World’s Fair of 1900 in Paris

The World’s Fair of 1900 is certainly the most famous, iconic event of the sweetness of life in the Belle Époque Paris. The celebration is at its height for the turn of the century, and the latest technologies are deployed: mobile pavement, projections on giant screen, visual immersions, observation of the moon with the telescope ... The 20th century opens magnificently.

Art Nouveau is hence highlighted, as a symbol of modernity and freedom. Émile Gallé triumphs, as well as Guimard, who is entrusted with the decoration of the “Metropolitain” subway, inaugurated during the Exhibition on July 14th. Siegfried Bing, Lalique, Louis Majorelle, new names are internationally discovered.

The biggest factories of the nineteenth century like Sèvres and Christofle also convert to these new forms. François Linke, faithful to the Louis XV style, pushes its exuberance to the extreme, joining the organic forms of Art Nouveau, and provokes astonishment and admiration.

World’s Fair of 1889 in Paris

In 1889, France celebrated the centenary of its Revolution by organizing the fourth World’s Fair in the country. The progress of the metal industry enabled the invention of new forms, the most famous building being the Eiffel Tower, realized for this occasion. The Exhibition remains open until midnight, thanks to a phenomenal electrical installation.

In the decorative arts, aesthetic changes are perceptible, under the influence of Symbolism. Émile Gallé confirms his importance during this event, with a collection of furniture that announce the Art Nouveau. On the other hand, Carrier-Belleuse is then director of the Manufacture of Sèvres and exhibits a selection of quite original models. Finally, it is the first time that Perret and Vibert, masters of Japanese-inspired furniture, participate to the event.

The ephemeral architectures are still diversifying, with the construction of a Children's Pavilion, and several reconstructions designed to show the evolution of housing since the dawn of humanity. France affirms by this event its regained power under the Third Republic.

World’s Fair of 1878

In order to present the new Republic, a World’s Fair is held in Paris in 1878. Hot air balloons fly visitors of the exhibition, and the immense Statue of Liberty being still uncomplete, its head is exposed next to the Palais of the Exhibition. As two years earlier in Philadelphia, one can get in and climb to the top.

French art bronzes, ceramics and cabinetmaking are widely promoted, Barbedienne, Sèvres and Fourdinois remaining the tenors of their fields. Emile Gallé participates for the first time at the World’s Fair, with a beautiful Japanese-inspired vase, La Carpe.

It is also during this event that the Wallace Fountains, iconic fountains of Paris, are generalized. Among the other important vestiges, some pavilions still adorn the environs of Paris, like the pavilion of India in Courbevoie.

The Centennial Exhibition of 1876 in Philadelphia

The Centennial Exhibition of Philadelphia in 1876 was the first World’s Fair to be held in the United States of America, organized to celebrate the centennial of the Declaration of Independence. The largest building ever built at the time is home to the works of thirty-five countries, and several means of transport are set up for visitors to cover the huge exhibition.

France is noted for its bronze statues, but there are various decorative objects illustrated in the albums of the best works of the Exhibition: Parisian mirrors, ceramics of Limoges, Oriental ceramics, firescreens...

The name that distinguishes itself remains Bartholdi, who exhibits several bronze sculptures, but especially the hand of the Statue of Liberty, in which visitors can enter to admire the view from the guardrail of the torch.

The Sèvres porcelain manufactory

The Manufacture de Vincennes opened in 1740 and enjoyed great success thanks to the quality of its productions and the support of the Court. The manufactory moved in 1756 to Sèvres and initiated its history of excellence in soft-paste porcelain and hard-paste porcelain from 1768.

The Manufacture de Sèvres has attracted renowned artists such as François Boucher, Albert Carrier-Belleuse, Albert Dammouse, Alexandre-Evariste Fragonard, Auguste Rodin and many other artists of all periods. It has become an essential artistic scene as demonstrate the many World Fairs where the manufactory participated.

Its success comes from its ability to adapt to trends while perpetuating a technical and artisanal savoir-faire still practiced today.