The Dream City, Paul V. Galvin 
Digital History Collection
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  A DISPLAY OF FRENCH FURNITURE - When the portals of the French section in the Manufactures Building were opened to the public, which was not until June, exclamations of delight and gratitude began, and continued through the season. It was to be seen that in the elegant things of life the French had no rival except Italy, the mother of modern art; and Italy was so slow to accept space at Chicago that her wares were divided, crowded, and practically ruined for exhibitory purposes. The engraving depicts one of the many displays of rich and beautiful household furniture which came to Chicago from Paris. The French had the southeastern corner, at the central clock-tower, and their exhibit was to be seen from Columbia Avenue, the main aisle, without entering the section. Nothing has yet exceeded the grace and beauty of the paintings on satin, the tapestry-work, and the treatment of rosewood and gilded metals, which are the principal attractions of Parisian furniture; but it may be justly averred that chairs on which valuable paintings are exposed, which must be kept covered forever, and must be soiled with the first occasion of their use, have risen out of the true sphere of utility, and are truly beautiful only in museums and exhibitions. Nevertheless, the impressions received on a visit to the French section were those of respect for France and admiration for her laborious and artistic people. The French displays were a sore reflection on the cultures of America, whose section of show-cases spread northward near by.
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Page created: August 26, 1998