A Force for Urbanism and National Identity: Nineteenth Century Australian Exhibitions and their Domestic Exhibits

Publisher:
Society of Architectural Historians of Australia and New Zealand
Publication Type:
Conference
Citation:
Orr Kirsten 2002, 'A Force for Urbanism and National Identity: Nineteenth Century Australian Exhibitions and their Domestic Exhibits', Society of Architectural Historians of Australia and New Zealand, Brisbane, Australia, pp. NA-NA.
Issue Date:
2002
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When the international exhibitions came to Australia in 1879, 1880 and 1888, exhibits of items for the home were the most popular. Exhibitions fostered occasions for nations to construct and present images of national character. Domestic exhibits, in particular, linked design with nationality in a manner capable of interpretation by a wide cross-section of the population. They provided an important interface between needs, wants and interests of ordinary people and visions of society promoted by power elites. Elites, interested in ideas of progress and civilisation, used photographic images of Australian cities to represent colonial advancement, and promoted exhibitions in Australia for their refining values. They believed that the home, a fundamental unit of the city, was an index of, and an agency for, civilisation and moral order.
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