New Book | Ephemeral Spectacles, Exhibition Spaces

Posted in books by Editor on June 27, 2021

From Amsterdam UP:

Dominique Bauer, Camilla Murgia, eds., Ephemeral Spectacles, Exhibition Spaces, and Museums, 1750–1918 (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2021), 300 pages, ISBN: 978-9463720908, €109 / $124.

This book examines ephemeral exhibitions from 1750 to 1918. In an era of acceleration and elusiveness, these transient spaces functioned as microcosms in which reality was shown, simulated, staged, imagined, experienced, and known. They therefore had a dimension of spectacle to them, as the volume demonstrates. Against this backdrop, the different chapters deal with a plethora of spaces and spatial installations: the Wunderkammer, the spectacle garden, cosmoramas and panoramas, the literary space, the temporary museum, and the alternative exhibition space.

Dominique Bauer is Assistant Professor of History at the Faculty of Architecture, University of Leuven, Belgium, and a member of the Centre d’Analyse Culturelle de la Première Modernité at the Université Catholique de Louvain. Camilla Murgia is Junior Lecturer in History of Art at the University of Lausanne.


Camilla Murgia, Introduction: Staging the Temporary: The Fragile Character of Space

I. The Department Store
1  Amy McHugh and Cristina Vignone, ‘One Need Be Neither a Shopper Nor a Purchaser to Enjoy’: Ephemeral Exhibitions at Tiffany & Co., 1870–1905
2  Kathryn A. Haklin, Enclosed Exhibitions: Claustrophobia, Balloons, and the Department Store in Zola’s Au Bonheur des Dames

II. Spectacles
3  Susan Taylor-Leduc, Jardins-Spectacles: Spaces and Traces of Embodiment
4  Camilla Murgia, Parading the Temporary: Cosmoramas, Panoramas, and Spectacles in Early Nineteenth-Century Paris
5  Juliet Simpson, Portable Museums: Imaging and Staging the ‘Northern Gothic Art Tour’ – Ephemera and Alterity

III. At the Intersection of Literature and the Built Environment
6  Dominique Bauer, The Elusiveness of History and the Ephemerality of Display in Nineteenth-Century France and Belgium: At the Intersection of the Built Environment and the Spatial Image in Literature
7  Li-hsin Hsu, The ‘Phantasmatic’ Chinatown in Helen Hunt Jackson’s ‘The Chinese Empire’ and Mark Twain’s Roughing It

IV. The Museum and Alternative Exhibition Spaces
8  Stefanie Jovanovic-Kruspel, ‘Show Meets Science’: How Hagenbeck’s ‘Human Zoos’ Inspired Ethnographic Science and Its Museum Presentation
9  Emanuele Pellegrini, The Last Wunderkammer: Curiosities in Private Collections between the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries
10  Nirmalie Alexandra Mulloli, The Impact of Alternative Exhibition Spaces on European Modern Art before World War I


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