By Sarah J. Moore

The world’s reasonable of 1915 celebrated either the of completion of the Panama Canal and the rebuilding of San Francisco following the devastating 1906 earthquake and fireplace. The exposition spotlighted the canal and the town as gateways to the Pacific, the place the yankee empire may perhaps now extend after its victory within the Spanish-American conflict. Empire on exhibit is the 1st ebook to ascertain the Panama-Pacific foreign Exposition in the course of the lenses of artwork heritage and cultural reviews, targeting the event’s expansionist and masculinist symbolism.

The exposition displayed evidence—visual, spatial, geographic, cartographic, and ideological—of America’s imperial pursuits and accomplishments. Representations of the Panama Canal play a crucial position in Moore’s argument, a lot as they did on the reasonable itself. Embodying a manly empire of world dimensions, the canal used to be depicted in statues and a huge operating copy, in addition to on commemorative stamps, maps, work of art, postcards, medals, and advertisements. Just as San Francisco’s rebuilding symbolized America’s will to beat the forces of nature, the Panama Canal represented the triumph of U.S. expertise and sheer selection to gain the centuries-old dream of establishing a passage among the seas.

Extensively illustrated, Moore’s booklet vividly remembers many different gains of the reasonable, together with a seventy-five-foot-tall Uncle Sam. American railroads, of their heyday in 1915, contributed a five-acre scale version of Yellowstone, whole with miniature geysers that erupted at ordinary periods. A mini–Grand Canyon featured a village the place a few twenty Pueblo Indians lived during the fair.

Moore translates those visible and cultural artifacts as layered narratives of development, civilization, social Darwinism, and manliness. a lot because the globe had ostensibly reduced in size with the finishing touch of the Panama Canal, the Panama-Pacific overseas Exposition compressed the realm and represented it in miniature to have a good time a reinvigorated, imperial, masculine, and technologically complicated country. As San Francisco bids to host one other world’s reasonable, in 2020, Moore’s wealthy analytic method offers readers a lot to give some thought to approximately symbolism, American id, and modern parallels to the past.

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Empire on Display: San Francisco's Panama-Pacific International Exposition of 1915 by Sarah J. Moore


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