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The Paris World's Fair, 1900
The World's Fair (Exposition Universelle) held in Paris in 1900 announced Art Nouveau as a significant new style in architecture and design. Visited by fifty-one million people, the fair included Art Nouveau architecture, furniture, jewelry, ceramics, posters, glass, textiles, and metalwork. While some pavilions were state sponsored, others were private. The greatest achievements of the new style were shown in the pavilion organized by Siegfried Bing, the art dealer and entrepreneur who in 1895 opened a shop and art gallery in Paris called L'Art Nouveau, which gave the movement its name. In his pavilion, visitors could see interiors by Georges de Feure, Eugène Gaillard, and Édouard Colonna, in which the furniture, fabrics, and decoration were all part of a "total work of art" unified by the same design. A pavilion designed by French architect Henri Sauvage housed the performances of the American dancer Loïe Fuller, whose wild dance with veils, in which she transformed herself into a flower, inspired many Art Nouveau artists. Jewelry by René Lalique was also exhibited at the fair. His famous dragonfly woman brooch, the most talked-about creation in his display, demonstrates the French jeweler's fascination with the world of nature and the theme of metamorphosis.


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