Sydney Smirke. "Bird's Eye View. International Exhibition. 1876. Fairmount Park, Philadelphia."
Philadelphia: Sydney Smirke, 1876. 12 x 20 1/2. Photo-lithograph by Julius Bien. With centerfold as issued. Very good condition.
As 1876 dawned, excitement grew about the forthcoming Centennial Exhibition, to be held in Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park. This led to a demand for images of what this fair would look like and this was met by printmakers, basing their renderings on official plans. This is such a print, which states that it was “Projected by Sydney Smirke, from drawings of the architects & engineers of the U.S. Commission.” It shows most of the main buildings and structures, but none of the smaller state pavilions, about which Smirke had no information. The view looks over the fairground from the west, with the Schuylkill River shown in the background. To add realism to the image, Smirke adds throngs of visitors on all the boulevards and even some boats and racing shells on the river.