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Exhibiting Mormonism : the Latter-day Saints and the 1893 Chicago World's Fair

Author: Reid Larkin Neilson
Publisher: Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, ©2011.
Series: Religion in America series (Oxford University Press)
Edition/Format:   Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
The 1893 Columbian Exposition, also known as the Chicago World's Fair, presented the Latter-day Saints with their first opportunity to exhibit the best of Mormonism for a national and an international audience after the abolishment of polygamy in 1890. The Columbian Exposition also marked the dramatic reengagement of the LDS Church with the non-Mormon world after decades of seclusion in the Great Basin. Between May  Read more...
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Reid Larkin Neilson
ISBN: 9780195384031 0195384032
OCLC Number: 671237310
Description: xiv, 224 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.
Contents: Introduction --
Before the Chicago World's Fair: exhibiting Mormonism in America, 1830-1892 --
The Utah World's Fair Commission: the Utah Territory at the 1893 Columbian Exposition --
Mormon matriarchs: LDS ladies at the 1893 World's Congress of Representative Women --
Sweet singers of Zion: the Mormon Tabernacle Choir at the 1893 Welsh Eisteddfod --
Mormonism's blacksmith orator: Brigham H. Roberts at the 1893 World's Parliaments of Religions --
After the Chicago World's Fair: exhibiting Mormonism in America, 1893-1934.
Series Title: Religion in America series (Oxford University Press)
Responsibility: Reid L. Neilson.
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Abstract:

The 1893 Columbian Exposition, also known as the Chicago World's Fair, presented the Latter-day Saints with their first opportunity to exhibit the best of Mormonism for a national and an international audience after the abolishment of polygamy in 1890. The Columbian Exposition also marked the dramatic reengagement of the LDS Church with the non-Mormon world after decades of seclusion in the Great Basin. Between May and October 1893, over seven thousand Latter-day Saints from Utah attended the international spectacle popularly described as the "White City." While many traveled as tourists, oblivious to the opportunities to "exhibit" Mormonism, others actively participated to improve their church's public image. Hundreds of congregants helped create, manage, and staff their territory's impressive exhibit hall; most believed their besieged religion would benefit from Utah's increased national profile. Moreover, a good number of Latter-day Saint women represented the female interests and achievements of both Utah and its dominant religion. These women hoped to use the Chicago World's Fair as a platform to improve the social status of their gender and their religion. Additionally, two hundred and fifty of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's best singers competed in a Welsh eiseddfodd, a musical competition held in conjunction with the Chicago World's Fair, and Mormon apologist Brigham H. Roberts sought to gain LDS representation at the affiliated Parliament of Religions. In the first study ever written of Mormon participation at the Chicago World's Fair, Reid L. Neilson explores how Latter-day Saints attempted to "exhibit" themselves to the outside world before, during, and after the Columbian Exposition, arguing that their participation in the Exposition was a crucial moment in the Mormon migration to the American mainstream and its leadership's discovery of public relations efforts. After 1893, Mormon leaders sought to exhibit their faith rather than be exhibited by others. - Publisher.

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Reid Nelson's well-timed study is an earnest look at a critical point in the history of Mormon self-presentation. ... Neilson has provided a useful study for those interested in religious pluralism Read more...

 
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Linked Data


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