Jade Doskow: World's Fairs

Lighted arches against a night sky
Seattle 1962 World's Fair, "Century 21 Exposition," Science Center Arches at Night, View I (2014), from the series Lost Utopias. photo / provided
a tall metal scaffold with a large golden globe on top with a railroad in the foreground and a bridge below it
Knoxville 1982 World’s Fair, "Energy Turns the World," Sunsphere (2009), from the series Lost Utopias. photo / provided

Architectural and landscape photographer Jade Doskow, born in 1978, is known for her rigorously composed and eerily poetic images that examine the intersection of people, nature, and time. Based in New York City, she holds a B.A. from New York University and an M.F.A. in photography from the School of Visual Arts. She is represented by Front Room Gallery in New York City, and Tracey Norman Morgan Gallery in Asheville, North Carolina. Selected press includes Newsweek Japan, The Independent, Smithsonian, Slate, UNCUBE, Feature Shoot, Business Insider, The Atlantic, American Photo, Design Arts Daily, New York Observer, NPR's Picture Show, ArchDaily, and Wired. She is on the photography faculty of the School of Visual Arts and International Center of Photography. Doskow is currently working with the award-winning filmmaker Philip Shane on a documentary about her World's Fair project, due for completion in late 2017. Her monograph, Lost Utopias (Black Dog London, 2016), was listed by American Photo as one of the top photo books of 2016. She has upcoming solo exhibitions in New York City and Asheville.


World's Fairs have left in their wake some of the world's most daring and iconic structures, such as the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Atomium in Brussels, and the Space Needle in Seattle. Doskow has been photographing what is left behind after the fairs close, often a seemingly random selection of fantastical fair pavilions and elaborate landscaping intermingled with the contemporary use of the site, resulting in public urban spaces that are both surreal and often ghostly. Working from original fair maps to retrace where original structures once stood, Doskow spends three to five days on a site, studying the interwoven relationships between the current state of the place and what still remains. Positing visual questioning into what we choose to preserve or discard on our shared urban sites, Doskow's images offer a new view into these places as a prism through which to view how to positively reinvent temporary architecture in the future and the unwieldy intersection between intentional urban planning and the fleeting vision of a world's fair.

Sponsored by Cornell Engaged Learning.