The Parisian Exposition Universelle de
1867 was a public event that drew crowds from all over the globe to see wonders
of artistic and industrial talent. Following the British exposition of 1862,
the French planned for five years to create an exposition that exemplified
their ideals of progress and peace. Government programs demolished old
buildings, widened the streets, and expanded plumbing and gas lines below the
streets to give the city an updated look and feel.
Although the Exposition Universelle
featured everything from innovations of the iron industry to walk-through
replicas of palaces, Art Journal’s Illustrated
Catalogue of the Universal Exhibition focuses on art pieces to create a
publication as grand as its subject matter.
universelle de 1867 à Paris. (1868). The
illustrated catalogue of the Universal Exhibition. London: Virtue and Co.
the Memorial Collection, University of South Florida Libraries
2e Exposition des Peintres Lithographes, 1900. Fernand Louis Gottlob (French, 1873-1935) . Original Print. Printer: Chaix - Paris.
Gottlob was one of the participants of the exhibition. The design is most interesting, featuring a woman going through a display cradle of prints. The shadows on the front of her dress and the use of bright yellow in the background create the effect of backlighting and give the scene an air of intimacy it would otherwise lack.
Shutdown of Exhibit B has thrust anxieties about racism to the fore – the debate must go on
Exhibit B was a live performance staged by non-professional black actors. These actors were “displayed” in a series of 13 “tableaux vivants” that recall the troubling history of human zoos.
These were integral to the British and French imperial expositions of the 19th and early 20th centuries, that evidently provoked slavery and hatred against Blacks in America. The wave of racism on African-Americans lasts till these days.
Exhibit B was not made to make anyone feel guilty, but to teach them. People are familiar with slavery in America and the Holocaust, but Exhibit B tells the stories of those who are not recognized for what they went through, living in America and Europe.
Unfortunately, the exposition was closed because of indignations from the side of “white community”, therefore we couldn’t see it in America… We were denied our right to see it due to the censorship!!! Art critic Brent Meersman said the campaign spread like wildfire through social media. “To be honest the reaction has been quite racist,”Meersman was quoted as saying.