Petit Palais - Musée des Beaux Arts de la Ville de Paris, is presenting a splendid exhibition entitled "Paris 1900: The City of Entertainment". Centered around the premier international event of the new century, the Exposition Universelle, the exhibition showcases Paris in its prime and the period for which it is forever remembered.
The 1900 World's Fair ushered in the 20th century by featuring the very latest in technology, entertainment and design. Such novelties as a Ferris wheel, escalators, diesel engines, talking films and the Art Nouveau style were unveiled to a fascinated public. Although many of the pavilions were temporary, edifices such as the Grand Palais, the Petit Palais, the Pont Alexandre III, the first Métropolitain Subway Line and three train stations continue to function in the Paris of today. Over 50 million visitors passed through the Exposition Universelle making it a crowning moment in the city's history.
It would be difficult to choose one outstanding section of "Paris 1900" as the overall presentation is so well done. However I would commend the curators on their subtle but brilliant homage to the new-fangled medium of motion pictures that was invented by the Lumière brothers, Auguste and Louis, in 1895 and presented to the world at the Exposition Universelle. Visitors to this exhibition at the Petit Palais move from gallery to gallery via corridors where original film footage is screened. It's a clever effect that permits today's museum patrons to virtually walk alongside the promenading fair goers of 1900!