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The festive city: orta recens quam pura nites (recently arisen, how purely you shine)


Orr, K, The festive city: orta recens quam pura nites (recently arisen, how purely you shine), Celebration: proceedings of the 22nd annual conference of the Society of Architectural Historians Australia and New Zealand (SAHANZ), 24-27 September 2005, Napier, New Zealand, pp. 285-290. ISBN 0473103494 (2005) [Refereed Conference Paper]

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Coyright the author


The Australian international exhibitions in 1879, 1880 and 1888 were the most important public events of the nineteenth century and transformed Sydney and Melbourne into festive cities. Every detail of their ritual provided a fresh urban focus-from the pre-exhibition transformation of the host cities, to the exhibits on display, and the exhibition layout with its city-like structure reflecting a nineteenth century conception of world order. Colonists were tilled with pride at playing host to the great nations of the world and in seeing their young cities shine. The impact of the international exhibitions was profound, is largely unrecognised, and lasted through to federation. By placing a new emphasis on the city and Australian urban culture they stimulated urban growth and influenced its form. More importantly, they linked urban development to higher ideals of nation building in which people began to think beyond their city towards national objectives. Australian federation, claims John Hirst in The Sentimental Nation, was not merely a practical business arrangement but a people's movement and an outcome of national sentiment. I argue that the international exhibitions were forums for engaging with the same issues of identity, destiny and nationhood. They sowed the seeds of national sentiment and nurtured their growth through the popular participation of a// levels of society. They were a force for federation.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Conference Paper
Keywords:Australian international exhibitions, Sydney, Melbourne, John Hirst, federation
Research Division:Built Environment and Design
Research Group:Architecture
Research Field:Architectural history, theory and criticism
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Understanding past societies
Objective Field:Understanding Australia's past
UTAS Author:Orr, K (Professor Kirsten Orr)
ID Code:107634
Year Published:2005
Deposited By:Architecture
Deposited On:2016-03-21
Last Modified:2016-04-13

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