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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 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 exact curiosity within the interactive nature of the exhibition event, the long term outcomes 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 valuable to setting up and constructing a participatory imperial international, and every polity in that international supplied certain details, 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 transformations yet defined and used them in fiscal and cultural terms.The exhibitions in towns reminiscent of London, Sydney, and Calcutta have been dwelling and energetic public inventories of the Empire and its nationwide political groups. the method of establishing and eating such inventories persists this day within the cultural bureaucracies, museums, and fairs of recent realms, 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

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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. This included reestablishing distinctions between white-settler colonies and the Indian Empire. Here was a grammar to memorialize the colonial exhibits and visitors—both the latter’s activities at the exhibition itself and their essentialized roles in the imperial community. Doulton’s panels provided a reworking of the ethnographic or imperial “scientific moral” of the participatory exhibition experience and an accessible aesthetic text, which drew its social and cultural vision from the spectacle.

Who was rewarded? ” 77 The artist and laborer would never 01-C1483 01/22/2001 4:31 PM Page 16 16 / Chapter 1 know fame and fortune because of the award-winning exhibit, but continue his struggles in anonymous poverty. 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.

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.

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