and Modeling Group. She holds a Master of Architectural History from the University of Virginia and a PhD in Architecture from UCLA. Currently, with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Dr. Snyder is leading a team to develop VSim, a software interface that enables users to craft narratives in three-dimensional space and embed annotations and links to web content. Dr. Snyder uses this dynamic open-source software to present her reconstruction model of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition.

Check out a Quick Guide to related materials in the Newberry collection.

Immediately following this presentation, the Newberry American Art and Visual Culture Seminar will hold a symposium in Ruggles Hall on Chicago’s Two World’s Fairs.

This event, funded by a grant from the Terra Foundation for American Art, is part of our programming in connection with the exhibition Pictures from an Exposition: Visualizing the 1893 World’s Fair. See it from September 28 to December 31, 2018, at the Newberry.

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Cost and Registration Information 

Registration and waitlist are full.

Doors open half an hour before the program begins, with first-come, first-served seating for registered attendees, then those on the wait list. If seats remain available, walk-ins will be admitted about five minutes before the event’s start.

People with disabilities and other accessibility concerns can request to be seated first. To reserve an access-friendly space in the room, email at least 48 hours before the event. Seats arranged in this way will be held until 10 minutes before the event starts.

Questions? Contact us at or 312-255-3610.