The Savage Art of the Human Zoo

Via Fred Myers, NYU

In The Australian (newspaper), an interesting commentary on the show “Exhibitions: The Invention of the Savage, the Origins of Racism” at Musee du Quai Branly:

Colonialism, racial theory and a belief in Western superiority acquired legitimacy through these exhibitions. But the three curators of the Quai du Branly show go one step further in looking at how these displays were integrated with the parading of the mentally and physically deformed. In an age of scientific discovery, displays designed to entertain also became empirical. As such the state endorsed exhibitions as well as the travelling shows and fun fairs became a global classroom where origin and race were measured and helped define a sense of “other” not as equal but as inferior.

Full story here.

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