By Peter H. Hoffenberg

The grand exhibitions of the Victorian and Edwardian eras are the lens wherein Peter Hoffenberg examines the industrial, 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 pageant of Empire sixty years later, taking specified curiosity within the interactive nature of the exhibition event, the long term effects for the contributors and host societies, and the ways that such renowned gatherings printed dissent in addition to celebration.Hoffenberg exhibits how exhibitions formed tradition and society inside and throughout borders within the transnational operating of the British Empire. The exhibitions have been imperative to constructing and constructing a participatory imperial international, and every polity in that international supplied targeted 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 fiscal and cultural terms.The exhibitions in towns akin 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 realms, the attract 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

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This established, mirrored, and in some cases challenged the hierarchies and oppositions within and between English, Australian, and Indian societies. Confidence in the power and influence of exhibitions was expressed across the British Empire. ” The New South Wales commissioners for the Colonial and Indian Exhibition were even more confident about the advantages of participating in exhibitions. 17 Furthermore, the exhibition court could provide an advertisement for “the Europeanization” of the colony; that is, evidence of its progress and attractiveness as a new home for emigrants.

Commissioners situated the trinity of panels to ensure that they greeted visitors entering the turnstiles in the main entrance hall. 87 Critics praised the terracotta work for its resemblance to traditional stained glass work, the purity 01-C1483 01/22/2001 4:31 PM Page 19 Exhibitions and the New Imperialism / 19 of its jointing, the reduced labor required, and the integration of the images with the general wall and architectural space. 89 Seemingly apolitical, these panels were self-conscious emblems for the language and consequent roles of industrialism, labor, and race in defining the cultural hierarchy and connections of the British Empire.

95 This was, in a sense, imperialism as the national culture or civil religion in England and, less successfully, in India and Australia. ” 96 The idea of cultural federation was implicit in the exhibition experience and the series of such shows across the British Empire gave it continuity, accessibility, and a language, providing both an index and reflex for ideas of imperial federation and commonwealth. The exhibitions represented the idea of association, which conflated concerns about national culture, social integration, the free-trade market, and imperial federation within colonies and between the latter and Britain.

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