1st Edition

Cultures of International Exhibitions 1840-1940 Great Exhibitions in the Margins

By Marta Filipová Copyright 2015
    376 Pages 51 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    376 Pages
    by Routledge

    Beyond the great exhibitions, expositions universelles and world fairs in London, Paris or Chicago, numerous smaller, yet ambitious exhibitions took place in provincial cities and towns across the world. Focusing on the period between 1840 and 1940, this volume takes a novel look at the exhibitionary cultures of this period and examines the motivations, scope, and impact of lesser-known exhibitions in, for example, Australia, Japan, Brazil, as well as a number of European countries. The individual case studies included explore the role of these exhibitions in the global exhibitionary network and consider their ’marginality’ related to their location and omission by academic research so far. The chapters also highlight a number of important issues from regional or national identities, the role of modernisation and tradition, to the relationship between capital cities and provincial towns present in these exhibitions. They also address the key topic of colonial exhibitions as well as the displays of arts and design in the context of the so-called marginal fairs. Cultures of International Exhibitions 1840-1940: Great Exhibitions in the Margins therefore opens up new angles in the way the global phenomenon of a great exhibition can be examined through the prism of the regional, and will make a vital contribution to those interested in exhibition studies and related fields.

    Contents: Introduction: The margins of exhibitions and exhibitions studies, Marta Filipová. Exhibition as a Concept: A capital in the margins: concepts for a Budapest Universal Exhibition between 1867 and 1917, Miklós Székely; Barcelona’s Universal Exhibition of 1888: an atypical case of a Great Exhibition, Marina Muñoz Torreblanca; A marginal exhibition? The all-German exhibition in Berlin, 1844, John R. Davis. Constructing Identities: ‘Witness to the momentous significance of German labour in Bohemia’: exhibitions in the German-speaking regions of Bohemia before the First World War, Tomáš Okurka; The nation for itself: the 1896 Hungarian Millennium and the 1906 Romanian National General Exhibition, Samuel D. Albert; The forefront of English commercial centres: Wolverhampton’s exhibitions of 1869 and 1902, Marta Filipová. Historicity and Modernity: Nature and the Brazilian state at the Independence Centennial International Exhibition in Rio de Janeiro, 1922, Livia Rezende; The Ghent Universal and International Exhibition of 1913: reconciling historicism, modernity and exoticism, Davy Depelchin; Old London, Old Edinburgh: constructing historic cities, Wilson Smith. Art and Design Exhibited: A red-letter day: evaluating progress in New Zealand’s art at Dunedin’s international exhibitions, 1865 and 1889, Rebecca Rice; International exhibitions and urban aspirations: Launceston, Tasmania, in the 19th century, Anne Neale; ‘Urbi et orbi’: decentralization and design in Nancy’s International Exposition of eastern France 1909, Claire O’Mahony. International Ambitions: Merging peripheries and centres: the transnational interconnectedness of the Helsinki National Exhibition of 1876, Taina Syrjämaa; The last exhibition of the Italian colonial empire: Naples 1938-1940, Giovanni Arena; International ambitions of an exhibition at the margin: Japan’s 1903 Osaka Exposition, Jeffer Daykin. Index.


    Marta Filipová is Honorary Research Fellow, University of Birmingham, UK.

    'For much of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, international exhibitions served as a major testing ground for new ideas in manufacturing, art, and design. This fine work, with essays by noted scholars from an impressive array of countries and backgrounds, explores a largely overlooked aspect of this phenomenon: those exhibitions held not in the great European or American urban centers, but on the periphery, in cities and countries outside what is conventionally regarded as the mainstream. Insightful, wide-ranging, and innovative in its approaches, it is a seminal study of the concepts of marginality and locality and their import.'

    - Christopher Long, University of Texas, Austin, USA

    'This is a rich collection of essays full of new and original research on international exhibitions by a suitably international group of authors. Making connections between these exhibitions "in the margins" and the wider national and international landscapes of world fairs and great exhibitions, the essays in this book have the potential to expand greatly our understanding of the dynamic "exhibition network" that operated across the globe in the nineteenth and twentieth century. Even scholars who are very familiar with the literature on great exhibitions will be surprised by the number and diversity of events discussed in the chapters of this book.'

    - Sarah Victoria Turner, Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, UK

    'While the literature on the history of major international exhibitions between the 1850s and 1930s in the West is trendy and flourishing, there are scarce accounts on what preceded them and even less so on how they influenced similar developments in national and global contexts. The recently published collection of essays ... edited by Marta Filipová, is an important step in filling these gaps. ... That is to say, “discovering” the new geographical regions of international exhibitions, examination of their similarities and specific raison d'être, is the strength of this volume.'

    - H-Net Reviews