The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Sep 20, 2013

"Inventing the Modern World"

Posted by kbalcerek

“Inventing the Modern World: Decorative Arts at the World’s Fairs 1851-1939.”

“Inventing the Modern World: Decorative Arts at the World’s Fairs 1851-1939” opens this weekend at the Mint Museum of Art Uptown (a Knight Arts grantee). A groundbreaking international exhibition, “Inventing the Modern World” presents approximately 200 objects shown at every major world’s fair from the Great Exhibition in London (1851) to the New York World’s Fair in 1939. Objects range from glass to furniture, jewelry to ceramics, and textiles to metal work.

World fairs use to be vital in displaying, communicating and advertising material advancements in modern living. They were the main venue for showcasing different countries’ progress in art, industrial design, agriculture, and the decorative arts. “Inventing the Modern World” focuses on the decorative arts presented at the world’s fairs, displaying objects that are in some of the most celebrated museum collections around the world, including New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art, Designmuseum Danmark, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, and Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh.

A preview celebration for the exhibition will kick off Saturday, September 21 from 6:30-10 p.m. Attendees will get a chance to view the new exhibition before it opens to the public, as well as celebrate the exhibition with cocktails, entertainment, international fare, and a 40-foot Ferris wheel. The Ferris wheel debuted at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair; it seats up to 24 people and will be available for rides on Saturday from 4-10 p.m. and 11-5 p.m. on Sunday.

Registration for the preview event is required and tickets range from $200 for non-members, $100 for members, and $50 for Corporate Leadership Circle and Crown Society Patrons. To register, contact Martha Loftin at 704-337-2011 or register online.

Mint Museum Uptown: 500 South Tryon St., Charlotte; 704-337-2000;

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