In Arcadia: A tour through the shopping arcades of nineteenth-century Europe

Shades of Baudelaire and Walter Benjamin!

Melbourne History Workshop

At the end of the eighteenth century in Paris, a new architectural form was developed. Glass-roofed pedestrian passageways lined with shops, known variously as arcades, passages, galeries and gallerie, quickly became associated with European modernity, with their use of innovative engineering and materials, as well as the display of luxurious, exotic and modern wares. While often associated with Paris and London, where they had their beginnings, these architectural forms spread throughout Europe and the world during the course of the nineteenth century—including to Australia—where they were adopted as symbols of urban sophistication in the settler colonial cities and towns.

As the recipient of a Norman Macgeorge travelling scholarship in 2016, Nicole undertook site visits to these spaces throughout Europe, in order to develop a greater understanding of their role within the urban environment and contribute towards her PhD project on the Australian arcades. This illustrated talk takes a…

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