International expositions - worlds fairs

DEFINITION

Cultural-themed displays from countries around the world, Expositions in western culture began with the International Exposition held in London in 1851. This Exposition marked the first time that extensive displays of technology and fine and industrial art were brought together in one venue. Many of these gatherings, all intended to focus on progress, had commemorative names such as 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco in honor of the opening of the Panama Canal. Held regularly from the mid-19th century, these events became known by other names including World Fairs and Exhibitions. Among the more noteworthy expositions are the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia of 1876; Columbian Exposition in Chicago of 1893; Louisiana Purchase Exposition of 1904 in St. Louis; and the Trans-Mississippi Exposition in Omaha in 1898. These exhibitions "shrunk the world", stirred competition among countries, and had lasting influence on architecture, engineering, agriculture and fine art. In an 1862 London Exposition, William Morris introduced stained glass for the first time and objects that began in Europe and America the Arts and Crafts Movement. In 1889, for the Paris Exposition Universelle, the Eiffel Tower was erected, which remains an architectural wonder in western culture---a symbol of industrial progress. With the advent of cinema, Expositions declined in educational value because cultural images from many parts of the world were widely and frequently circulated. Sources: Robert Atkins, ART SPOKE

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