Mechanics’ Institute San Francisco. Join Elizabeth Creely as she explores the phenomena of Irish Villages at World Fairs, beginning with the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893 and ending at the Panama Pacific International Exposition in 1915. In Chicago, the “Irish Industrial Village” presented an image of Ireland rehabilitating itself under British supervision. In San Francisco, twenty two years later, the last Irish village at a World’s fair was the Shamrock Isle.
Ireland was in turmoil and on the cusp of eventual independence 100 years ago, yet the Shamrock Isle showed an Ireland inhabited by a people untouched by change and frozen in time. Creely will discuss the tensions between the changing political and cultural landscape of Ireland and San Francisco in 1915 and the limits of nostalgia.