By Peter H. Hoffenberg

ISBN-10: 0520218914

ISBN-13: 9780520218918

ISBN-10: 0585394695

ISBN-13: 9780585394695

The grand exhibitions of the Victorian and Edwardian eras are the lens by which Peter Hoffenberg examines the commercial, 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 outcomes for the contributors and host societies, and the ways that such well known gatherings published dissent in addition to celebration.Hoffenberg exhibits how exhibitions formed tradition and society inside of and throughout borders within the transnational operating of the British Empire. The exhibitions have been valuable to developing and constructing a participatory imperial global, and every polity in that international supplied exact details, 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 ameliorations yet defined and used them in financial and cultural terms.The exhibitions in towns similar to London, Sydney, and Calcutta have been dwelling and lively public inventories of the Empire and its nationwide political groups. the method of creating and eating such inventories persists this day within the cultural bureaucracies, museums, and gala's of contemporary geographical regions, the attract culture and social order, and the activities of transnational our bodies.

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By the turn of the century, colonial commissioners could draw upon more political consensus and the changing sentiment on both sides of the imperial line. Federation was in the air, and Australia’s exhibition organizers were not bashful about exploiting it in 1900. They found a more immediate exhibition precedent in the recommendations of Queensland’s executive commissioner for the 1893 Chicago Columbian Exposition. ” 50 Tensions thus developed between assertive colonial officials determined to represent national and local interests and their imperial counterparts, fearing German, French, and American economic competition and colonial independence.

Simultaneity was observed and visually validated at the shows, often by direct contact. Participation at the exhibitions implied an identity as a “citizen” of this community, defining limitations and sovereignty but not precluding tensions between and within groups. One might even suggest that participation in the exhibitions did not only generate public opinion, a topic on the minds of most politicians at the time, but, in fact, created what we might call the Victorian public itself. The expositions organized by government officials, such as those of the Science and Art Department in England, and the Revenue and Agriculture Department in India, were part of the more general late Victorian and Edwardian attempt to create social order by means of large-scale cultural events and institutions.

The colonial object’s vision was returned upon the imperial subject; subordinate and passive identities threatened to become for the moment active and equal, if not dominant. Social and cultural divisions were either bridged or reconstructed with such interactions. Colonial visitors were more than “freaks” and oddities at the exhibitions; their participation provided a momentary role in the reinvention of their identities as artisans, settlers, “Australians,” and “Indians”— that is, national and imperial citizens.

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An Empire on Display: English, Indian, and Australian Exhibitions from the Crystal Palace to the Great War by Peter H. Hoffenberg

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