"I couldn't help thinking that if aliens ever landed on earth and you only had a few hours to help them understand America, all you would have to do is take them to any state fair. For me, they are a microcosm of America—in all its glory and weirdness—at any given point in time." — Arthur Grace
State Fair is a visual distillation of Arthur Grace's photographic odyssey through fairs in ten states—California, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, and Virginia. Time and again, regardless of geographical location, Grace's images deftly capture the strange mixture of the traditional, the kitsch, and the off-the-wall that is unique to these annual gatherings, which began as a celebration of rural American life and have evolved into super-sized extravaganzas. Whether the photographs show the beaming pride of 4-H egg champions, the intensity of a tattooed arm wrestler, or a forlorn alligator waiting to be "wrestled" in a wading pool, the authenticity of Grace's imagery is unmistakable. You can almost hear the shouts from the midway, smell the animals in the barns, and taste the cherry pie.
Sure to bring back vivid memories for anyone who's ever attended a state fair, and bound to entice the uninitiated, State Fair reminds us how much we still crave to go out and have real experiences beyond the fantasies we see on our computer, TV, and movie screens. It shows that far from being an anachronism in the twenty-first century, state fairs are a vital, living tradition throughout America.
State Fair is an exhibition by the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History at The University of Texas at Austin, presented in partnership with Humanities Texas.
|Content||36 black-and-white photographs, framed and matted.|
|Space Requirements||120 linear feet of wall space|
|Shipping Weight and Dimensions||Travels in 2 wooden crates|
|Estimated Rental Fee*||$600*|
|Rental Period||6 weeks|
*Rental fees are based primarily on the cost of shipping. Prices may vary based on current fuel surcharges or venue location within the state of Texas. Out-of-state rentals are priced on an individual basis. Please call for a rental fee quote specific to your venue.
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Bell County Museum
Irving Arts Center