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The other half: women at the Australian international exhibitions (1879, 1880 & 1888)


Orr, K, The other half: women at the Australian international exhibitions (1879, 1880 & 1888), Proceedings of Seize the Day: Exhibitions, Australia and the World, October 2006, Melbourne, pp. 1-15. (2006) [Non Refereed Conference Paper]

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Nineteenth-century exhibitions gave colonial women opportunities to participate in society at a time when they were largely excluded from public life. At the Australian international exhibitions of 1879, 1880 and 1888, colonial women were enthusiastic exhibitors – the participation rate in 1879 being almost three times greater than at the preceding Paris Exposition Universelle.

The Australian ladies’ courts, despite their limitations, gave women and their work new status. They were genteel affairs, celebrating women’s particular contributions in the private, domestic sphere and supporting the idea that the home was the basis of social morality; that it was woman who made the home, and the home the nation.

These exhibitions, together with greater educational opportunities, made it possible for women to begin to promote their interests in, and claims to, autonomy, equality, inclusion and citizenship and laid the groundwork for their role in the Federation movement.

Item Details

Item Type:Non Refereed Conference Paper
Keywords:women exhibitors, first international exhibition
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:107720
Year Published:2006
Deposited By:Architecture
Deposited On:2016-03-22
Last Modified:2016-03-22

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