19 June 2012
This workshop explores the relationships between internationalism, the global circuits of cultural display, and the phenomenon of the international exhibition between 1851 (the Great Exhibition at Crystal Palace) and 1924 (the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley). Exhibitions were key sites of national, international and imperial encounter for artists, designers, exhibitors and visitors from across the world; a 'device for bringing them all together', in the words of Patrick Geddes, the nineteenth-century Scottish polymath and internationalist. In this context, however, the 'international' did not amount to equality. The tension between internationalism, imperialism and nationalism which such exhibitions embodied and generated will be the focus of our discussion.