A New Exhibit on Omaha's Past Opens Tomorrow

Feb 6, 2014

The Omaha Public Library is presenting an exhibition of its collection of memorabilia from the 1898 World’s Fair, which was held in Omaha.

Grand Court, by Frank Rinehart (1861–1928), 1898.

An opening reception takes place Friday and will feature the launch of Omaha author Timothy Schaffert’s newest book, The Swan Gondola.

Schaffert set his novel amid Omaha’s 1898 World’s Fair.  He says he used a lot of archival materials from the library to create a foundation of historical fact from which to draw his story.

"What really interested me about the city at the time was the entertainment that was available, much of which was live at the time.  So you would go to the theatre for vaudeville or plays or opera. The characters in my book are a ventriloquist and an actress and they fall in love at the fair.”

Schaffert says complications ensue thanks to a wealthy industrialist. 

The opening reception for the exhibit takes place tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. in the W. Dale Clark Library.  Schaffert will be signing copies of his book.

The World’s Fair exhibit runs through the end of the month.