28153811911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 10 — ExhibitionGeorge Collins Levey

EXHIBITION, a term, meaning in general a public display,[1] which has a special modern sense as applied to public shows of goods for the promotion of trade (Fr. exposition). The first exhibition in this sense of which there is any account, in either sacred or profane history, was that held by King Ahasuerus, who, according to the Book of Esther, showed in the third year of his reign “the riches of his glorious kingdom, and the honour of his excellent majesty, many days, even a hundred and fourscore days.” The locale of this function was Shushan, the palace and the exhibits consisted of “white, green and blue hangings, fastened with cords of fine linen and purple to silver rings and pillars of marble: the beds were of gold and silver, upon a pavement of red, and blue, and white and black marble. And they gave them drink in vessels of gold, the vessels being diverse one from another.” The first exhibition since the Christian era was at Venice during the dogeship of Lorenzo Tiepolo, in 1268. On that occasion there was a grand display, consisting of a water fête, a procession of the trades and an industrial exhibition. The various gilds of the Queen City of the Seas marched through the narrow streets to the great square of St Mark, and their leaders asked the dogaressa to inspect the products of their industry. Other medieval exhibitions were the fairs held at Leipzig and Nizhni Novgorod in Europe, at Tanta in Egypt, and in 1689 that by the Dutch at Leiden. The first modern exhibition was held at London in 1756 by the Society of Arts, which offered prizes for improvements in the manufacture of tapestry, carpets and porcelain, the exhibits being placed side by side. Five years afterwards, in 1761, the same society gave an exhibition of agricultural machinery. In 1797 a collective display of the art factories of France, including those of Sèvres, the Gobelins and the Savonnerie, was made in the palace of St Cloud, and the exhibition was repeated during the following year in the rue de Varennes, Paris. This experiment was so successful that in the last three days of the same year an exhibition under official auspices, at which private exhibitors were allowed to compete, was held in the Champ de Mars. Four years later, in 1801, there was a second official exhibition in the grand court of the Louvre. Upon that occasion juries of practical men examined the objects shown, and the winners of a gold medal were invited to dine with Napoleon, who was at that time First Consul. In the report of the jury the following remarkable sentence appeared:—“There is not an artist or inventor who, once obtaining thus a public recognition of his ability, has not found his reputation and his business largely increased.” The third Paris Exhibition, held in 1802, was the first to publish an official catalogue. There were 540 exhibitors, including J. E. Montgolfier, the first aëronaut, and J. M. Jacquard, the inventor of the loom which bears his name. The fourth exhibition was held in 1806 in the esplanade in front of the Hôtel des Invalides, and attracted 1422 exhibitors. There were no more exhibitions till after the fall of the empire, but in 1819 the fifth was held during the reign of Louis XVIII., with 1622 exhibitors. Others were held at Paris at various intervals, that in 1849 having 4500 exhibitors.

Other exhibitions, though on a smaller scale, were held in Dublin, London, and in various parts of Germany and Austria during the first half of the 19th century—that in 1844, held at Berlin, having 3040 exhibitors. Switzerland, Holland, Belgium, Sweden, Russia, Poland, Italy, Spain and Portugal all held exhibitions, and there was a Free Trade Bazaar of British Manufactures at Covent Garden theatre in 1845, which at the time created a great deal of interest. But all these exhibitions were confined to the products of the country in which they took place, and the first great International Exhibition was held in London in 1851 by the Society of Arts, under the presidency of the prince consort. All nations were invited to compete; a site was obtained in Hyde Park, and a building 20 acres in extent was erected, after the design of Sir Joseph Paxton, at a cost of £193,168. The exhibition was open for five months and fifteen days. The receipts amounted to £506,100, and the surplus was £186,000. The number of visitors was 6,039,195, and the money taken at the doors was £423,792. The total, number of exhibitors was 13,937, of which Great Britain contributed 6861, the British colonies 520 and foreign countries 6556. The International Exhibition of 1851 was followed by those of New York and Dublin in 1853, Melbourne and Munich in 1854, and Paris in 1855—this latter was held in the Palais d’Industrie, which remained in existence until pulled down to make room for the two Palais des Beaux Arts, which formed one of the attractions of the 1900 exhibition. The exhibitors numbered 20,839 and the visitors 5,162,330. There were national exhibitions during the following years in several European countries, but the next great world’s fair was held at London in 1862. The total space roofed in amounted to 988,000 sq. ft., 22.65 acres, the number of visitors was 6,211,103, and the amount received at the doors £408,530. The death of the prince consort had a depressing effect upon the enterprise. In 1865 an exhibition was held at Dublin, the greater proportion of the funds being supplied by Sir Benjamin Lee Guinness. The number of attendances during six months was 900,000, and the exhibition was opened at night. An Italian exhibition was held at Rome in 1862.

The Paris Exhibition of 1867 was upon a far larger scale than that of 1855. It was held, like those that preceded and succeeded it, at the Champ de Mars, and covered 41 acres. The building resembled an exaggerated gasometer. The external ring was devoted to machinery, the internal to the gradual development of civilization, commencing with the stone age and continuing to the present era. A great feature of the exhibition was the park, which was studded with specimens of every style of modern architecture—Turkish mosques, Swedish cottages, English lighthouses, Egyptian palaces and Swiss châlets. The number of attendances was 6,805,969. The exhibitors numbered 43,217, and the total amount received for entrances, concessions, &c. , was £420,735. This was the first exhibition at which there were international restaurants. The cost of the exhibition was defrayed partly by the state and partly by private subscriptions.

Small exhibitions were held in various parts of Europe between 1867 and 1870, and in the latter year a series of international exhibitions, confined to one or two special descriptions of produce or manufactures, was inaugurated in London at South Kensington. These continued till 1874, but they failed to attract any very large attendance of the public and were abandoned. A medal was given to each exhibitor, and reports on the various exhibits were published, but there was no examination of the exhibits by jurors. In 1873 there was an International Exhibition at Vienna. The main building, a rotunda, was erected in the beautiful park of the Austrian capital. There were halls for machinery and agricultural products, and hundreds of buildings, erected by different nations, were scattered amongst the woodlands of the Prater. Unfortunately, an outbreak of cholera diminished the attendance of visitors, and the receipts were only £206,477, although the visitors were said to have reached 6,740,500, and the number of exhibitors was 25,760.

None of the International Exhibitions held between 1857 and 1873 had attracted as many as 7,000,000 visitors, but the gradual extension of education amongst the masses, and the greater facilities for locomotion, brought about by the growth of the railway system in all portions of the civilized world, largely increased the attendances at subsequent World’s Fairs. The Centennial Exhibition of 1876, to celebrate the one-hundredth anniversary of American Independence, was held at Fairmount Park, Philadelphia. The funds were raised partly by private subscriptions, and partly by donations from the city of Philadelphia, from Pennsylvania and some of the neighbouring states. The central government at Washington made a large loan, which was subsequently repaid. The principal buildings, five in number, occupied an area of 481/2 acres, and there were several smaller structures, which in the aggregate must have filled half as much space more, the largest being that devoted to the exhibits of the various departments of the United States government, which covered 7 acres. Several novelties in exhibition management were introduced at Philadelphia. Instead of gold, silver and bronze medals, only one description, bronze, was issued, the difference between the merits of the different exhibits being shown by the reports. Season tickets were not issued, and the price of admission, the same on all occasions, was half a dollar, or about 2s. 1d. The exhibition was not open at night or on Sundays, thus following the British, and not the continental, precedent. The number of visitors was 9,892,625, of whom 8,004,214 paid for admission, the balance being exhibitors, officials and attendants. The total receipts amounted to £763,899. Upon one occasion, the Pennsylvania day, 274,919 persons—the largest number that had visited any exhibition up to that date—passed through the turnstiles. The display of machinery was the finest ever made, that of the United States occupying 480,000 sq. ft. The motive-power was obtained from a Corliss engine of 1600 horse-power. At this exhibition the United Kingdom and the British Colonies of Canada, Victoria, New South Wales, New Zealand, Cape Colony and Tasmania made a very fine display, which was only excelled by that of the United States.

The Paris Exhibition of 1878 was upon a far larger scale in every respect than any which had been previously held in any part of the world. The total area covered not less than 66 acres, the main building in the Champ de Mars occupying 54 acres. The French exhibits filled one-half the entire space, the remaining moiety being occupied by the other nations of the world. The United Kingdom, British India, Canada, Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Cape Colony and some of the British crown colonies occupied nearly one-third of the space set aside for nations outside France. Germany was the only great country which was not represented, but there were a few German paintings. The display of fine arts and machinery was upon a very large and comprehensive scale, and the Avenue des Nations, a street 2400 ft. in length, was devoted to specimens of the domestic architecture of nearly every country in Europe, and of several in Asia, Africa and America. The palace of the Trocadero, on the northern bank of the Seine, was erected for the exhibition. It was a handsome structure, with towers 250 ft. in height and flanked by two galleries. The rules for admission were the same as those at Philadelphia, and every person—exhibitor, journalist or official—who had the right of entrance was compelled to forward two copies of his or her photograph, one of which was attached to the card of entry. The ordinary tickets were not sold at the doors, but were obtainable at various government offices and shops, and from numerous pedlars in all parts of the city and suburbs. The buildings were somewhat unfinished upon the opening day, political complications having prevented the French government and the French people from paying much attention to the exhibition till about six months before it was opened; but the efforts made in April were prodigious, and by June 1st, a month after the opening, the exhibition was complete, and afforded an object-lesson of the recovery of France from the calamities of 1870–1871. The decisions arrived at by the international juries were accompanied by medals of gold, silver and bronze. The expenditure by the United Kingdom was defrayed out of the consolidated revenue, each British colony defraying its own expenses. The display of the United Kingdom was under the control of a royal commission, of which the prince of Wales was president. The number of paying visitors to the exhibition was 13,000,000, and the cost of the enterprise to the French government, which supplied all the funds, was a little less than a million sterling, after allowing for the value of the permanent buildings and the Trocadero Palace, which were sold to the city of Paris. The total number of persons who visited Paris during the time the exhibition was open was 571,792, or 308,974 more than came to the French metropolis during the year 1877, and 46,021 in excess of the visitors during the previous exhibition of 1867. It was stated at the time that, in addition to the impetus given to the trade of France, the revenue of the Republic and of the city of Paris from customs and octroi duties was increased by nearly three millions sterling as compared with the previous year.

Exhibitions on a scale of considerable magnitude were held at Sydney and Melbourne in 1879 and 1880, and many continental and American manufacturers took advantage of them in order to bring the products of their industry directly under the notice of Australian consumers, who had previously purchased their supplies through the instrumentality of British merchants. The United Kingdom and India made an excellent display at both cities, but the effect of the two great Australian exhibitions was to give a decided impetus to German, American, French and Belgian trade. One of the immediate results was that lines of steamers to Melbourne and Sydney commenced to run from Marseilles and Bremen; another, that for the first time in the history of the Australian colonies, branches of French banks were opened in the two principal cities. The whole cost of these exhibitions was defrayed by the local governments.

Exhibitions were held at Turin and Brussels during 1880, and smaller ones at Newcastle, Milan, Lahore, Adelaide, Perth, Moscow, Ghent and Lille during 1881 and 1882, and at Zürich, Bordeaux and Caraccas in Venezuela during 1883. The next of any importance was held at Amsterdam in the latter year. On that occasion a new departure in exhibition management was made. The government of the Netherlands was to a certain extent responsible for the administration of the exhibition, but the funds were obtained from private sources, and a charge was made to each nation represented for the space it occupied. The United Kingdom, India, Victoria and New South Wales took part in the exhibition, but there was no official representation of the mother country. Exhibitions on somewhat similar lines were held at Nice and Calcutta in the winter of 1883 and 1884, and at Antwerp in 1895.

A series of exhibitions, under the presidency of the then prince of Wales, and managed by Sir Cunliffe Owen, was commenced at South Kensington in 1883. The first was devoted to a display of the various industries connected with fishing; the second, in 1884, to objects connected with hygiene; the third, in 1885, to inventions; and the fourth, in 1886, to the British Colonies and India. These exhibitions attracted a large number of visitors and realized a substantial profit. They might have been continued indefinitely if it had not been that the buildings in which they were held had become very dilapidated, and that the ground covered by them was required for other purposes. There was no examination of the exhibits by juries, but a tolerably liberal supply of instrumental music was supplied by military and civil bands. The Crystal Palace held a successful International Exhibition in 1884, and there was an Italian Exhibition at Turin, and a Forestry Exhibition at Edinburgh, during the same year. A World’s Industrial Fair was held at New Orleans in 1884–1885, and there were universal Exhibitions at Montenegro and Antwerp in 1885, at Edinburgh in 1886, Liverpool, Adelaide, Newcastle and Manchester in 1887, and at Glasgow, Barcelona and Brussels in 1888. Melbourne held an International Exhibition in 1888–1889 to celebrate the Centenary of Australia. Great Britain, Germany, France, Austria and the United States were officially represented, and an expenditure of £237,784 was incurred by the local government.

The Paris Exhibition of 1889 marked an important change in the policy which had previously characterized the management of these gatherings. The funds were contributed partly by the state, which voted 17,000,000 francs, and by the municipality of Paris, which gave 8,000,000. A guarantee fund amounting to 23,124,000 francs was raised, and on this security a sum of 18,000,000 francs was obtained and paid into the coffers of the administration. The bankers who advanced this sum recouped themselves by the issue of 1,200,000 “bons,” each of 25 francs, Every bon contained 25 admissions, valued at 1 franc, and certain privileges in the shape of participation in a lottery, the grand prix being £20,000. The calculations of the promoters were tolerably accurate. The attendances reached the then unprecedented number of 32,350,297, of whom 25,398,609 paid in entrance tickets and 2,723,366 entered by season tickets. A sum of 2,307,999 francs was obtained by concessions for restaurants and “side-shows,” upon which the administration relied for much of the attractiveness of the exhibition. The total expenditure was 44,000,000 francs, and there was a small surplus. The space covered in the Champ de Mars, the Trocadero, the Palais d’Industrie, the Invalides and the Quai d’Orsay was 72 acres, as compared with 66 acres in 1878 and 41 acres in 1867. Amongst the novelties was the Eiffel Tower, 1000 ft. in height, and a faithful reproduction of a street in Cairo. The system of international juries was continued, but instead of gold, silver and copper medals, diplomas of various merits were granted, each entitling the holder to a uniform medal of bronze. Some of the “side-shows,” although perhaps pecuniary successes, did not add to the dignity of the exhibition. The date at which it was held, the Centenary of the French Revolution, did not commend it to several European governments. Austria, Hungary, Belgium, China, Egypt, Spain, Great Britain, Italy, Luxemburg, Holland, Peru, Portugal, Rumania and Russia took part, but not officially, while Germany, Sweden, Turkey and Montenegro were conspicuous by their absence. On the other hand, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, the United States, Greece, Guatemala, Morocco, Mexico, Nicaragua, Norway, Paraguay, Salvador, the South African Republic, Switzerland, Uruguay and Venezuela sent commissioners, who were accredited to the government of the French Republic. The total number of exhibitors was 61,722, of which France contributed 33,937, and the rest of the world 27,785. The British and colonial section was under the management of the Society of Arts, which obtained a guarantee fund of £16,800, and, in order to recoup itself for its expenditure, made a charge to exhibitors of 5s. per sq. ft. for the space occupied. There were altogether 1149 British exhibitors, of whom 429 were in the Fine Arts section. One of the features of the exhibition was the number of congresses and conferences held in connexion with it.

During the year 1890 there was a Mining Exhibition at the Crystal Palace, and a Military Exhibition in the grounds of Chelsea Hospital; in 1891 a Naval Exhibition at Chelsea and an International at Jamaica. In 1891–1892 there were exhibitions at Palermo and at Launceston in Tasmania; in 1892, a Naval Exhibition at Liverpool, and one of Electrical Appliances at the Crystal Palace. A series of small national exhibitions under private management was held at Earl’s Court between 1887 and 1891. The first of the series was that of the United States—Italy followed in 1888, Spain in 1889, France in 1890 and Germany in 1891.

The next exhibition of the first order of magnitude was at Chicago in 1893, and was held in celebration of the 400th anniversary of the discovery of America by Columbus. The financial arrangements were undertaken by a company, with a capital of £2,000,000. The central government at Washington allotted £20,000 for the purposes of foreign exhibits, and £300,000 for the erection and administration of a building for exhibits from the various government departments. The exhibition was held at Jackson Park, a place for public recreation, 580 acres in extent, situated on the shore of Lake Michigan, on the southern side of the city, with which it was connected by railways and tramways. Special provision was made for locomotion in the grounds themselves by a continuous travelling platform and an elevated electric railway. The proximity of the lake, and of some artificial canals which had been constructed, rendered possible the service of electric and steam launches; The exhibition remained open from the 1st of May to the 30th of October, and was visited by 21,477,212 persons, each of whom paid half a dollar (about 2s. 1d.) for admission. The largest number of visitors on any one day was 716,881. In addition to its direct vote of £320,000, Congress granted £500,000 to the exhibition in a special coinage, which sold at an enhanced price. The receipts from admissions were £2,120,000; from concessions, £750,000; and the miscellaneous receipts, £159,000: total, £3,029,000. The total expenses were £5,222,000. Of the sums raised by the Company, £400,000 was returned to the subscribers. Speaking roughly, it may be said that the total outlay on the Chicago Exhibition was six millions sterling, of which three millions were earned by the Fair, two millions subscribed by Chicago and a million provided by the United States government. The sums expended by the participating foreign governments were estimated at £1,440,000. The total area occupied by buildings at Chicago was as nearly as possible 200 acres, the largest building, that devoted to manufactures, being 1687 ft. by 787, and 30.5 acres. The funds for the British commission, which was under the control of the Society of Arts, were provided by the imperial government, which granted £60,000. The number of British exhibitors was 2236, of whom 597 were Industrial, 501 Fine Arts and 1138 Women’s work. In this total were included 18 Indian exhibitors. The space occupied by Great Britain was 306,285 sq. ft.; and, in addition, separate buildings were erected in the grounds. These were Victoria House, the headquarters of the British commission; the Indian Pavilion, erected by the Indian Tea Association; the Kiosk of the White Star Steamship Company; and the structure set up by the Maxim-Nordenfelt Company. Canada and New South Wales had separate buildings, which covered 100,140 and 50,951 sq. ft. respectively; and Cape Colony occupied 5250, Ceylon 27,574, British Guiana 3367, Jamaica 4250, Trinidad 3400 and India 3584, sq. ft. in the several buildings. The total space occupied by the British Colonies was therefore 193,660 sq. ft. The system of awards was considered extremely unsatisfactory. Instead of international juries, a single judge was appointed for each class, and the recompenses were all of one grade, a bronze medal and a diploma, on which was stated the reasons which induced the judge to make his decision. Some judges took a high standard, and refused to make awards except to a small proportion of selected exhibits; others took a low one, and gave awards indiscriminately. About 1183 awards were made to British exhibitors. The French refused to accept any awards. The value of the British goods exhibited was estimated, exclusive of Fine Arts, at £430,000, and the expenses of showing them at £200,000. A large expenditure was incurred in the erection of buildings, which were more remarkable for their beauty and grandeur than for their suitableness to the purposes for which they were intended. Considerable areas were devoted to “side-shows,” and the Midway Plaisance, as it was termed, resembled a gigantic fair. Every country in the world contributed something. There were sights and shows of every sort from everywhere. The foreign countries represented were Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Curaçoa, Denmark, Danish West Indies, Ecuador, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hayti, Japan, Johore, Korea, Liberia, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Orange Free State, Paraguay, Persia, Portugal, Russia, Siam, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, United Kingdom and Colonies, Uruguay and Venezuela.

Exhibitions were held at Antwerp, Madrid and Bucharest in 1894; Hobart in 1894–1895; Bordeaux, 1895; Nizhni Novgorod, Berlin and Buda-Pest in 1896; Brussels and Brisbane in 1897. A series of exhibitions, under the management of the London Exhibitions Company, commenced at Earl’s Court in 1895 and continued in successive years.

The Paris Exhibition of 1900 was larger than any which had been previously held in Europe. The buildings did not cover so much ground as those at Chicago, but many of those at Paris had two or more floors. In addition to the localities occupied in 1889, additional space was obtained at the Champs Elysées, the park of Vincennes, on the north bank of the Seine between the Place de la Concorde, and at the Trocadero. The total superficial area occupied was as follows: Champ de Mars, 124 acres; Esplanade des Invalides, 30 acres; Trocadero Gardens, 40 acres; Champs Elysées, 37 acres; quays on left bank of Seine, 23 acres; quays on right bank of Seine, 23 acres; park at Vincennes, 270 acres: total, 549 acres. The space occupied by buildings and covered in amounted to 4,865,328 sq. ft., 1111/2 acres. The French section covered 2,691,000 sq. ft., the foreign 1,829,880, and those at the park of Vincennes 344,448 sq. ft. About one hundred French and seventy-five foreign pavilions and detached buildings were erected in the grounds in addition to the thirty-six official pavilions, which were for the most part along the Quai d’Orsay. Funds were raised upon the same system as that adopted in 1889. The French government granted £800,000, and a similar sum was contributed by the municipality of Paris. £2,400,000 was raised by the issue of 3,250,000 “bons,” each of the value of 20 francs, and containing 20 tickets of admission to the exhibition of the face value of one franc each, and a document which gave its holder a right either to a reduced rate for admission to the different “side-shows” or else to a diminution in the railway fare to and from Paris, together with a participation in the prizes, amounting to six million francs, drawn at a series of lotteries. Permission to erect restaurants, and to open places of amusement in buildings erected for that purpose, were sold at high prices, and for these privileges, which only realised 2,307,999 francs in 1889, the concessionaires agreed to pay 8,864,442 francs in 1900. The results did not justify the expectations which had been formed, and the administration finally consented to receive a much smaller sum. The administration calculated that they would have 65,000,000 paying visitors, though there were only 13,000,000 in 1878 and 25,398,609 in 1889. A very few weeks after the opening day, April 15th, it became evident that the estimated figures would not be reached, since a large number of holders of “bons” threw them on the market, and the selling price of an admission ticket declined from the par value of one franc to less than half that amount, or from 30 to 50 centimes. The proprietors of the restaurants and “side-shows” discovered that they had paid too much for their concessions, that the buildings they had erected were far too handsome and costly to be profitable, and that the public preferred the exhibition itself to the so-called attractions. The exhibition was largely visited by foreigners, but various causes kept away many persons of wealth and position. Although many speculators were ruined, the exhibition itself was successful. The attendance was unprecedentedly large, and during the seven months the exhibition was open, 39,000,000 persons paid for admission with 47,000,000 tickets, since from two to five tickets were demanded at certain times of the day and on certain occasions. The entries of exhibitors, attendants and officials totalled 9,000,000. The receipts were 114,456,213 francs (£4,578,249), and the expenditure 116,500,000 (£4,660,000), leaving a deficiency of rather more than two millions of francs (£80,000). It was calculated that the expenditure of the foreign nations which took part in the exhibition was six millions sterling, and of the French exhibitors and concessionaires three millions sterling.

A new plan of classifying exhibits was adopted at Paris, all being displayed according to their nature, and not according to their country of origin, as had been the system at previous exhibitions. One-half the space in each group was allotted to France, so that the exhibitors of that nation were enabled to overwhelm their rivals by the number and magnitude of the objects displayed by them. All the agricultural implements, whatever their nationality, were in one place, all the ceramics in another, so that there was no exclusively British and no exclusively German court. The only exception to this rule was in the Trocadero, where the French, British, Dutch, and Portuguese Colonies, Algeria, Tunis, Siberia, the South African Republic, China and Japan were allowed to erect at their own cost separate pavilions. The greater number of the nationalities represented had palaces of their own in the rue des Nations along the Quai d’Orsay, in which thoroughfare were to be seen the buildings erected by Italy, Turkey, the United States, Denmark, Portugal, Austria, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Peru, Hungary, the United Kingdom, Persia, Belgium, Norway, Luxemburg, Finland, Germany, Spain, Bulgaria, Monaco, Sweden, Rumania, Greece, Servia and Mexico. Scattered about the grounds, in addition to those in the Trocadero, were the buildings of San Marino, Morocco, Ecuador and Korea. Nearly every civilized country in the world was represented at the exhibition, the most conspicuous absentees being Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and some other South and Central American Republics, and a number of the British colonies. The most noteworthy attractions of the exhibition were the magnificent effects produced by electricity in the palace devoted to it in the Château d’Eau and in the Hall of Illusions, the two palaces of the Fine Arts in the Champs Elysées, and the Bridge over the Seine dedicated to the memory of Alexander II. These permanent Fine Art palaces were devoted, the one to modern painting and sculpture, the other to the works of French artists and art workmen who flourished from the dawn of French art up to the end of the 18th century.

The United Kingdom was well but not largely represented both in Fine Arts and Manufactures, the administration of the section being in the hands of a royal commission, presided over by the prince of Wales. The British pavilion contained an important collection of paintings of the British school, chiefly by Reynolds, Gainsborough and their contemporaries, and by Turner and Burne-Jones. Special buildings had been erected by the British colonies and by British India. Canada, West Australia and Mauritius occupied the former, India and Ceylon the latter. For the first time since the war of 1870 Germany took part in a French International Exhibition, and the exhibits showed the great industrial progress which had been made since the foundation of the empire in 1870. The United States made a fine display, and fairly divided the honours with Germany. Remarkable progress was manifested in the exhibits of Canada and Hungary. France maintained her superiority in all the objects in which good taste was the first consideration, but the more utilitarian exhibits were more remarkable for their number than their quality, except those connected with electrical work and display, automobiles and iron-work. The number of exhibitors in the industrial section from the British empire, including India and the colonies, was 1250, who obtained 1647 awards, as many persons exhibited in several classes. There were, in addition, 465 awards for “collaborateurs,” that is, assistants, engineers, foremen, craftsmen and workmen who had co-operated in the production of the exhibits. In the British Fine Arts section there were 429 exhibits by 282 exhibitors and 175 awards.

In later years, important international exhibitions have been held at Glasgow, and at Buffalo, New York, in 1901, at St Louis (commemorating the Louisiana purchase) in 1904, at Liége in 1905, at Milan in 1906, at Dublin in 1907, and in London (Franco-British), 1908. In the artistic taste and magnificence of their buildings and the interest of their exhibits these took their cue from the great Paris Exhibition, and even in some cases went beyond it, notably at Buffalo (q.v.), St Louis (q.v.) and London. And it might well be thought that the evolution of this type of public show had reached its limits.  (G. C. L.) 

  1. An “exhibition,” in the sense of a minor scholarship, or annual payment to a student from the funds of a school or college, is a modern survival from the obsolete meaning of “maintenance” or “endowment” (cf. Late Lat. exhibitio et tegumentum, i.e. food and raiment).