Exhibiting the empire considers how a whole range of cultural products from paintings, prints, photographs, panoramas and 'popular' texts to ephemera, newspapers and the press, theatre and music, exhibitions, institutions and architecture were used to record, celebrate and question the development of the British Empire. The empire was exhibited for a variety of reasons: to promote trade and commerce; to encourage emigration and settlement; to assert, project and cement imperial authority; to digest and display the data and specimens derived from various voyages of exploration and missionary endeavours undertaken in the name of empire; to celebrate and commemorate important landmarks, people or events in the imperial pantheon. By considering a broad sweep of different media and 'imperial moments', this collection highlights the contingent and changing nature of imperial display, as well as its continuing impact in Britain throughout (and beyond) the country's imperial meridian. Exhibiting the empire represents a significant and original contribution to our understanding of the relationship between culture and the British Empire. Written by leading scholars from a range of disciplinary backgrounds, individual chapters bring fresh perspectives to the interpretation of media, material culture and display, and their interaction with the history of the British Empire. Exhibiting the empire will be essential reading for scholars and students interested in British history, the history of empire, art history, and the history of museums and collecting.
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