The World’s Fair of 1939-40 was held in Flushing, Queens where it covered more than 1,200 acres. The fair was dedicated to the “world of tomorrow” epitomized by the iconic Trylon and Perisphere sculptures which became the symbols of the fair.
The fair was open for two years, and during that time, The New York Botanical Garden maintained several exhibits (see page 10). You can see two of them in the photos above taken from the digital archive of the LuEsther T. Mertz Library. The pond (with the Italian pavilion in the background) was a display of “24 hardy waterlilies, 14 tropical waterlilies and 14 miscellaneous aquatic plants” in the Gardens on Parade section.
The second exhibit, a display in partnership with the “Park Department,” illustrated “certain phases of the Garden’s activities … in the City Building, including, “a life-sized activated model of Amorphophallus titanum.” Amorphophallus titanum, also known as the corpse flower or the titan arum, flowers only rarely in cultivation, and was induced to do so for the first time in the United States at NYBG in 1937, and then again in 1939. ~AR