Welcome to my blog, featuring various pieces from my collection of Oz books, artwork and memorabilia!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Chicago 1933

Since L. Frank Baum wrote The Wonderful Wizard of Oz in Chicago, and the Oz books were published there, it seems only appropriate that the 1933-34 Chicago World's Fair would make use of Oz characters in the children's area called The Enchanted Island. This was basically an amusement park, and among the attractions were over-sized statues of favorite children's book characters, including the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman.

Here are a pair of postcards, the one above showing the entire park and the one on the left featuring the Scarecrow statue (or Strawman as he was called on the back of the card). In the lower left of the color card, the figures of the Tin Woodman and Scarecrow can be made out - both statues are in different poses than the finished structures. These statues were unique enough to be featured on a souvenir key sold at the fair - the Scarecrow can be seen standing on the left among the figures.

During the run of the fair, a puppet show written by Ruth Plumly Thompson and titled The Magical Land of Oz was performed by the Jean Gros marionettes - for more on Gros, see this blog entry: November 8, 2008. The Spring 1997 Baum Bugle contains an article about Oz at the fair by William Stillman, with additional images.

1 comment:

Rosie said...

I so enjoyed your site on the Wizard of Oz. I was on the Board of the Oz Festival in Aberdeen, SD of which we just dismantled - very heartbreaking because we so believed in this. We had many Munchkins/celebrities here but finances/expenses just didn't allow it anymore. *sad* I am forwarding this to another Board Member, Bea Premack, whom I am sure will enjoy your site as much as I did. We are so proud to claim L. Frank Baum as a resident of Aberdeen for a short time. Rosie Waldt rosiewaldt@marykay.com