Colorized History: The 1901 Pan-American Exposition

The Pan-American Exposition was a World’s Fair held in Buffalo, New York from May 1 to November 2, 1901. The fair occupied 350 acres of land on the western edge of what is presently Delaware Park, extending out from Delaware Avenue.
An expansive and grandiose campus was constructed with elaborately designed, but temporary, buildings to host the millions of visitors that would arrive to Buffalo that year to celebrate the achievements of culture and industry in the Americas.
Our archives contain extensive photographic and video records of the important event, which thrust the burgeoning city of Buffalo into the national spotlight. Intrigued by historical records describing the campus at a “rainbow city,” we set out to recreate the colors of the Exposition.
Working with researchers from the University of Buffalo, we began colorizing a high-resolution black-and-white historic photograph of the campus, prominently featuring the Ethnology building. Layer by layer, we added colors selected and confirmed by the researchers, until we achieved a result we believe most closely visualizes the vibrant hues of the Pan-American Exposition.
We hope this Slideshare presentation gives you a greater understanding of our processes, and a newfound appreciation for the hours of work that go into creating that one perfect image.

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