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By Peter H. Hoffenberg

The grand exhibitions of the Victorian and Edwardian eras are the lens in which Peter Hoffenberg examines the industrial, cultural, and social forces that helped outline Britain and the British Empire. He specializes in significant exhibitions in England, Australia, and India among the nice Exhibition of 1851 and the pageant of Empire sixty years later, taking certain curiosity within the interactive nature of the exhibition event, the long term results for the contributors and host societies, and the ways that such well known gatherings printed dissent in addition to celebration.Hoffenberg indicates how exhibitions formed tradition and society inside of and throughout borders within the transnational operating of the British Empire. The exhibitions have been primary to developing and constructing a participatory imperial international, and every polity in that international supplied targeted info, viewers, and indicates. one of the screens have been advertisement items, operating machines, and ethnographic scenes. indicates have been meant to advertise exterior commonwealth and inner nationalism. The imperial overlay didn't erase major variations yet defined and used them in monetary and cultural terms.The exhibitions in towns resembling London, Sydney, and Calcutta have been residing and lively public inventories of the Empire and its nationwide political groups. the method of establishing and eating such inventories persists this present day within the cultural bureaucracies, museums, and fairs of contemporary geographical regions, the attract culture and social order, and the activities of transnational our bodies.

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Additional resources for An Empire on Display: English, Indian, and Australian Exhibitions from the Crystal Palace to the Great War

Sample text

The staging of exhibitions linked the ideal types of empire, or nation, and the market as participatory practices. Expositions provided information and evaluation in the forms of written materials and direct consumption. Jurors offered expert judgments, which could then be tested right on the spot by the visitors themselves. Men and women both observed and participated in the demonstrations of economic goods. As with the promise of political economy and federation, different social groups were brought into direct contact at these shows and defined by that market relationship.

A natural comparison with the “Great” Exhibition resulted. Its role as a watershed became even more apparent as the event receded into history and memory. The Great Exhibition seemed one of the key events of the century as Victorians and Edwardians considered their age. ” It is impossible to ignore the burden of the 1851 exhibition, which both haunted and provoked the organizers of post–Crystal Palace exhibitions. Official and unofficial records highlight this sense of history and tradition.

The ghost of 1851 The confidence in exhibitions as panaceas reflects the nearly religious aura surrounding the Great Exhibition of 1851. This study recognizes the impact of that show in material and imaginative terms, while at the same time addressing the importance of popular post-1851 shows in England and the colonies. We can perceive an exhibition tradition in which organizers and visitors recalled the ghost of 1851 for inspiration and criticism, but did so as their reproduction of the Great Exhibition contributed to a new and different event in the present.

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