Cultures of International Exhibitions 1840-1940: Great Exhibitions in the Margins, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Cultures of International Exhibitions 1840-1940

Great Exhibitions in the Margins, 1st Edition

By Marta Filipová


376 pages

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Hardback: 9781472432810
pub: 2015-06-28

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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.


"…“discovering” the new geographical regions of international exhibitions, examination of their similarities and specific raison d'être, is the strength of this volume. It certainly points toward a great number of potential avenues for additional problematizing of presented material. All contributions provide an up-to-date bibliography, which extends the volume’s capacity to be an exceptional departure for more advanced studies. There are many surprising ingredients and promising observations to be found throughout the essays, leading one to suspect that the international exhibitions set in the geographical and political margins could in fact become a significant scholarly trend, causing a reassessment of the established scholarship on the subject."

- Andrey Shabanov, European University at St. Petersburg in H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences Online, 2017

Table of Contents

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.

About the Author

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

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ART / History / Modern (late 19th Century to 1945)
ART / History / Romanticism