History of Science Museum: Collection Database Search

Narratives

Historical Background - Age of Exhibitions

The age of exhibitions or expositions began in London with the Great Exhibition of 1851 and the building of the Crystal Palace. This was an era of great optimism and expansion, and also celebration when people believed that the industrial and technological revolution taking place would inexorably lead to some promised land. For a century exhibitions and expositions were staged regularly in Paris, Berlin, New York and other international locations. The age of the exhibition ended where it had begun, in 1951 with the Festival of Britain, but this time it was against a backdrop of a Europe devastated by war.

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