The City of Chicago Publisher: Currier & Ives (American, active 1834–1907)


Prints and Drawings

This bird’s-eye view of Chicago, host city of the World’s Columbian Exposition, was published in 1892, a year before the fair opened. New York had argued that it could best represent the nation’s achievements during the four hundred years since Christopher Columbus’s arrival in America, but Chicago, which had doubled in size since its disastrous fire in 1871, declared that it was time to recognize the wealth and power of the emerging West. Here the only exposition structure visible is the Hall of Manufactures and Liberal Arts—the large elliptical building at the edge of the water that appears directly above the words “Exposition Buildings.” The view also offers a visual catalogue of Chicago’s many resources: its vast size, its favorable situation as a lake port, the canal linking Lake Michigan to the Chicago River, and, especially, the railroads, which made Chicago a national center of commerce.


Color lithograph


sheet: 18 × 24 in. (45.72 × 60.96 cm)

Credit Line

Mabel Brady Garvan Collection

Accession Number



19th century


Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of records is ongoing.



Mabel Brady Garvan Collection, to 1946; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.
  • Helen A. Cooper et al., Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness: American Art from the Yale University Art Gallery, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2008), 6, 349, no. 227, ill
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