1831, 1833, 1835, 1839, 1841, 1843, 1849, 1853, 1865, 1882 Moscow RU – All-Russian industrial (manufactory) exhibitions

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1831 Moscow

Name:All-Russian industrial (manufactory) exhibitions
Dates:1831, 1833, 1835, 1839, 1841, 1843, 1849, 1853, 1865, 1882

The Russians held seventeen exhibitions in the 19th century at multiple centres:

  • 1829 – St Petersburg
  • 1831 – Moscow
  • 1833 – St Petersburg
  • 1835 – Moscow
  • 1839 – Warsaw
  • 1841 – St Petersburg
  • 1841 – Moscow
  • 1843 – Moscow
  • 1845 – Warsaw
  • 1849 – St Petersburg
  • 1853 – Moscow
  • 1857 – Warsaw
  • 1861 – St Petersburg
  • 1865 – Moscow
  • 1870 – St Petersburg – Salt Town
  • 1882 – Moscow – Khodynka
  • 1896 – Nizhny Novgorod – the largest

The Industry Charter of 1848 established that all kinds of products were allowed at the exhibition, at the request of manufacturers and artisans having their own establishments in all parts of the Empire, the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Finland. Agricultural exhibits were also allowed at the Warsaw Exhibition.

A French visitor to the 1831 Moscow event commented on a 120hp high-pressure steam engine, he praised the quality of leathers and skins, admired the gilt work on clocks and candelabra. He felt the furniture on display was ‘handsome’. The same observer dismissed surgical equipment on show as ordinary and that its chemical dyes lacked ‘brilliancy and permanency’. He also felt that the imperial spinning works was too expensive to be competitive. He was scathing about a silver vase which he felt ‘sinned against taste in its form’. He concluded the imperial porcelain was inferior to French porcelain ‘of second order’.

From 1839 onwards industrial exhibitions were aimed to be held every four years alternating between St Petersburg and Moscow. Other cities took their turn, including Warsaw in 1839, 1845 and 1857.

1896 Nizhny Novgorod
world’s first steel tensile structure

After this they became less regular, but the 1896 event at Nizhny Novgorod proved to be the largest Russian industrial exhibition.

After the 1917 Russian Revolution, the shows were still considered to have purpose.

1923 Moscow

All-Russian Agricultural and Industrial Crafts Exhibition of 1923 (Source;.tate.org.uk)

In 1921 the Council of People’s Commissars took the decision to establish the All-Russian Exhibition Committee (abbreviation transliterated as VseRosVystavkom) to conduct the All-Russian Exhibition, manage the exhibition business in the country and coordinate the activities of exhibition departments established in all people’s commissariats of the Republic.

The idea of the exhibition was welcomed by V. Lenin. In his letter of November 14, 1922, he wrote to the Main Exhibition Committee. I consider the exhibition very important and I trust all organizations to cooperate in full. In December 1922, there was a declaration that formed the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and this was adopted by the X Congress of Soviets. This included a resolution on Agricultural Exhibition was adopted, which provided for the State budget funding of it for the first time.

A special Exhibition Bureau was formed under the People’s Commissariat for Nationalities to prepare the national regions to arrange individual republics, regions and districts into local exhibition committees.

The first All-Russia Agricultural and Handicraft & Industrial Exhibition opened on 19 Aug 1923 in Moscow.

The exhibition cost about 13m roubles to organise and run. It was created in an area of about 100 hectares (240 acres) on the Vorobyovy Hills. It would later become the M. Gorky Central Park for Culture and Recreation and Neskuchny Sad (garden).

The area was cleared, and 225 wooden pavilion were built as the supporting facilities. Its pavilions were the first samples of the then Russian avant-garde architecture. The design and construction was completed in just ten months.

Famous sculptors and painters took part in the design and decoration: N A Andreev, I S Efimov, A A Exter, S T Konenkov, K S Melnikov, V I Mukhina, F O Schechtel, I D Shadr, A V Shchuko and brothers V A and G A Stenberg.

Its theme was to present a cross-section of all achievements in the field of agriculture, as well as all that was new and promising in the agrarian sector and to seek export opportunities of domestic products.

One highlight was the Village Sector, featuring improved estates, a community house, a model agrarian centre… A large hexahedron pavilion housed the sector of mechanisation, this was the only concrete building in the exhibition.

Some 5,000 exhibitors participated, including 600 companies from Austria, Belgium, Britain, China, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Poland, Sweden, Turkey and the United States. A total of 150,000 exhibits were demonstrated.

The show attracted 1,618,882 visitors.

A system of awards was established, and 3,000 domestic and foreign exhibits were awarded prizes. These included tractors, agricultural machinery, tools for cottage crafts, research equipment, books on agriculture, and live prizes for animals and thoroughbreds

It was a predecessor of the All-Union Agricultural Exhibitions (VSKhV), the National Economy Achievements Exhibitions (VDNKh) and the current All-Russian Exhibition Centre (VVC). Over the following three-year period (1924–1927) there were no fewer than 6,319 Republican, regional, district exhibitions held, attracting over 6 million visitors. (Source: polithistory.ru)

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