Official poster for the Swiss National Exhibition 1896 in Geneva. Artist:
Stone Lithography, SignedPrinter:
32 x 43 in. (77 x 110 cm)
Purchased in 1987
This is an Original, Vintage Poster; It is not a reproduction. Comparable:
Galerie 123.com sold unframed for $1,200 in 2015
About the Poster/Event:
Roughly every 25 years, Switzerland organizes a national exhibition, with the aim of offering a snapshot of prevailing culture, politics and the Swiss economy.
“Everything that defines the national character and the specifically Swiss shall be brought together in a vivid, colorful piece of art,” claimed the official guide to the 1896 exhibition that is being promoted by this poster. And, the director of the 1939 exhibition proclaimed that “One of the principal tasks of this national manifestation is to convince the Swiss people of its moral value and its abilities.” We are unaware of any other country that follows this tradition.
The first Swiss national exhibition was held in 1883 in Zurich. Its central theme was the importance of school and education for economic growth. The next three, 1896 in Geneva, 1914 in Bern and 1939 in Zurich, were dominated by the Swiss army, reflecting a desire by the country to demonstrate its independence. The “Landi” of 1939, in particular, was largely the product of the prevailing ‘national spiritual defence’ policy. In the past, these exhibitions had tended to present an idealised image of life in rural Switzerland in direct contrast to the hustle and bustle of industrial towns. For example, at the 1939 expo, a life-size Swiss village, the “Landi-Dörfli”, was built on the shores of Lake Zurich.
The 1964 National Exhibition in Lausanne presented a futuristic vision of the country through the ‘Gulliver Project’, which involved a computer delivering the latest results of a visitor survey on major current affairs issues in real time. Held at the height of the Cold War, the 1964 Expo showcased Swiss values. For example, the army’s pavilion was in the shape of a giant hedgehog.
The sixth National Exhibition was held in 2002. Expo.02 was spread over four sites, or “arteplages” on Lakes Neuchâtel, Biel and Murten (in the towns of Biel, Neuchâtel, Yverdon-les-Bains and Murten). Expo.02 sought to promote the image of Switzerland as an open and forward-looking nation with a concern for its environmental integrity. Its main theme was water and Switzerland’s commitment to securing peace abroad.
There are plans to hold the next National Exhibition in 2027 in eastern Switzerland –at least, that is the hope of the cantons of St. Gallen, Thurgau and Appenzell-Ausserrhoden, which have already submitted their joint proposal.
Lots of photos and background on the 1896 Swiss National Exhibition can be found here http://expoarchiv.ch/1896_geneve/Appraised Value: $1,500