American Wonderland Gallery

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HELENA CELDRN an exhibition shows technical innovations and the art of American society, who believed in the ingenuity and inventions to improve the country. There are paintings of animals and plants, photos, patents, drawings of engineering sample addresses critical issues, such as the civil war and the extermination of the Buffalo, but ignores slavery or the situation of native Americans. The founding fathers of the United States had in the head in the colonies develop religious and political freedom that had not enjoyed in Europe. They called him the great experiment, the term was a spur to creativity and the technical progress of a community that was beginning. The heiress and developer of this initial enthusiastic thought was American Society of the 19th century.

Exhibit The Great American Hall of Wonders (great American Wonderland Gallery) in the Smithsonian’s New York Museum focuses on this idealist moment in which all inventors, felt explorers and documenters of a new nation, now freed of the British Empire. The world was new, the possibilities were so infinite as the territories. They called people full of inventiveness and set out to improve their quality of life with innovations mechanical, in addition to artistically document the wonders of nature that offered them the part of America that lived. The Sequoia, Buffalo and sample Niagara Falls discusses belief in the U.S. territory as a place of abundant natural resources (with symbols such as the Sequoia, Buffalo or Niagara Falls) and on the other hand technological advances. Among the nearly 200 objects gathered there are paintings of animal species and vegetation, idyllic landscapes, photographs pioneers, models of inventions, engineering drawings a corpus showing enthusiasm and the belief that all were carriers of a wit that could contribute to improving the country.

But this gallery of American wonders also discusses, in the midst of the naive enthusiasm of the Americans of the 19th century, aspects that are still critical. The organizers include the American Civil war and the extermination of the species, in particular of the Buffalo. Perhaps by a convenient and excessive focus on pure scientific and technical innovation, the exhibition ignores the question of slavery or the situation of the native American population. The 19th century also is the time of manifest destiny, a term coined by John L. Or Sullivan (the director of a New York newspaper) in 1845. The doctrine stated that Americans of European origin had to expand from the Atlantic coast to the Pacific by divine mandate, by a special Decree of heaven. That meant the occupation of the lands of the Indians, who saw much of the colonists as simple savages or as unable to fit into this new order beings. Forced to relocate or to adapt to the society of the newcomers, 19th century meant for Indian another step towards decline final while American young enthusiasts discovered a new world seized by the desire to build. Source of the news: the innocent wonders of 19th century American

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