‘Heritage’ on Display:
Exhibitions and Congresses for the Protection of Ancient Monuments at the World’s Fairs 1855-1915

 

This paper examines the role of the word’s fairs in the conceptualization of ‘cultural heritage’.[1]

In 1851 Prince Albert initiated the world’s fair as a display of industrial progress, and history and ‘heritage’ entered the scene through the back door: by manufacturers putting the history of their products on display. The retrospective element was more systematically introduced through the fine arts exhibitions and arts and crafts shows. Subsequently, historic elements became constitutive of the most diverse parts of the exhibitions. The function of the historic element has been interpreted differently, but should not be reduced to an escapist counterbalance to modernization.[2] It equally served as a background against which progress could be emphasized and rendered even more spectacular. Thus, at the 1889 Exposition universelle in Paris, which celebrated the centenary of the French Revolution, the visitor who left the retrospective art exhibition could meander through the Rue des Nations along the Seine, where the different nations had their pavilions constructed in ‘national styles’, be mesmerized by the reconstructions of the Vieux Paris and numerous rural idylls or view the entire history of human housing in a single place[3]. He could continue with “horse-shoeing of war-horses”[4] or stay on to delight in falconry, past and present, or immerse himself in ethnographic displays.[5] Returning in 1900, the same visitor could observe how the Eiffel Tower, attacked as the very enemy of Parisian and French patrimoine back in 1889– was already considered national heritage in 1900.[6] Past and present mingled inextricably, and to each others’ advantage.

Just as drawing a complete picture of any given exhibition would be an undertaking of impossible magnitude, different aspects of the world’s fairs could provide an almost limitless number of starting points for studying the concept of ‘heritage’.[7] This paper could not hope to study in any meaningful way all the ‘heritage’ aspects of the world’s fairs, nor does it attempt to. Rather, it concentrates on a particular feature of the world’s fairs: the exhibitions of architectural drawings of ‘historic monuments’, comparing the French, German and British sections.[8]

Since the introduction of the Fine Arts to the exhibition tradition in the 1855 Exposition universelle in Paris, its architectural section combined new construction projects with studies and images of existing monuments and restoration projects. The exhibitions thus provided a means for the specialist and non-specialist public to be informed both about what the exhibiting countries thought to constitute their most representative monuments, but also about progress and practices of their restoration and protection. The major space was occupied by the European exhibitors, but not exclusively so. Drawings of historical monuments were exhibited at all major international and universal exhibitions since the ParisExposition universelle as well as at a number of ‘small’ international exhibitions.[9]

Furthermore, linked to the exhibitions, the first truly international congresses for the protection of historic monuments were held. It is well known that the world’s fairs and the international congresses linked to them played a decisive part in the development of many modern disciplines.[10] Scholars have, however, so far failed to consider the emergence of monument protection as movement and as discipline in this connection.

An analysis of this type yields twofold benefits. First, the exhibitions and congresses provide factual knowledge on how cultural transfer could and did occur between countries. Lists of participants and reports show who could meet whom, programs demonstrate which ideas on the restoration and the protection of ancient monuments were mentioned, and exhibitions catalogues show which works of restoration could be seen to illustrate these purposes. The scope of this paper does not allow to demonstrate this in detail here, it suffices to note that the most important government officials who were responsible for the protection of ancient monuments in France, Britain and Germany were present, or at least informed about the exhibitions and congresses though correspondence, as were representatives of the main private preservation associations from the three countries.

Moreover, the world’s fairs provided a public space in which different ‘heritage-makers’ presented their version of what should be considered as national ‘heritage’. Accordingly, I will explore how the international scene was used to advance the particular agendas of different ‘heritage-makers’, and thereby show how the concept of ‘heritage’ did not have a fixed content but was articulated according to circumstance, and molded into the wider rhetoric of world’s fairs.

To illustrate these points, I will first examine content, presentation and reception of the exhibitions of historic monuments study, before comparing their staging of ‘heritage’, to the discussions at the international congresses and debates on legislation that took place simultaneously.

The content of the exhibitions

The exhibitions were made up mainly of architectural drawings and plans, and later included photographs and plaster casts. In the beginning, the French, German and British sections exhibited a very high proportion of restoration studies. Over the course of the following exhibitions, however, they took a different path.

In the British and German sections, as in most other European countries’ sections, the restoration studies were mixed with contemporary projects in no particular order, and the number of retrospective studies decreased toward the end of the century. Conversely, their number gradually increased in the French section. Almost all the studies of restoration came from the archives of the Commission des Monuments historiques. This French Historic Monuments Commission had been founded in 1837 as a government agency, to list and restore the monuments of France. Since figuring prominently in the 1867 Exhibition of the History of Work ( Exposition de l’Histoire du Travail) material from the archives of the Historic Monuments Commission was shown in increasingly splendid special exhibitions within the larger framework of retrospective art exhibitions at the subsequent Paris Expositions universelles in 1878, 1889 and 1900.[11] The Commission took care to be well represented at the international exhibitions abroad, especially in Britain, Austria and the United States. In contrast to the other nation’s sections, the French organized the display of their monuments chronologically. What is more, they interpreted the world’s fairs’ maxim to demonstrate constant progress and, consequently, the interdiction to exhibit the same works in consecutive exhibitions, in a rather loose way. In many instances, progress on particular restorations more than justified the repeated attention to certain monuments. The abundance of the archives of the Commission furthermore permitted the choice of different drawings of a single monument. From the constant repetition of particular restorations, however, it becomes clear that the exhibitions were not only a progress report, but rather aimed at giving a representation of the work of the Commission as a whole.[12]

The singular nature of the French exhibition of historic monuments deserves explanation. Why was given so much more emphasis to historic monuments than in the sections of other countries?

French self-presentation

The content and organizational structure of the different nations’ sections already suggest that, out of the three countries most closely examined, only France had a coherent vision with regard to the exhibition of historic monuments. This sits well with France being the only country to have produced copious publications explaining the reasoning behind the exhibition of depictions of restorations – a reasoning distinguished by a remarkable continuity over the course of half a century. The motivation for the exhibitions most frequently cited in the official French publications is the extraordinary quality of drawings stored in the archives of the Historic Monuments Commission and thus the entertaining nature of the exhibitions. The commentators consented that, as a general rule, architectural drawings held little public attraction, but that the drawings held by the commission “are a work of art in their own right and object of envy of all the nations of Europe”[13] and should therefore be publicly displayed.

Having extolled both the collection’s artistic quality and its potential for entertainment, and thus alluding to the first world’s fair maxim of ‘entertainment’, the official commentators moved on to the second classic element of world’s fair rhetoric: education. This mission was seen to be fulfilled in two ways. First, by the influence of the Monuments historiques on the arts and public taste, inscribed into the wider reasoning behind the Arts and Crafts exhibitions: educating public taste and providing inspiration for modern industry. Second, the exhibitions purpose was to instruct about the work of the French Historic Monuments Commission. In the catalogue for the international exhibition in Vienna in 1873 – two years after the defeat in the Franco-Prussian War – the Historic Monument Commission outlined:

[The Commission] had but one aim, by responding to the call it had received; to inform about the advantages of an institution which was only founded in 1837, but which, since its creation strongly and energetically contributed to the conservation of the precious monuments of past centuries, belonging to different architectural schools which are one of the glories of our fatherland and represent the true history of our national art.[14]

In addition to the exhibition of architectural drawings, the Commission edited some of its written records in the catalogue, the stated reason being as follows:

Several countries of Europe try to follow in the vein in which we preceded them. Commissions for the conservation of monuments have been founded. Most governments are about to create similar institutions. Therefore it seemed interesting to publish the diverse documents relating to the foundation of the Historic Monument Commission of France, showing its aims, its pursuits in the name of the Government and the means it disposes of, as well as the results it was able to obtain.[15]

With this publication, the Commission addressed a very real demand. Since its foundation, the commission had been receiving letters from foreign government officials asking about the work of the Commission, especially Prussia and Austria had imitated the French administration since the 1840s.

A case of failed transfer?

Convinced of their civilizing mission, most of the French guides to the diverse exhibitions and the official reports vindicate French superiority and underline that no “international politeness”[16] would stop them from dismissing most of the foreign exhibits. Since the first exhibition in 1855, they pointed out how far advanced France was in matters of architectural restoration. There are, however, two interesting twists to this story: From the early 1870s, a parallel form of report emerged, mostly written by the same authors, deploring French backwardness and the need to imitate foreign legislation.[17] Moreover, the exhibitions were – unlike the legal projects – hardly mentioned by foreign visitors and if so, not necessarily in a favorable light.

While the French justified the exhibitions as being dedicated to the “most precious specimens of our national architecture”[18] and deplored the lack of historic monuments in the British section, the British architectural paper The Builder commented in 1855:

Great Britain alone vindicates the actual position of her national architecture: she alone takes cognizance of the existence of iron as a building material, and it is only from the details she furnishes of executed works that any idea can be formed of the nature of the wants and tastes to which it is the duty and province of architecture to minister in the nineteenth century. [….] In architecture, on the whole, we regret to say, the [French] display is inadequate to the present position of art. Although the French exhibit no less than 183 series of drawings, the whole, with two or three exceptions, may be divided into studies of existing monuments and designs for restorations. [….] and the Archives of the “Monuments Historiques” furnish a corresponding and much more extensive collection of studies of national archaeology, representing the monuments of the country, not only as they exist as they may be supposed to have existed in the days of their completeness and perfection. Each of these is certainly highly important, but neither can be accepted as an adequate illustration of the present state of architecture in France. [….] France we must repeat, has not done herself justice in her Exhibition, and has missed an opportunity which may never again occur. We look in vain for any indication of the nature of those great works which have drawn upon Paris the eyes of all Europe: we recognize not a spark of that fervid imagination which has created an eclectic style of street architecture almost original. If French architects were to be judged by the present exhibition alone they would be set down as pedants, whose studies were equally laborious and barren.[19]

This statement clearly highlights different attitudes to the role of the past in relation to national identity in France and Britain. It is even more revealing of the nature of exhibition reports, which judge according to preordained national standards and freely dismiss everybody else’s. This was magnificently caricaturized in 1878 by the fictive ‘Angeline at the Exhibition’ in Punch, mentioning the Trocadéro where the historic monuments were exhibited en passant:

After lunch, Edwin met an old fried of his who lives in Paris, who told him that the British Department was the best thing in the Exhibition, and that when he had seen that he had seen everything. I quite agree with him. In duty bound we “did” the rest of the place, but it was rather stupid. The Trocadéro contains a sort of weak imitation of the South Kensington Museum; and the Foreign Courts, and the Machinery, and all those sorts of things, or course we had seen year ago in London, Vienna and in former Expositions at Paris. But the Prince of Wales’ apartments were too lovely! … So aesthetic and so English![20]

Most of the opposition to foreign exhibits by British commentators can be boiled down to the same world’s fair rhetoric of national superiority: another country’s difference from one’s own was declared to be outside the boundaries of the acceptable. Basing judgments on entirely different standards conveniently saved the French and British from having to compete on similar ground. The different emphases within the architectural section replicate the idea of artistic France fighting against industrial Britain. The International Jury, in which the French were decisively overrepresented, decided in 1855 simply to invent a new category of medals for historic studies which assured that British and French architects were equally honored, the former in the modern and the latter in the historic section.[21]

Behind these rhetorical maneuvers, far more similarities can be detected. For example, further criticism about the historic focus of the French exhibitions came from Henry Cole, organizer of the Great Exhibitions in 1851 and 1862 in London, head of the South Kensington Museum (today Victoria and Albert Museum) and organizer of the British sections of the two first Parisian world’s fairs. [22] He dismissed the historic nature of French exhibitions, but this appears in a different light when we look behind the scenes. Cole at first had been enthusiastic to participate at the ‘History of Work’ exhibition in Paris 1867. When learning that fire security and insurance costs would be too high for the British government to pay, he channeled his disappointment by simply declaring that such a historically focused exhibition would be misplaced in an exhibition on modern progress in any case. [23]

Beyond the disdainful accounts that can be explained in terms of winning the “peaceful battle”[24] among nations with the means of the arts, to use Prince Napoleon’s words, other statements demonstrating the usefulness of the exhibitions in advancing matters of preservation can be found. The English Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, whose members had visited previous exhibitions in Paris, acknowledged in 1889, despite disagreeing with the way the Commission restored monuments, that “the utility of preserving an accurate record of the condition of buildings placed under their care and the practice might very well be imitated in this country”.[25]

It is harder to assess the impact of exhibitions on German preservationists. Architects present at subsequent congresses are likely to have seen them, even if they are not reviewed in the specialist press. But the silence of the German specialist press is somewhat intriguing, as in general French developments in preservation were closely followed, and reports of international congresses are mentioned in the press as well as in the private correspondence of state preservationists.[26] It is possible, however, that German preservationists’ insistence on imitating the French in keeping archives documenting the evolution of historic monuments derived from their observance of French historic exhibitions.[27]

The confrontation of French, British and German sources thus shows that a certain amount of cultural transfer occurred, but that this process was not openly acknowledged. On the contrary, every reporter and commentator proclaimed national superiority. After having discussed the role of the exhibitions with regard to cultural transfer and internationalism, I now turn to domestic motivations of the exhibitions, through the French example.

Domestic Agendas

Despite the insistence of French official reports on how aesthetically appealing the architectural drawings were, the format seems hardly to have been interesting for a larger audience, with much more popular representations of national identity and history – not to speak of the parts of the fairs that entirely served entertainment, such as a tour on the Riesenrad at the Prater in Vienna – being present at the same world’s fairs. Moreover, admission to fine arts pavilions was prohibitively expensive for a working-class audience.[28]

What, then, are the reasons for the persistence on these exhibitions and their continuous – and ever more costly – enlargement?[29]

Being part of the beaux arts section, the Expositions des monuments historiques were naturally part of the larger effort to promote France as the patrie des arts.[30] The exhibitions, however, seem to have addressed a number of domestic issues to no lesser extent. Showing the work of the Commission was seen as a means to raise funds and was linked to the effort to foster legislation. The exhibitions were not so much a means to please the masses as to convince the political elite. Examining who the organizers of the fine arts exhibitions and member of the international jury were is quite revealing: they included a very high proportion of architects working for the Commission des Monuments historiques.[31]

In the quarrel between the Architects des Monuments historiques and the Institut, responsible for the restoration of monuments in France and favoring the Gothic revival, and the Institut, responsible for teaching the fine arts in France and proclaiming the superiority of a classicist style, the exhibitions were a means not only to exhibit their own works, but to obtain as many medals from the international jury as possible and to shift the balance of power between the two rival architectural schools.

Finally, the exhibitions were a means of affirming the primacy of the state in matters of preservation within France against a growing private anti-restoration movement, especially the Amis des Monuments parisiens (‘The Society of the Friends of Monuments of Paris’) and their nationwide bulletin, L’ Ami des Monuments,[32] which attacked the very principles on which the work of the Commission des Monuments historiques was based. The means of attacking the Commission’s way of restoring monuments is best captured by a definition of the Commission’s most famous architect, Viollet-le-Duc: “to restore an edifice is not to maintain it, repair it or remake it, it is to re-establish it in a complete state that may never have existed at a given moment.”[33] Instead L’Ami des Monuments propagated a more careful conservation rather than an inventive restoration of monuments. L’Ami des Monuments contested the methods of the Commission, but generally the two organizations happily coexisted, neither denigrating nor acknowledging each other’s existence. This became impossible when in 1889 Les Amis des Monuments parisiens organized the “First International Congress for the protection of works of art and monuments”, under the presidency of Charles Garnier, architect of the Paris Opera, inviting participants from Europe, Latin America and even China, to discuss ‘heritage’ legislation, restoration versus anti-restoration and the foundation of an “International Red Cross’ for the protection of monuments.”[34] Historic preservation had been discussed (and would continue to be discussed) at the International Congresses of Architects, also taking place in the framework of the international exhibitions since 1867[35], but this was the first international congress solely dedicated to the matter. Its proceedings could be found in the archives and libraries of government agencies and preservation societies, attesting the importance foreign preservationist attributed to it.[36]

In 1889, the Commission des Monuments historiques, and the Minister of Public Instruction and Fine Arts who acted as its mouthpiece, was so offended by this challenge to its hegemony that when learning about the planned congress, that it tried at the last minute to organize an alternative congress with a similar program. Charles Garnier, however, implored the Minister of Commerce and Industry, under whose auspices his congress was organised, to have this rival cancelled. Indeed, pressure from (a new) Minister of Commerce and Industry on (a new) Minister of Public Instruction and Fine Arts, arguing that two congresses on the same theme were hardly necessary, resulted in these plans having to be abandoned. Some members of the CMH were added at the last minute to the list of delegates of L’Ami des Monuments’ congress.[37] This victory on the international scene foreshadowed the subsequent establishment of ‘anti-restoration’ and abandonment of ‘stylistic restoration’. Subsequently the French Bulletin Ami des Monuments turned itself into the international voice of the English Society for the Protection of Ancient buildings and the newly founded International Committee for the Protection of Monuments. The Commission des Monuments historiques responded by organizing an even larger exhibition in 1900 together with a conference cycle.[38] Both returned to their politics of not mentioning the other.

The juxtaposition of the exhibitions organized by the Historic Monuments Commission and the congress organized by the private anti-restoration society demonstrate how the prestige of the international arena could be used to enhance prestige on the national level and advance domestic agendas, regardless of how important the reception of a given manifestation was in international terms.

Conclusion

What do these exhibitions tell us about the conceptualization of heritage from a transnational perspective?

The dismissive attitude towards foreign contributions should be largely attributed to the wider world fair’s discourse to prove national superiority. International encounters between different ‘heritage-makers’ took place, methods were discussed, although the exact extent of the transfer is hard to assess.

A comparison with other arenas of the conceptualization of ‘heritage’, such as congresses or legislative debates, shows that the link between ‘heritage’ and internationalism is contingent and articulated in different ways, depending on the occasion. In the exhibition reports national superiority was claimed, at the congresses, the common effort and internationalist understanding were invoked, in the legislative debate, ‘heritage-makers’ of every nation stressed the relative superiority of other nations to justify the need to introduce legislation in their own countries in order to ‘catch up’ with other ‘civilized nations’.

Finally, the case study sheds light on the importance of internationalism for the domestic agenda. It is a general hypothesis of transfer studies that “[l]egitimizing one’s own actions or criticizing those of others in a national debate was one incentive” for cultural transfer, while “trying to find a way out of an internal political impasse by having recourse to foreign examples was another.”[39] In a similar way, the prestige of the international arena allowed to foster domestic aims. The Historic Monuments Commission used the exhibition to promote its own agendas, as did the private anti-restoration association Ami des Monuments through the organization of a first international congress.

The word’s fairs thus provided a space of competition and collaboration both nationally and internationally. This double competition had a self-accelerating effect: Heritage officials competed internationally, but the competition also led to methods and ideas being exchanged. At the same time intra-national competition led to a use of the international sphere to win local battles and thereby also increased international contacts and transfer.


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Notes:

1. The paper is part of a larger dissertation project, supervised by Professor Richard Evans at Cambridge University, analysing the conceptualisation of ‘cultural heritage’ in 19 th century Europe, with particular reference to France, Germany and England. The thesis examines the conceptualisation of ‘heritage’ as an entangled history, combining a comparative approach with an analysis of cultural transfer and histoire croisée. I would like to thank Richard Evans for his support since the start of this project and the Körber Foundation and the IWM for offering me a fellowship on History and Memory in Europe, during which this article was written. [return to text]

2. See for example Martin Wörner’s thesis that the ethnographic villages were ahistoric witnesses against the present. (‚Zeugen gegen die Gegenwart’), Wörner, Martin. Vergnügen und Belehrung. Volkskultur auf den Weltausstellungen 1851-1900. Münster, New York: Waxmann, 1999: 118. [return to text]

3. Garnier, Chalres, and A. Ammann. L ’Habitation humaine . Paris : Hachette, 1892. [return to text]

4. Gavin, Maximilien. Exposition universelle de 1889. Compte rendu de la promenade archéologique de la commission des antiquités et des arts du département de Seine-et-Oise à l’exposition de la maréchalerie rétrospective au palais du ministère de la guerre (esplanade des Invalides [La Ferrure du cheval de guerre dans l’antiquité et au moyen âge jusqu’à nos jours, d’après les conférences de MM. Mathieu et Aureggio]. Versailles: Imprimerie. de Cerf et fils, 1889. [return to text]

5. Exposition universelle internationale de 1889 à Paris. Exposition rétrospective, section III, arts et métiers. Fauconnerie. Catalogue illustré par S. Arcos, Rd. Balze, Malher, Vallet etc. suivi de ‘La Fauconnerie d’autrefois et la fauconnerie d’aujourd’hui’ conférence faite à la société nationale d’acclimatation, le 21 mars 1890 par M. Pierre Amédée Picho . Paris: L. Cerf, 1890. [return to text]

6. On architecture and the worlds fairs more generally see Wolkenkuckucksheim, Internationale Zeitschrift für Theorie und Wissenschaft der Architektur , Issue “ Identitäten, Räume, Projektionen: Weltausstellungen der Architektur“ (2000/1). [return to text]

7. A number of recent studies have focused on the display of historic elements, in relation to both the exoticizing and popularizing of culture; Fuchs, Eckhardt. “Nationale Repräsentation, kulturelle Identität und imperiale Hegemonie auf den Weltausstellungen: Einleitende Bemerkungen.“ Weltausstellungen im 19. Jahrhundert. Ed. Eckhardt Fuchs. Comparativ. Leipziger Beiträge zur Universalgeschichte und vergleichenden Gesellschaftsforschung 9, 5-6. Leipzig : Leipziger Univ.-Verl., 1999: 8-14; Stoklund, Bjarne. “The Role of the International Exhibitions in the Construction of National Cultures in the 19th Century.” Ethnologia Europaea 24 (1994): 35-44; On France see Plato, Alice von. Präsentierte Geschichte. Ausstellungskultur und Massenpublikum im Frankreich des 19 Jahrhunderts. Frankfurt, New York: Campus-Verlag., 2001 and Kaiser, Wolfram. “Vive la France! Vive la République? The Cultural Construction of French Identity at the World Exhibitions in Paris 1855-1900.” National Identities 1/3 (1999): 227-44. [return to text]

8. These exhibitions have so far mostly es c ape d the historian’s eye. I am indebted to Françoise Hamon for letting me see Odile Charbonneau’s Memoire de Maîtrise (Master thesis), supervised by her: Charbonneau, O dile. “Les monuments historiques aux Expositions universelles et internationales de 1855 a 1937”. 3 vols. Ts. Mémoire de Maîtrise, Université Paris-I V, 2001 . The extensive bibliography and inventorisation of monuments exhibited from 1855-1939 provided an invaluable starting point, but a number of sources are not attributed, bibliographical and archival references are unreliable and the otherwise very useful compilation of monuments exhibited in the different exhibitions is incomplete without giving reasons or even notice of omissions. [return to text]

9. The empirical evidence has been restricted to an analysis of the ‘big’ world’s fairs, supplemented by smaller exhibitions when the archives contained particularly rich evidence on participation and importance accorded to them. In chronological order these were the Exposition universelle des produits de l’agriculture et des beaux-arts de Paris, 1855, International Exhibition, London 1862, The Exposition universelle in Paris 1867, The Viennese Weltausstellung in 1873, The Annual London Exhibitions 1871-1874, the Pennsylvania Centennial Exposition, Philadelphia 1876, The Paris Expositions universelles of 1878 and 1889, The World’s Columbian Exposition, Chicago 1893, The Exposition universelle et internationale de Paris 1900, The Louisiana Purchase International Exposition, Saint Louis, Missouri 1904, the 1915 San Francisco, California, Panama-Pacific International Exposition. [return to text]

10. Rasmussen, Anne. “Les Congrès internationaux liés aux Exposition universelles de Paris (1867-1900).” Mil neuf cent. Cahiers Georges Sorel. Revue d’histoire intellectuelle 7 (1989): 23-44. [return to text]

11. Exposition universelle de 1878 à Paris. Ministère de l’instruction publique, des cultes et des beaux-arts. Catalogue de l’exposition des archives de la commission des monuments historiques en France . Paris: Imprimerie nationale, 1878 ; Exposition universelle internationale de 1889 à Paris. Exposition rétrospective de l’art français au Trocadéro. Lille: Imprimerie de L. Danel, 1889; Exposition universelle de 1900, à Paris (Palais du Trocadéro). Catalogue des expositions des Monuments Historiques (ministère de l’instruction publique et des beaux-arts) et de l’exposition des édifices diocésains (ministère de l’intérieur et des cultes). Paris: I mprimerie de Chamerot et Renouard 1900. [return to text]

12. Paris, Médiatèque de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine, Archives, Fonds 80/8 Prêts d’objets classée, esp. 80/8/5-6 Prêts d’objets classés à des expositions organisées à l’étranger and 80/8/7 Participation du service des Monuments historiques à des expositions. [return to text]

13. Sommerard, Edmond du. Exposition universelle de 1867 à Paris. Commission de l’histoire du travail. Rapport de M. E. Du Sommerard . Paris : Imprimerie administrative de Paul Dupont, 1867 : 12. See the digitalized version based on a later edition: Sommerard, Edmond du. “Rapport. ‘Commission de l’histoire du travail’.“ Rapports du jury international Exposition universelle de 1867 à Paris. Ed. Michel Chevalier. Vol. 1. Paris: Imprimerie administrative de Paul Dupont, 1868 : 139-246, See also Perrault-Dabot, Alfred. Les Archives de la Commission des monuments historiques. Paris: E. Chevallier 1900): 11. [return to text]

14. Sommerard, Edmond du. Exposition universelle de Vienne en 1873. Section française. Les monuments historiques de France à l’exposition universelle de Vienne. Paris: Imprimerie. Nationales, 1876:1-2. [return to text]

15. Ibid. [return to text]

16. Lance, Adolfe E. Exposition universelle des beaux-arts. Architecture, compte rendu par Adolphe Lance, architecture du gouvernement. Paris : Bance, 1855 : 4-5. [return to text]

17. Baumgart, E. Monuments historiques. Rapport de M. Baumgart. Etabli à l’occasion de l’exposition internationale de Londres 1874. Paris: Imprimerie nationale, 1874. [return to text]

18. Bellet, Paul. “Promenade autour du Jardin central.“ L’Exposition universelle de 1867 illustrée . Ed. François Ducuing. Paris, 1868: 371-74 [return to text]

19. The Builder, 30 June 1855. cf. Charbonneau, Odile: 35. [return to text]

20. “Angelina at the Exhibition”, Punch, 26 Oct. 1878: 189. [return to text]

21. Bonaparte, Napoléon-Joseph-Charles-Paul, Prince. Rapports du jury mixte international publiés sous la dir. de S.A.I. le Prince Napoléon, président de la commission impériale. Paris: Imprimerie impériale, 1856: 1379-81, digitalized . [return to text]

22. Boynton, Elisabeth and Anthony Burton. The Great Exhibitor: The Life and Work of Henry Cole. London: V&A, 2003. Burton, Anthony. Vision and Accident: The Story of the Victoria and Albert Museum. London: V&A 1999; see also Barringer, Tim. “Die Gründung von „Albertopolis’’, Prinz Albert und die frühen Jahre des South Kensington Museums.“ Victoria & Albert, Vicky & the Kaiser: ein Kapitel deutsch-englischer Familiengeschichte . Ed. Wilfried Rogasch. Exhibition Catalogue Deutsches Historisches Museum Berlin, 10 Jan. – 25 Mar. 1997, Ostfildern-Ruit 1997); for an contextualization of the South Kensington Project in British Art and Education policies see, Robertson, Bruce. “ The South Kensington Museum in context: an alternative history .” Museum and Society 2.1 (2004): 1-14. [return to text]

23. Plato, Alice von: 173-74. [return to text]

24. Moniteur , 21 Mar. 1855, reprinted in Exposition universelle de 1855. Explication des ouvrages de peinture, sculpture, gravure, lithographie et architecture des artistes vivant étrangers et français, exposé au palais des beaux-arts, avenue montaigne le 15 mai 1855 . Paris: Vinchon, Imprimeur des Musées Impérieaux, 1855. Paris Archives nationales, F 21, 519, Expositions des beaux arts aux Expositions universelles. Rapports généraux, catalogue et livret de l’exposition (1855). [return to text]

25. Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings. Annual Report 1890: 63. [return to text]

26. See for reports on the congresses, especially the 1889 first international congress for monument protections the correspondence between De Geymüllers and Persius, Summer 1889 in Berlin, GStA, I HA Rep. 76 Ve, Sek 1, Abt. VI, No 141. Whereas a plethora of specialist reports demonstrates the interest in Arts and Crafts exhibitions in general explicit reference to the Expositions des Monuments Historiques could neither be found in the Correspondenzblatt des Gesamtvereins der deutschen Geschichts und Alterthums Vereine, nor in the Centralblatt der Bauverwaltung or in Die Denkmalpflege. The comparative literature and theoretical texts by the major German preservationists such as von Wussow, Clemen, Wolff, Dehio, Riegl or Oechelhaeuser do not make any allusions to French exhibitions either. [return to text]

27. Loersch, Hugo. Das Französische Gesetz vom 30. März 1887. Ein Beitrag zum Recht der Denkmalpflege Bonn, 1897: Wolff F. Denkmalarchive. Vortrag gehalten auf dem 1. Denkmalarchivtag in Dresden am 24. September 1913. Berlin: Wilhelm Ernst & Sohn, 1913. ‘Deutschland, das sich rühmen darf, den historischen Sinn geweckt zu haben, blieb mit der Gründung von Denkmalarchiven länger als ein halbes Jahrhundert zurück. (p. 4) He deplores German backwardness and describes the archives of the Historic Monument Commission at length without making any allusions to the exhibitions, but mentioning the Musée de Scultpture Comparée at the Trocadéro. Wolff’s familiarity with the French system might equally well stem from his position as ‘Kaiserlicher Konservator der geschichtlichen Denkmäler im Elsaß’. See Wolff, F. Einrichtungen und Tätigkeit der staatlichen Denkmalpflege im Elsaß in den Jahren 1899-1909. Veröffenlichungen des Kaiserlichen Denkmal-Archivs zu Straßburg i.E., 10, Straßburg i.E: Ludolf Beust, 1909. [return to text]

28. Plato, Alice von 107-20 See also Archives nationales F21 519 Expositions des beaux arts aux Exposition universelles. Rapport généraux, catalogue et livret de l’exposition (1855). Dossier : Statistique. [return to text]

29. Pons, Louis, ‘Le Palais des beaux-arts à Chicago (section francaise)’, Le Figaro, 27 Aug. 1892 For further debates in the press see Archives nationales F21 4061 Sections françaises des beaux arts aux expositions internationales et participation française aux expositions diverses à l’étranger. 1882-1940, Dossier: Coupure de presse. [( return to text]

30. There are certain parallels in the paintings section as to the fact that on the one hand France clearly managed to establish herself as the patrie des arts. On the other hand, France was consistently the largest displayer of fine art in the exhibition tradition and ‘the whole world was prepared to see Paris as the supreme art centre, yet organisers and juries persistently failed to show off the art which earned that status.’ Greenhalgh, Paul. Ephemeral vistas, The Exposition Universelles, Great Exhibitions and World Fairs, 1851-1939. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1988), 13-16 and 198-223, quote 207. [return to text]

31. See jury reports . [return to text]

32. Normand, Charles. “Société des Amis des Monuments parisiens. Constituée dans le but de veiller sur les monuments d’art et sur la physionomie monumentale de Paris.“ Bulletin du Cercle Saint Simonien (1884) : 301-307. [return to text]

33. Viollet-le-Duc, Eugène Emmanuelle. “Restauration.“ Dictionnaire raisonné de l’architecture française du XIe au XVIe siècle. Ed. Eugène Emmanuelle Viollet-le-Duc. Vol. 8. Paris : A. Morel, 1866: 14. [return to text]

34. Normand, Charles. Ministère du commerce, de l’industrie et des colonies. Exposition universelle internationale de 1889. Direction générale de l’exploitation.Congrès international pour la protection des oeuvres d’art et des monuments, tenu à Paris du 24 au 29 juin 1889. Procès-verbaux sommaire. Paris: Imprimerie nationale, 1889. [return to text]

35. Congrès international des architectes [puis Organisation…Comptes-rendus et notices] 1867, 1878, 1889 (I-III) Paris ; 1897 (IV) Bruxelles ; 1900 (V) Paris ; 1904 (VI) Madrid ; 1906 Londres ; 1908 (VIII) Wien ; 1911 (IX) The 1867 proceedings do not contain a special section on monument protection, but the subject is touched upon in various session. In 1889 the congress does not have a section on monument protection either, but it is telling that Charles Garnier was its president and there is a considerable overlap in membership between this international congress of architects and Ami des Monuments’ one. All following congresses had sessions on the care of ancient monuments. [return to text]

36. The congress seems to have been forgotten after WWI and the 1931 Athens conference for the ‘artistic and historic conservation of monuments’ is now falsely portrayed as the first international conference on the subject. See Choay, Françoise, ed. La Conférence d’Athènes sur la conservation artistique et historique des monuments (1931). Paris: Editions des l’Imprimeur, 2002. [return to text]

37. Médiathèque, Fond 80/8/7 Participation du service des monuments historiques à des expositions, Dossier: Exposition Universelle de 1889. Congrès des Arts et de l’Archéologie. [return to text]

38. Médiathèque du Patrimoine, Archives. Fond 80/8/7 Participation du service des monuments historiques à des expositions, Dossier: Exposition de 1900. Décisions de principe. [return to text]

39. Geyer, Martin H. and Johannes Paulmann. “Introduction: The Mechanics of Internationalism.” The Mechanics of Internationalism. Culture, Society, and Politics form the 1840s to the First World War. Eds. Martin H. Geyers and Johannes Paulmann. Studies of the German Historical Institute London. Oxford: Oxford University Press: 2001: 16. [return to text]

IWM Junior Visiting Fellows’ Conferences, Vol. XIX/1
© 2006 by the author
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Preferred citation: Swenson, Astrid. 2006. ‘Heritage’ on Display: Exhibitions and Congresses for the Protection of Ancient Monuments at the World’s Fairs 1855-1915. In Reflections, ed. E. O’Carroll, Vienna: IWM Junior Visiting Fellows’ Conferences, Vol. 19.