Meet Me at the Fair: Universal Expositions in Paris
Between 1851 and the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, international expositions were regularly organized throughout Europe and the United States. Host countries organized vast displays focused on their economic, technological, and artistic achievements and invited other countries to present aspects of their national customs and cultures in dedicated areas of the exposition. Coinciding with the vast expansion of print media during the second half of the nineteenth century, expositions generated thousands of printed images including posters, postcards, photographic albums, and maps. This exhibition, selected from the Zimmerli’s collection of European prints, presents a variety of works produced for the 1889 and 1900 Expositions Universelles in Paris. Created to promote both the fairs and an official narrative of French creativity and accomplishments, these works also demonstrate problematic notions of civilization and industrial progress as conceived during the late 1800s.
Organized by Christine Giviskos, Curator of Prints, Drawings, and European Art