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Agriculture and Rural Life

America's Fairs Educating Communities

Click here to see our on-line exhibition.

"The exhibit was wonderful and the public response was positive and enthusiastic."
—Orange County Fair, Santa Ana, CA


America's agricultural fairs focused on educating farmers and their families and in doing so created a continuing annual American tradition. Reproductions of artworks, created between 1880 - 1920 to promote county and state fairs, illustrate the emergence of a unique educational fair in America where competition was the vehicle to inform and to inspire, strengthening a national industry--agriculture.
America's Fairs Educating Communities is possible through the loan of the unique private collection of The Fair Publishing House, Inc. (Norwalk, Ohio). These artworks provide a wonderful window into the past depicting not only our fairs, but livestock, fashion and exhibition architecture of the period.


This exhibition has been displayed at the following sites: Berrien County Youth Fair, Berrien Springs, MI; Calhoun County Fair, Marshall, MI; Carroll County Community Live Gallery, Westminister, MD; Cass County Fair, Cassopolis, MI; Courthouse Square Association, Charlotte, MI; Eastern Michigan Fair, Imlay City, MI; Florida State Fair, Tampa, FL; Great Allentown Fair, Allentown, PA; Hillsdale County Fair, Hillsdale, MI; Historic Oak View County Park, Raleigh, NC; Ingham County Fair, Mason, MI; Maple Hill Mall (sponsored by Kalamazoo County Fair Board), Kalamazoo, MI; Michigan State Fair, Detroit, MI; Montgomery County Agricultural Fair, Gaithersburg, MD; Newaygo County Fair/Art Center, Fremont, MI; Northern District Fair, Cadillac, MI; Old Shawnee Town, Shawnee, KS; Orange County Fair, Costa Mesa, CA; Rogers Historical Museum, Rogers, AR; Schnecksville Community Fair, Schnecksville, PA; South Dakota State Historical Society, Pierre, SD; St. Joseph County Grange Fair, Centreville, MI; Michigan State Fair, Detroit, MI; Huntingdon County Fair, Huntingdon, PA; Lorenzo Cultural Center, Macomb Community College, Clinton Twp., MI; and Michigan Festivals & Events Association Annual Meeting, Acme, MI.

This exhibition is eligible for funding through the Michigan Humanities Council's Arts and Humanities Touring Program. For more information, click here.

  Rental fee
(8-week period) :
$1,500, plus shipping
  Number of pieces: 29 reproductions of turn-of-the-century paintings created for posters to promote agricultural fairs
  Running feet required: 75-95 running feet
  Insurance Value: $10,000 Certificate of insurance required
  Security requirement: Lockable, limited access display area; provisions to prevent the public from touching pieces; fire protection according to local ordinances
  Additional materials available:

Press materials. Slide/discussion programs are also available to supplement the exhibit: "Early Michigan Fairs," "'Women's Work' at Early Fairs," and "America's Unique Educational Fair".

Agricultural Fairs in America: Tradition, Education & Celebration and other merchandise is available from the Michigan Traditional Arts Program Store.
This traveling exhibition is an Agricultural Heritage Program activity of the Michigan State University Museum. It is made possible with the generous financial and in-kind support of the Carroll County Youth Fair (Maryland), The Fair Publishing House, Inc., Hewlett-Packard Company, Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund, Maas Foundation, Michigan Association of Fairs and Exhibitions, Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, Michigan Department of Agriculture, Michigan Humanities Council, National Endowment for the Humanities, The Office of Racing Commissioner, and the following departments and units of Michigan State University: Office of the Provost, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Office of the Vice Provost and Dean, Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station, MSU Extension, Office of Academic and Student Affairs.

 

America's Comminuties


Pictured: Mythological figures, Pomona,
presiding over fruit trees, and Ceres,
goddess of agriculture, present the fair. Painting created between 1910 and 1922.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





 



 

 


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