Framing 'Islamic Art' for Aesthetic Interiors: Revisiting the 1878 Paris Exhibition
Type
abstract
Year
2020
The 1878 Exposition Universelle in Paris is known for the substantial scope and content of its Islamic art displays, the most extensive offered to an international audience by that date. A renewed analysis of this influential event demonstrates that it featured a network of distinct, though often interlinked, installations that come under the label of 'Islamic art', situated across a complex site. These included national initiatives, such as L'Égypte des Khalifes, sponsored by the ruling Khedive of Egypt, and the purpose-built Pavillon de la Perse, constructed by master-builders dispatched from Qajar Tehran. Commercial undertakings included a display of Vincent Robinson's Iranian carpets in the British India section. At the Galerie orientale curated by Albert Goupil in the Palais du Trocadéro, other objects loaned from private collections were presented. Common across these various displays was persuasively staged architecture. This article argues for the centrality of architectural salvage and reconstruction in the early history of private and public displays of Islamic art. By examining the different individuals who created both L'Égypte des Khalifes and the Galerie orientale, article proposes a new assessment of an elite domestic culture, pursued by affluent bachelor aesthetes of the period, with many modern resonances.


Citation
Carey, Moya and Mercedes Volait. "Framing 'Islamic Art' for Aesthetic Interiors: Revisiting the 1878 Paris Exhibition." In International Journal of Islamic Architecture 9, 1 (2020): 31-59.
Collections
Copyright
Intellect
Country
France
Egypt
Language
English
Keywords
museums
Islamic art
exhibitions
historiography