By Peter H. Hoffenberg
The grand exhibitions of the Victorian and Edwardian eras are the lens during which Peter Hoffenberg examines the commercial, cultural, and social forces that helped outline Britain and the British Empire. He makes a speciality of significant exhibitions in England, Australia, and India among the nice Exhibition of 1851 and the competition of Empire sixty years later, taking unique curiosity within the interactive nature of the exhibition event, the long term effects for the members 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 setting up and constructing a participatory imperial global, and every polity in that international supplied certain info, viewers, and shows. one of the screens have been advertisement items, operating machines, and ethnographic scenes. shows have been meant to advertise exterior commonwealth and inner nationalism. The imperial overlay didn't erase major changes yet defined and used them in financial and cultural terms.The exhibitions in towns corresponding 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 present day within the cultural bureaucracies, museums, and fairs of contemporary geographical regions, the entice culture and social order, and the activities of transnational our bodies.
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Extra resources for An Empire on Display: English, Indian, and Australian Exhibitions from the Crystal Palace to the Great War
Over ﬁfty major exhibitions ﬁlled the colonial horizon after the Great Exhibition. ” 52 Australian and South Asian cities were among the most active in this far-ﬂung exhibition culture, hosting a series of agricultural, art, industrial, intercolo- 01-C1483 01/22/2001 4:31 PM Page 11 Exhibitions and the New Imperialism / 11 nial, and international shows to display their social and cultural progress and invite commerce. 53 Exhibition advocates throughout the British Empire agreed with those bold claims, and an exhibition rivalry soon developed among host cities.
In this case, the exhibition revealed class divisions rather than the intended mid-Victorian social unity. The imperial and national portraits painted at the exhibitions contained their own hierarchies. Sometimes exhibition ofﬁcials worked within the wider social structures outside of the event; at other times, they challenged them. Jules Joubert, executive commissioner for the Calcutta International Exhibition, confronted strong opposition in his attempt to invite South Asian women in purdah to leave their isolated private sphere for a public walk through the exposition grounds.
Were exhibitions ephemeral events? Did colonial exhibitions leave lasting legacies in Australia and India? Did such seemingly ephemeral events affect the host society in Britain as well, long after ofﬁcial closings? Historical studies of expositions often emphasize the ephemeral character of the exhibition experience and the exhibits themselves, mirroring the comments of some contemporaries. Rudyard Kipling recalled the ﬂeeting moments during which he enjoyed “the full freedom of . . 62 My research demonstrates that exhibitions produced not only momentary results, but also long-term legacies at the personal and collective levels.
An Empire on Display: English, Indian, and Australian Exhibitions from the Crystal Palace to the Great War by Peter H. Hoffenberg