The Role of the International Exhibitions in the Construction of National Cultures in the 19th Century.

Abstract

In the latter half of the 19th century, the great international exhibitions, with their millions of visitors, grew into gigantic instruments for education and refinement where contemporary ideas were formulated and imprinted through visual communication, often in symbolic form (e.g. the aesthetic ideals of the bourgeoisie; human progress in evolutionary perspective; the superiority of the white race based on the sovereignty of the people). The article discusses the role played by the international exhibitions in the construction of what Orvar Löfgren has called an "international cultural grammar" of nationhood, choosing among other symbols the elements of folk culture that were later put on exhibition in the folk museums (folk costumes, vernacular buildings, peasant living rooms).

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Stoklund, B., (1994) “The Role of the International Exhibitions in the Construction of National Cultures in the 19th Century.”, Ethnologia Europaea 24(1), p.35-44. doi: https://doi.org/10.16995/ee.1837

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Bjarne Stoklund (University of Copenhagen)

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