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Expo in The Manchester Modernist: Video review

February 12, 2015 Leave a comment Go to comments

Writing the last post on Expo ’58 has reminded me that I didn’t post my regular outburst of shameless self publicity by informing you that those lovely people at the ever excellent Manchester Modernist have once again been good enough to include one of my offerings in the current issue of their redesigned and relaunched magazine…

A relaunch that was possibly thanks to the unqualified success of its recent crowd funding campaign. So a huge thanks to everyone who contributed in whatever form…

But don’t just take my word for how good the magazine is… Why not watch this very complementary video review by Stack


And just in case you missed it.. mine was the piece towards the front all about Basil Spence’s stylish British Pavilion at one of the most successful of all such Twentieth Century events, Montreal’s Expo 67. This piece was a reworked and greatly expanded version of an original post here… (which also had lots of photos)

Expo MMM_BS_2

Copies of the magazine are available to buy either singly or via annual subscription here

  1. February 13, 2015 at 11:51

    Thanks. Link to Modernist magazine doesn’t appear to be working, or is it me?

    • February 13, 2015 at 15:35

      Hi Julialikes
      No, it was me I’m afraid, I forgot to add the link. It should work now..
      Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  2. Bill Kretzel
    March 25, 2015 at 13:26

    Hello Joe
    As a Canadian reader of the last issue of The Modernist, I was of course particularly interested in your article about the Britain Pavilion at Montreal’s Expo 67. Hopefully you won’t be too chagrinned if I point out a couple of errors you’ve made, alas, in the opening sentence!
    You begin by citing the New York World’s Fair as a “success”. By two important measures, this is definitely not true. Open to the public over two summer seasons in 1964 and 1965, the New York fair only managed to attract a total of 51,603,037 paid admissions – despite being strategically located in (at that time) probably the largest and most affluent conurbation in the world. (By contrast, Montreal’s Expo registered 50,306,648 admissions during a single six-month season in a considerably smaller market.) Since the New York fair was operated by a private corporation, it was also considered a financial failure because it ultimately returned only about thirty-three cents for each dollar of the $30-million invested by institutional venture capital noteholders, and was unable repay a $24-million municipal loan. (See Robert Caro’s Pulitzer Prize winning biography of Robert Moses, who headed the fair: The Power Broker [1974].)
    You also mistakenly liken the New York World’s Fair to Expo 67 – “different title, same event”. In fact, a mere six pavilions sponsored by foreign national governments comprised the ‘world’ component of the New York fair, whereas 60 nations exhibited at Montreal (as you correctly note). The international turnout was scant at New York because the organizers refused to observe the rules of the Paris-based Bureau International des Expositions (http://www.bie-paris.org), formed following a conference of diplomats from 42 nations held in 1928. On November 8, 1960, the council of this multi-lateral body of representatives from world governments (including the U.K. and, at that time Canada) adopted a resolution recommending non-participation at New York. As a result, the 1964/65 fair actually had the character more of an American national exhibition, dominated by grandiose structures erected by large corporations – the Detroit automakers in particular. It was definitely not an event of the same global calibre as the officially sanctioned Expos that followed in Montreal, Osaka, Seville, Hannover and Shanghai. America only joined the B.I.E. after the success of the Montreal Expo, but then withdrew during the xenophobic Reagan regime, when a law was passed to actually forbid appropriation of public funds for U.S. pavilions at Expos. (As a Canadian, I am ashamed to say the right-wing politicians currently forming the federal government here have blindly followed the lead of their American ideological role models.)
    Here are the URLs for a couple of thoughtful articles – authored by Americans – about the dismal record of the United States in hosting and participating at World Expos:
    Bill Kretzel
    Ottawa, Canada

    • March 28, 2015 at 18:25

      Hi Bill
      I bow to your obviously superior knowledge of the 1964 New York Fair.
      The Modernist Magazine has an 800 to 900 word target for submissions, so using a phrase such as “different title, same event” whilst I accept is rather throw away and a monstrous oversimplification, allows me to concentrate my meagre allowance on things I know about.
      Thanks for taking the time to comment though, constructive and informed criticism is always appreciated. Hopefully once you’d got over the shocking inaccuracies of the 15 words in the sentence you’ve focused on, you found something to enjoy in the rest of the piece (which after all was about a British pavilion, designed by a Scottish architect at a Canadian Expo, and nothing to do with New York….)
      Joe Blogs

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