The Basin and the Court of Honor, from behind Daniel Chester French's statue of the Republic.
The first version of Saint-Gaudens' own Diana graces the top of the Agriculture Building, left.

The 1893 World's Columbian Exposition, often called the Chicago World's Fair, was a celebration of the four-hundred-year anniversary of Columbus' discovery of America, but it ultimately became a showcase for the industrial power and mercantile wealth of the contemporary United States. The White City, as the fairgrounds came to be known, with its immense neoclassical buildings, its wide, ordered avenues, its parks and ponds, and its full complement of public sculpture, was an idealized vision of America vastly removed from its humble agricultural beginnings. Swift completion of the fabulous architecture was possible because the buildings and monumental sculpture were all created from staff, a mixture of plaster and straw.