Webcast: Christian Science at the New York World’s Fair

Watch the replay

The Christian Science Pavilion at the New York World's FairThe Christian Science Pavilion at the New York World’s Fair in 1964/65 drew many hundreds of thousands of visitors. Mary Baker Eddy Library staff recently conducted an oral interview with leading figures in the development of the pavilion, and they will join us for an online discussion that builds on that oral history, while engaging with viewer questions.

Jonathon Eder, Mary Baker Eddy Library Programs Manager, will moderate the discussion. Library participants include Judy Huenneke, Senior Research Archivist and Steve Graham, Content and Communications Manager, who prepared and conducted the oral history interview that will be discussed. Panelists will also respond to questions and comments submitted online.

Panelists include:

  • Ambassador Gilbert Robinson was the General Manager of the Christian Science Pavilion at the New York World’s Fair in 1964, 65. In 1983, President Ronald Reagan appointed Gil as Ambassador-at-Large for the United States of America while Gil was advisor to Secretary of State George Schultz. In the 1950s, Gil was involved with another noteworthy public installation as Coordinator of the American National Exhibition in Moscow.
  • David Johnson is the co-principal of Hadley Exhibits, a design firm in Buffalo, NY. Dave has been involved with exhibit design and installation for many years. David was at the beginning of his career, but already accomplished in the profession, when he accepted the assignment as exhibit designer for the Christian Science Pavilion.
  • Skip Phinney has served the Christian Science Church for many years and currently serves on the Board of Directors of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston. Skip also helped guide development of the Christian Science Pavilion at the World’s Fair in New York as a representative from the Committee on Publication for the Christian Science Church.


The Christian Science Pavilion at the 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair

I had the great joy of being in the building [The Christian Science Pavilion] one day when nobody was there, and two priests came in.  And they looked around; and they loved the light; and they loved what we had done, and they said,

“Why can’t we have something like this?” 

Now, they had the Pietà in their exhibit.  What more could they ask for?  It was the greatest compliment we could have had.

David Johnson

Exhibit designer

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