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Wed, 30 Jul 2014 07:44:53 EDT by admin, 72403 views
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Science/Economics paper by House Wade, Susan (all papers)
Imre Kiralfy and the 1910 Japan-British Exhibition at the White City, London
Hungarian-born Imre Kiralfy (1845-1919) had created such success with the popular Earl's Court exhibitions in London, staged between 1885 and 1903, that he was given the task of leading the Franco-British Exhibition in 1908, for which he devised and created the White City site. This was to be the first of a string of Kiralfy-led White City productions which went on for some six years.
Kiralfy was a recognised showman and promoter in England, the United States and continental Europe. He utilised a formulaic approach to the successful creation of the spectacle, and by the time of the Japan-British Exhibition in 1910, he had a number of fairs and exhibitions to his credit.
He was fully cognisant of the potential of Japan's popularity with Western audiences. The craze for all things Japanese was at a high point, and crowds arrived in 1910 at the White City site from all over the United Kingdom, as well as from continental Europe.
In this paper, I will examine Kiralfy's extraordinary showmanship skills as they relate to the Japan-British Exhibition of 1910. During the period from May to October of that year, Kiralfy was able to attract over eight million visitors, exceeding even the numbers which turned out for the 1851 Great Exhibition in London, which was widely acknowledged to have set the standard by which all other expositions were judged.
Brief Professional Bio:
Dr Susan House Wade is an independent scholar based in London, England. She has studied in both the United States and in England, having received a Master's degree from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, and a PhD in Design History from the University of Brighton. Her doctoral thesis topic related to the representation of Korea and Japan in print and in visual imagery in England during the period 1910-1939. Susan's current research interests include the phenomenon of the great exhibition/exposition, as well as the impact of orientalism, in the broad sense, on popular culture in the early 20th century.