Paris Exposition of 1889
The Universal Exposition of 1889 (Exposition Universelle de
1889) was a highly successful international exhibition and
one of the few world's fairs to make a profit. Its central
attraction was the Eiffel Tower, a 300-meter high marvel of
iron by Gustave Eiffel. Over eighty other structures on the
Champ de Mars housed exhibits, including the impressive 1,452
foot long Galerie des Machines by Ferdinand Dutert. The fair
attracted exhibits from Europe, South America, the United States,
and the French colonies, yet in the final analysis it was a
celebration of French achievements on the centennial of the
French Revolution. Photographs in the Prints and Photographs
Division document many of the achievements in architecture,
the fine arts, and new technology that the exposition was designed
LOT 6634 (290 albumen photographic prints mounted in
These exposition photos may have been the result of an official
photographic project, as some images appear in the 10-volume
general report from the French Ministry of Commerce (see entry
in bibliography, below). In that
work, the images are credited to the photographer Lévy.
The Division acquired the albums in the early 1950s.
Photos in the albums show various exterior and interior views
of the exhibition grounds and buildings on the Champ de Mars,
Quai d'Orsay, and Esplanade des Invalides in Paris. The Eiffel
Tower, Fountain Coutan, the Central Dome, the Palace of Diverse
Industries, the Palace of Fine Arts, the Palace of Liberal
Arts, the Gallery of Machines, various national, municipal,
and industrial pavilions, the History of Habitation exhibit,
and sculpture from the Gallery Rapp are among the subjects
covered. Also represented are French colonial villages; people
in Dutch dress at the Cacao van Houten exhibit; Vietnamese
actors at the Theatre Annamite; dancers, straw hat makers and
others at the Javanese village; the Tonkin village; and a "Street
in Cairo." Miscellaneous items of interest include Thomas
Edison inventions and dioramas from the History of Work exhibit.
There are several views of Trocadero Palace taken from the
Champ de Mars, but no images of the Palace interior or exhibits
on display there are included in this collection.
of the images can be viewed, with identifying information,
in the Prints and Photographs Online Catalog (catalog.html).
A finding aid in the Reading Room listing each item by its
number is also available. Access to original photographs
is controlled by the division's policy of providing surrogates
in preference to serving originals.
LOT 6001 (about 120 photographic prints)
| Interior of Gallery of Machines, showing machines being set up, Paris Exposition,
Photographs by commercial photographers taken 1887-1889. Some
are marked "ND Phot." [i.e., Napoleon Dufeu]. They
show exterior and interior views of the exhibition buildings,
exhibits of art and industries sponsored by various countries,
a matador portrait and Spanish bullfighting, Far Eastern dancers,
several mannequins wearing French regional costume, details
of the Eiffel Tower, groups of Exposition visitors, and general
views of the grounds. Forms part of the Albert Tissandier Collection.
The group is described in the Prints
and Photographs Online Catalog, and
some of the images can be viewed
online. The entire group can be requested
the Prints and Photographs Reading
online description (includes a link to online images)]
Jourdain, Frantz. Exposition universelle de 1889
Constructions elevées au Champs de Mars par M. Garnier
... pour servir à l'histoire de l'habitation humaine.
Paris: Librairie centrale des Beaux Arts ; New York: J.W.
Bouton, . Call number NA7105 .J8 (P & P Case Y)
An illustrated book with a written commentary on dwelling
types of the world as presented by Charles Garnier on the Champ
de Mars as part of the History of Habitation exhibit. Dwellings
are divided into three parts: prehistoric, historic, and vernacular
architecture of contemporary cultures. Small perspective engravings
by various engravers appear in the text, showing all the dwellings
in imaginary "natural" surroundings. There are also
23 plates of engravings of perspective views in "natural" surroundings
printed by Imp. Lemercier et Cie., engraved by G. Garen, Kadar,
August Lepère - Fine Prints collection [FP - XIX
- L595] (8 wood engravings)
Wood engravings made in 1889 for the periodical Revue
illustré. Three are listed under the title "A
l'exposition universelle," with the subtitles "La
Tour Eiffel," "Les fontaines lumineuses," and "Fête
Vénetienne, sur la Seine, mai 1889." Five more
engravings are listed under the title "L'architecture à l'exposition
universelle," with the subtitles "Le Palais des
Arts Libéraux, extérieur;" "Le Palais
des Arts Libéraux, intérieur," "La
terrasse des Arts Libéraux," "Avenue de
Lamotte-Picquet," and "Le Palais de Machines," showing
of these images can be viewed, with identifying information,
in the Prints and Photographs Online Catalog.
Aerial view of Paris, France, from
balloon, showing the Eiffel Tower at right center.
LOT 7586. LC-USZ62-94571
Searching the Prints and Photographs Online Catalog by the
subject "exposition universelle de 1889" yields
some individual images found in P&P collections. These
include an aerial view of Paris from an air balloon in LOT
7586 (part of the Gaston Tissandier Collection) and a photo
of the American Bell Telephone Co. and Western Electric Co.
exhibit in LOT 11533-29-39 (part of the Gilbert H. Grosvenor
Collection); additional, related images may be available in
these collections. There is also an oil painting by Castaigne
in the Cabinet of American Illustration titled "Site of
the new palaces remains of the Palais de l'industrie
in the background," showing a photographer taking pictures
of the rubble of an 1889 exposition building.
Related Collections In Other Institutions
Special Media Division
Still Picture Staff
8601 Adelphi Road
College Park, MD 20740-6001
tel. (301) 713-6625 ext. 234
Record Group 306, Records of the U.S. Information Agency,
includes photographs from the New York Times Paris bureau of
the Paris Exposition, 1889 [RG 306.2, series designation F]
Bibliothèque Nationale de France (BNF)
Collections speécialisées (Estampes et la photographie)
58, rue de Richelieu
75002 Paris, France.
Tel. (33) (01) 47 03 81 26
The Prints and Photographs collection in the special collections
of the National Library of France has served as the legal repository
for photographs since 1851. Nineteenth century photography
holdings have not yet been entered in the BN-OPALINE online
catalog. The Bibliothèque Nationale has images by Paul
Joseph Albert Chevojon, Napoleon Dufeu, and a number of other
photographers who covered the 1889 exposition.
There is no recent comprehensive analytical bibliography of
works on the Exposition. Books listed below are found in the
Library of Congress general collections unless otherwise noted.
The most extensive coverage of the exposition is found in
Exposition universelle internationale de 1889 à Paris:
Rapport général. Alfred M. Picard,
ed. 10 vols. Paris: Imprimerie nationale, 1891-1892. LC call
This official general report by the French Ministry of
Commerce is illustrated with heliographs by Lemercier, mostly after photographs
by Berthaud, Chevojon, Levy, Mieusement, Neurdein, and others. Some heliographs
are of prints and drawings. Volume 1 is on the preliminary planning of
the exposition; Volume 2 the construction; Volume 3 the financial and
commercial aspects and appraisal; Volume 4 liberal arts, fine arts, and
education; Volume 5 furniture, textiles, and clothing, Volume 6 mining,
petroleum, and crude industries; Volume 7 industrial-mechanical industries,
electricity; Volume 8 agricultural and horticultural industries, Volume
9 anthropological and social history, history of work; and Volume 10
official, financial, and statistical reports on the fair.
United States. Commission to the Paris exposition, 1889. Reports
of the United States Commissioners to the Universal Exposition of
1889 at Paris. House of Representatives, 21st Congress, 1st
Session, Ex. Doc. 410. 5 vols. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing
Office, 1891-1892. LC call number: T803.E1U5
Contains double-page photoreproductions of selected exhibits
and some individual paintings and art work. Commentary given on exhibit
items, and brief information on exhibitors and manufacturers. Volume
II, 841 pages, details the fine arts and education aspects of the U.S.
exhibits, and contains photoreproductions of United States school building
exteriors and interiors (labs) and some U.S. school/university laboratory
building plans. A useful list of exhibitors and their works by country
Also of interest:
Angenot, Marc. Le Centenaire de la Révolution 1889.
Paris: La Documentation Française, 1989. LC Call number: DC139.7
.P37 A54 1989
Provides a brief but excellent analytical bibliography
and list of newspaper/weekly sources to explore. Pages 21-24 cover the
popularity of and controversy surrounding the building of the Eiffel
Tower, and give a brief overview of the success of the fair.
Findling, John E., ed. Historical Dictionary of World's Fairs
and Expositions, 1851-1988. New York: Greenwood Press, 1990.
LC Call number: T395 .H57 1990 [P&P REF]
Includes an overview (pp. 108-116) by Joy H. Hall on the
planning, construction, and highlights of the 1889 fair, with some political
commentary. A bibliography lists primary and secondary materials.
Halasz, Piri. "Paris 1889." Art Journal v.
49 (Fall 1990): 306-309. LC Call number: N81 A887
American artists at the Exposition Universelle and their
works are presented, part of a traveling exhibit by the Pennsylvania
Academy of Fine Arts.
Harriss, Joseph. The Tallest Tower: Eiffel and the Belle Epoque.
Boston: Houghton-Mifflin Company, 1975. LC Call number: NA2930 .H37
Eiffel's other engineering works and his construction
techniques are studied as they relate to the construction of his masterpiece,
the Eiffel Tower. A chronological history of the tower's inception, construction,
and dedication is given, as well as its context as a product of the Belle
Epoque. Illustrations of engineering details and architectural studies
seen in drawings and photos from a variety of sources. 257 pp. Bibliography,
pp. 246-250. Reprinted in 1989 by Regnery Gateway, Washington, D.C.
Levin, Miriam R. When the Eiffel Tower was new: French visions
of progress at the Centennial of the Revolution. South Hadley,
Mass: Mount Holyoke College Art Museum; distributed by University
of Massachusetts Press, 1989. LC call number: DC715.L473 1989
An exhibition at Mount Holyoke College Art Museum, 1989.
The Paris fairs of 1889 and 1900 are discussed and compared, with a section
on posters. Photographs from the Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs
Division are included. Color and black-and-white plates. Includes bibliographical
Nelms, Brenda. The Third Republic and the Centennial of 1789.
New York: Garland Publishing Company, 1987. LC call number: DC340 .N45
A scholarly treatment of the controversies surrounding
the centennial of 1789 and the work of the various commissions in successfully
preparing the fair that marked that centenary. An extensive list of sources,
including archives, primary published sources, letters and memoirs, contemporary
publications, and secondary published sources is found in the bibliography,
Walton, William. Chefs-d'Oeuvre l'Exposition universelle de
Paris, 1889. Paris: G. Barrie, [c1889]. Call number N4803
An introduction describes paintings exhibited by France,
Great Britain, the United States, and other (mostly European) countries
at the 1889 fair, followed by 125 plates, some in color.
Many contemporary periodicals of the time covered the exposition in
great detail. Daily newspapers include La Bataille, Le
Cri du Peuple, La Construction Moderne, La
Croix, L'Égalité, La Lanterne, Le
Matin, Le Parti Ouvrier, Le Parisien, Le
Petit Journal, Le Petit Parisien, Le Rappel, Le
Soleil, Le Temps, and L'Univers. Weekly
newspapers include La Bombe, L'Illustration, Le
Journal Amusant, Le Journal Illustré, Le
Pêre Peinard, and Le Pilori.
Prepared by: Marilyn Ibach,
Reference Specialist, Prints and Photographs Division. Last revised: Sept.