Georgia Gellert Penfield Collection on the Century 21 Exposition, 1960-1971  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Penfield, Georgia Gellert, 1918-2010
Title
Georgia Gellert Penfield Collection on the Century 21 Exposition
Dates
1960-1971 (inclusive)
Quantity
3 boxes, (1.07 cubic feet)
Collection Number
1983.108 (accession)
Summary
Publications, programs, souvenirs and business records documenting the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair
Repository
Museum of History & Industry, Sophie Frye Bass Library
Sophie Frye Bass Library
Museum of History & Industry
P.O. Box 80816
Seattle, WA
98108
Telephone: 206-324-1126
Fax: 206-780-1533
library@mohai.org
Access Restrictions

The collection is open to the public by appointment.

Languages
English.


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Georgia Gellert Penfield was born in Denver in 1918. She attended the University of Denver and joined the Pi Beta Phi sorority. After graduation she worked for the Denver Post. Penfield married Nathan Henry Gellert, a former president of the Seattle Gas Company, and moved to Seattle in 1954. She served as one of only two women on the executive staff for the Seattle World’s Fair and worked in the Exhibits Division with Donald Foster. After the fair, she served as public relations director of the Seattle Center until 1964.

Throughout her long career in Seattle, she worked for a variety of high-profile nonprofit organizations including the Seattle Center Foundation, Seattle Lighthouse for the Blind, Seattle Children’s Home, Allied Art of Seattle and Seattle Symphony. She also did public relations work for corporations, including Western Airlines. She was an ardent feminist during a time when women did not have the same professional opportunities as men, and she helped break the glass ceiling for Seattle area women. She passed away in Seattle on January 5, 2010 at the age of 92.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The collection includes souvenirs, booklets, brochures, magazines, official publications and entertainment programs collected during the Seattle World’s Fair. It includes a set of 4 posters by local artists and 19 original color lithographs representing abstract elements of U.S. Science Exhibit. A series of black and white photographs documents the fairgrounds and exhibits from the Interiors Pavilion. The business records include personal correspondence, resume, internal reports and proposals regarding the future and management of the Seattle Center.

Historical BackgroundReturn to Top

Over 10 million visitors attended the Seattle World’s Fair (Century 21 Exposition) from April 21 to October 21, 1962. The 74 acre Exposition site was a mile north of Seattle’s downtown business area, and the grounds were divided into: World of Science, World of Tomorrow, World of Commerce and Industry, World of Art, World of Entertainment, Show Street, Gayway and Boulevards of the World. Besides the Space Needle and Monorail, the Fair also featured a Skyride that ran across the grounds from the Gayway to the International Mall. There were over 2500 live performance events held during the Fair in various entertainment venues.

The complex management functions of Century 21 planning and organization were divided into 15 separate divisions: Executive, Advanced Tickets, Controllers, Exhibits, Lodging, Fine Arts, Commission Office, Underwriting, Purchasing, Legal, Performing Arts, Personnel, Promotion, Public Relations and Site and Development. Years of planning, building and preparation went into the fair, and after it closed it left behind a legacy of public buildings and landmarks at the site known as the Seattle Center.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

The Museum of History & Industry is the owner of the materials in the Sophie Frye Bass Library and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from MOHAI before any reproduction use. The museum does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from the copyright owners.

Preferred Citation

Georgia Gellert Penfield Collection on the Century 21 Exposition, Museum of History & Industry, Seattle

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

PostersReturn to Top

These four posters were sold as a set in a container roll as a souvenir of the Fair. All of the posters were created by Northwest artists.

Container(s) Description Dates
mapcase
VI.a.8
1983.108.9.1 : "Space Needle and Mt. Rainier" by Henry Bonath
1962
VI.a.8
1983.108.9.2 : "Impressions of the Fair" by Irwin Caplan
1962
VI.a.8
1983.108.9.3 : "International Fountain at Night" by Ted Rand"
1962
VI.a.8
1983.108.9.4 : "Fair at Night Against Mountains" by James Peck
1962

ArtworkReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box
1
1983.108.10 : "Impressions," set of lithographs representing elements of the United States Science Exhibit
19 prints
Boxed set of 19 prints, each 11 x 12.25 inches. Includes a forward by Dr. Athelstan Spilhaus, United States Commissioner, and a list of plates.
1962
1
1983.108.40 : Ink drawing of Space Needle and fairgrounds, signed N.M
1962

Promotional and souvenir materialsReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box
1
1983.108.26 : Century 21 Exposition promotional folder
The Seattle World's Fair Site Development Plan is printed on the inside of the folder. Materials inside folder:
  • Booklet "Seattle World's Fair Preview," 12 pages
  • Four press releases concerning the Fair and the Interiors Pavilion
  • Century 21 Exposition, Inc., Interiors Pavilion, Space and Service Price Schedule
  • Seattle World's Fair Interiors Pavilion Building no. 55, floor plan
  • Century 21 Site Development Plan, with Interiors Pavilion marked in red
1960-1962
1
1983.108.13 : "Century 21 Exposition"
40 pages 24 x 23 cm
Promotional booklet published in advance of the Fair.
In original envelope.
1959
1
1983.108.14 : Seattle World's Fair Official Souvenir Program
96 pages 28 x 22 cm
1962
1
1983.108.20 : "The Eye of the Needle," souvenir card with photograph
13.5 x 21 cm
Card describes the "Eye of the Needle" restaurant at the top of the Space Needle. Includes a souvenir photograph of a group of women at a table. The folder is addressed to Georgia Gellert.
1962
1
1983.108.21 : "United States Science Exhibit"
2 pages 20 x 15 cm
A guide to the United States Science Exhibit, including a map to the exhibits.
1962
2
1983.108.29 : "World's Fair Pictorial Panorama"
Souvenir booklet with color photos of the Seattle World's Fair.
1962
2
1983.108.30 : United States Science Exhibit Souvenir Guide Book
28 x 22 cm
In original mailable envelope.
1962
1
1983.108.17 : Bumper sticker with drawing of the Space Needle and "I Was There"
1962

Event programsReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box
1
1983.108.22 : Royal Thai Dancers, performed at the World's Fair Opera House
8 pages 23 x 15
Playfair program.
1962 October 18-23
1
1983.108.23: Aida, performed at the World's Fair Opera House
34 pages 25.5 x 17.5 cm
1962 July 7-11
1
1983.108.24 : Les Poupées de Paris
2 programs
Les Poupées de Paris ( The Dolls of Paris) was an adults only puppet show produced by puppeteers Sid and Marty Krofft, founders of the Krofft Theater in West Hollywood.
Includes one Playfair program for the production at Le Petit Theatre at the Seattle World's Fair, and one full-color program for a production at the Krofft Theatre.
1962
1
1983.108.25 : Dedication Concerts by the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, at the World's Fair Opera House
22 pages 25.5 x 17.5 cm
With cloth souvenir program, Compliments of J.K. Gill's Lowman and Hanford
1962 May 15-16
2
1983.108.39 : Program for Gala Opening Concert honoring Igor Stravinsky, with Van Cliburn and the Seattle Symphony Orchestra
4 pages
1962 April 21

Newspapers and magazinesReturn to Top

Publications featuring articles about the Seattle World's Fair.

Container(s) Description Dates
Box
1
1983.108.11 : The Argus Annual Collector's Edition
76 pages
Includes an article titled "Century 21" written by Joseph Gandy, President of the Century 21 Exposition.
1960
1
1983.108.27 : Life Magazine with cover story about the Seattle World's Fair, "Out of this World Fair in Seattle"
2 copies
1962 May 4
1
1983.108.28 : Life International Magazine with cover story about the Seattle World's Fair, "Fabulous New Fair in Seattle"
1962 May 21
1
1983.108.41 : New York Times Special Issue, "Seattle World's Fair"
15 pages
1961 October 22
2
1983.108.36 : Architectural Record article, "Seattle Votes for Architecture"
29.5 x 21.5
1961 August
1
1983.108.43 : Seattle Post Intelligencer, "This Week at the Fair" section
27 pages
1962 May 4
3
1983.108.44 : Seattle Times Special Edition, Seattle World's Fair Souvenir Edition
1962 April 18

PhotographsReturn to Top

9 photographs
Container(s) Description Dates
Box
1
1983.108.45.1: Scale model of U.S. Science Exhibit
1962
1
1983.108.45.2: Aerial view of fairgrounds
1962
1
1983.108.45.3: View near northeast entrance, showing Fashion Pavilion, Ford Motor Company dome, and American Gas Association building
1962
1
1983.108.45.4: Fashion show stage area
1962
1
1983.108.45.5-6: Fireproof desk and chair on exhibit in the Interiors Pavilion
2 photographs
1962
1
1983.108.45.7: Formal dining room with table, probably in the Interiors Pavilion
1962
1
1983.108.45.8: Rattan chair and sideboard on display, probably in the Interiors Pavilion
1962
1
1983.108.45.9: Fashion show stage area
1962

Seattle CenterReturn to Top

Materials related to the development and use of Seattle Center.

Container(s) Description Dates
Box
1
1983.108.15 : Booklet: 1,000 Things to do in Seattle
24 pages 23 x 20 cm
A guide to Seattle and Washington State attractions. Includes a section about Seattle Center.
undated
2
1983.108.32 : Booklet: Seattle the Swinging Gateway, Seattle Visitors Bureau
24 pages 23 x 20 cm
A guide to Seattle and Washington State attractions. Includes a section about Seattle Center.
1962
2
1983.108.35 : Seattle Center Press Information booklet
32 pages 28 x 23 cm
1962
2
1983.108.34 : "The Seattle Center, The First Year," report on the first year's operation of the Seattle Center following the 1962 World's Fair
"...prepared by Century 21 Center, Inc., in cooperation with the City of Seattle, Pacific Science Center Foundation and other participants in the coordinated Seattle Center programs." Unbound copy
1963 October 21
1
1983.108.18 : Booklet: "Official Guide to the Seattle Center", Acme Publications
32 pages 21.5 x 14 cm
1963
2
1983.108.33 : Booklet: The Annals of Century 21 Center, Something to Build On
16 pages 23 x 28 cm
Booklet written after the dissolution of Century 21 Center, Inc in December 1970.
1971

MiscellaneousReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box
1
1983.108.19 : Booklet: Seattle World's Fair, Early 1962 Status Report
46 pages 21.5 x 14 cm
1962
2
1983.108.31 : Fashion materials
This folder includes a script for a Vogue "Miracle of American Fashion" fashion show; a flyer for advertising the daily fashion shows in the Fashion Pavilion; a black and white snapshot of 6 models; reproduction of designer's drawing of the gashion Pavilion; and fashion-related clippings.
Includes clippings and program
1962
2
1983.108.38 : Georgia Gellert Penfield, personal file, correspondence
Century 21 identification card, staff lists, resume, press releases
1960-1962

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Century 21 Exposition (1962 : Seattle, Wash.)
  • Exhibitions--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Seattle Center (Seattle, Wash.)
  • Geographical Names :
  • United States--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Photographs
  • Posters
  • Programs
  • Souvenirs