Exhibitions New Nations and the HUman Factor

Recordings of the CRAACE conference Exhibitions, New Nations and the Human Factor

The CRAACE conference Exhibitions, New Nations and the Human Factor, 1873–1939 took place at the Institut national d’histoire de l’art in Paris on 4–5 April 2022. Focusing on world’s fairs and international exhibitions, it looked beyond their official, state-sponsored aims and considered the role of individuals and groups in them. Who were the people who organised them, designed them, worked in them and visited them? The conference placed agency at the heart of the discussion. To what extent did those involved adhere to or challenge the ostensible purpose of these events?

For those who missed the conference or would like to revisit the talks, we will make recordings of the individual sessions available on Youtube for a limited time. The sessions will be posted below on this page one by one as they become available, so watch this space.

Conference programme:

4 April

9.00–9.30 Registration

9.30 Welcome and Introduction


9.45–11.15 Panel 1: Engineers and Designers: The Human Factor

A ‘Monument Man’ and the National Narrative at the Millennial Exhibition in Budapest (1896): Béla Czobor’s Concept for the Main Historical Building Group
Gáspár Salamon, Humboldt University, Berlin

A Designer, Critic, and a Worker: Magda Jansová at the Exposition internationale des arts et des techniques dans la vie moderne in Paris, 1937
Martina Hrabová, Independent scholar

The Materiality of a Pavilion: The Agency of Materials at the Czecho-Slovak Pavilion in the Turbulent Times of 1938–1940
Ladislav Jackson, Brno University of Technology


11.15–11.45 Coffee break


11.45–13.15 Panel 2: Imperialisms and Anti-Imperialisms

‘Empire with the Lid Off’: The Glasgow Workers’ Exhibition, 1938
Harriet Atkinson, University of Brighton

Speculative Federation: Intercolonial Exhibitions and Republics of Art & Science in Australia and New Zealand 1878-1890
Noel Waite, RMIT University, Melbourne

Young Races Love Tents: The Exhibition of Colonial Equipment at the 1940 Milan Triennale
Laura Moure Cecchini, Colgate University, Hamilton, NY


13.15–14.45 Lunch


14.45–16.15 Panel 3: Towards Independence

Horace Plunkett and Curating Irish National Culture in Imperial Ireland, Cork, 1902
Tom Spalding, Crawford Art Gallery, Cork

Towards National Identities: Agency in the Museums of British Mandate Jerusalem, 1917–1948
Inbal Ben-Asher Gitler, Sapir Academic College / Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and Bar Leshem, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Ernest Ullmann’s Designs for the Empire Exhibition in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1936
Deirdre Pretorius, University of Johannesburg


16.15–16:30 Tea break


16.30–18.00 Keynote lecture

Display and Disguise. Designing Pavilions for Feminine Life and Culture at American and European World and National Exhibitions, 1870–1940
Prof. Emerita Dr.-Ing. Mary Pepchinski, Technical University of Dresden/University of Applied Sciences, Dresden


5 April


9.30–11.00 Panel 4: Exhibitionary Ideologies: Between Intention and Reception

Pavilions, Panoramas and Poets: Chinese Visitors and Representatives at the 1889 Paris Exposition
Ke Ren, College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA

Arma Veritatis: The World Exhibition of the Catholic Press (Esposizione mondiale della stampa cattolica), Vatican City, 1936
Joanna Wolanska, Independent Scholar

Modernising Landscape. Austria at the Paris World Fair, 1937
Béla Rásky, Wiesenthal Institute, Vienna


11.00–11.30 Coffee break


11.30–13.00 Panel 5: Curating Nations and States

St. Louis 1904, London 1908: Two Hungarian ‘National’ Art Exhibitions in Comparison
Samuel Albert, Fashion Institute of Technology, New York

Curating National Renewal: The Soviet Contribution to the Exposition internationale des arts décoratifs et industriels modernes in Paris, 1925
Mira Kozhanova, University of Bamberg

‘The Philadelphian War of our Artists’: Architects, Artists, and the State in Search of Yugoslav Representation for World’s Fairs
Elvira Ibragimova, Central European University


13.00–14.30 Lunch


14.30–16.00 Panel 6: National and Supra-National Identities in Arts and Crafts

The Female Factor: Representing Austrian Identity at the 1925 Exposition des arts industriels et décoratifs
Julia Secklehner, Masaryk University Brno

Experts Meet Artisans: Planning for the Soviet Crafts Exhibition at the 1937 Paris World’s Fair
Elizaveta Berezina, Central European University


16.00–16.30 Tea break


16.30–17.00 Closing Discussion

Main discussant: Victor Claass, INHA, Paris

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