This oil painting is one of the original paintings made by Lawrence C. Earle and submitted for approval to the Chicago National Bank, which later became the Central Trust Company. It was given to the Chicago Historical Society by the Chicago Home for Incurables, having previously been part of the frieze in the main banking room of the Chicago National Bank.
The painting depicts a daytime scene at the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893 looking west across the basin past the "Statue of the Republic" and toward the Administration Building. Focal point of the Arch-shaped image is the back of a statue of a golden lady, the "Statue of the Republic." The statue is in the middle of a large basin. A few Gondolas are also present. The basin itself is flanked by ornate buildings.
This oil painting of the World's Columbian Exposition is one of the many representations of the event, which commemorated the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus' arrival in America and, for many, marked the rebirth of Chicago after the Great Fire of 1871. Chicago, the largest city in the midwest, symbolized the promise of the country's ongoing expansion westward. Chicago used the Fair as an opportunity to present itself as a world class city. The Fair itself encompassed more than 686 acres in Jackson Park and cost an extimated 46 million dollars to create.