‘Exposition Universelle’ Paris 1900

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Like a number of its predecessors and successors, the main object of the international 1900 Paris exhibition was to proclaim French preeminence in decorative arts, in this case, Art Nouveau, which had increased worldwide in the previous decade. One of the critical goals of the organisers was to stress the continuity between past and present-day French cultural achievements. 

Panorama of 'Exposition Universelle' Paris 1900
Panorama of ‘Exposition Universelle’ Paris 1900

This viewpoint was demonstrated by the contents of the Union Centrale des Arts DĂ©coratifs (UCAD) Pavilion, which included works by leading French workshops and designers such as Hector Guimard, Louis Majorelle and Émile GallĂ©, Samuel Bing, whose Parisian gallery, L’Art Nouveau, had given the movement its name, was another noted pavilion. His six-roomed Pavillion showed French designers’ furniture and decorations, most notably Georges du Feure, Eugène Gaillard, and Édouard Colonna. 

Grand entrance, Exposition Universal, 1900, Paris
Grand entrance, Exposition Universal, 1900, Paris

French manufacturers of decorative arts, including Sèvres Porcelain with designs by Guimard and others, and Gobelins Tapestryworks, were also prominent among the displays. The widespread use of electricity for the Château d’Eau and Pavilion d’ÉlectricitĂ© fountains was a key modern aspect of the show.


Oxford University Press. (2004). A Dictionary of Modern Design (2nd ed.).

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