Exhibitions

State Fair
 

North Carolina State Fair (Raleigh) by Arthur Grace, 2003. Riders get bird's-eye view of fairgrounds on the Wave Swinger. The Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.

"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 

Exhibition

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.

Exhibition Formats

Wall-hanging 
LanguageEnglish
Content36 black-and-white photographs, framed and matted.
  • 20’’ x 24’’
ID labels, narrative panels, and photographer’s biography.
Space Requirements120 linear feet of wall space
Shipping Weight and DimensionsTravels in 2 wooden crates
  • 41” x 24” x 34” - 150 lbs.
  • 41” x 24” x 34” - 150 lbs.
Estimated Rental Fee*$600*
Rental Period6 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.

Publicity Materials

Press release

A press release is available for promoting this exhibition at your venue. Please contact the exhibitions coordinator to request a copy.

Publicity image

A publicity image is available for promoting this exhibition at your venue. Please contact the exhibitions coordinator to request an electronic file of this image. Please allow 2-3 weeks for the exhibitions coordinator to process your request.

Humanities Texas logos

Venues may request a CD with the Humanities Texas logo in a number of electronic file formats for use when developing print and online promotional materials. Logo files are also available for download from the logo page.

Questions and Rental Information

Call 512.440.1991 or email
exhibitions@humanitiestexas.org

2018–2019 Bookings to Date


Dr. Pepper Museum & Free Enterprise Institute
09/10/2018–01/07/2019


Brazoria County Historical Museum, Angleton, TX
10/07/2019-11/18/2019

Colorado State Fair (Pueblo) by Arthur Grace, 2004. Miss Rodeo America 2004, Darci Robertson, warms up for lassoing demonstration with children. By Arthur Grace. The Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
Minnesota State Fair (St. Paul) by Arthur Grace, 2004. Aquatic performers wave to audience before beginning "High Dive Show" in amphitheater. By Arthur Grace. The Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
North Carolina State Fair (Raleigh) by Arthur Grace, 2003. Riders get bird's-eye view of fairgrounds on the Wave Swinger. The Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.