[Philadelphia's 1876 "Centennial Exposition"]
5 photolithographs - 71 x 51 cm The 5 main monuments of the 1876 "Centennial Exposition" in Philadelphia for the centennial of America's independence depicted in photolithography by German-born American lithographer Julius Bien. The son of Emanuel M., ḥazan, lecturer and lithographer, Julius was born in Naumburg, near Cassel, Hesse-Nassau, on September 27, 1826. After studying at the Cassel Academy of Fine Arts and the Städel Institute in Frankfurt am Main, he studied under Professor M. Oppenheim in the same city.
He fled to New York in the late 1840s and established a lithographic studio there in 1850. He was very successful in scientific production, publishing numerous geographical and scientific works, such as atlases, geological and hydrographic maps. He won several medals and diplomas at various exhibitions including Philadelphia in 1876, Paris in 1878 and 1900, and Chicago in 1893. He was president of the National Lithographers' Association from 1886 to 1896 and a member of many scientific societies.
As president of the B'nai B'rith order (1854-57 and 1868-1900), he contributed to giving it an international character. Officially named "International Exhibition of Arts, Manufactures, and Products of the Soil and Mine", the exhibition took place on more than 115 hectares in Philadelphia's Fairmount Park, from May 10 to November 10, 1876. Thirty-seven nations participated in the event and nearly ten million visitors came by rail, steamboat, horse-drawn carriage or even on foot
The site consisted of five main buildings: the main building, which was nearly 580 meters long, the art gallery, the machinery hall, the agricultural hall, and the horticultural hall. Approximately 250 other smaller structures built by states, countries and companies were scattered around the site. Admission to the fair cost fifty cents for the general public. Once inside, visitors had to make their way through the vast spaces and impressive number of exhibits (more than 30,000 companies were present). They could use the published catalogs that listed the different categories of products (for example, silk and silk fabrics) as well as the building in which they were displayed, and the location of an exhibitor in said building with varying degrees of accuracy. The Centennial Exhibition reflected the rise of consumer and leisure culture in the late 19th century. Never before had consumers been able to see in one place so many practical and luxurious products from so many countries. Very good condition despite some restorations.
Bibliography: Cyrus Adler, The Jewish Encyclopedia A Descriptive Record of the History ..., Volume 3, p. 209 Who's Who in America, 1901-02
Julius Bien (1826-1909) was an American lithographer, German Jew, president of B'nai B'rith and of the National Association of Lithographers in the United States.
Julius Bien studied at the Städel Institute in Frankfurt where he was a student of the Prussian painter Moritz Daniel Oppenheim. After his participation in the revolution of 1848 he decided to take refuge in New York where he founded his lithography studio, which became one of the most important companies in its field at the end of the 19th century.
The beginning of the studio created by Julius Bien is marked by the printing of any type of project - city views and maps, mechanical and architectural drawings and advertisements - but on the whole, his work "is distinguished by its technical superiority and flexibility in handling printed materials". This quality also enabled him to work for the Federal Government and strengthen his reputation as an excellent map printer.
He became a prominent citizen of New York City and president of the National Lithographers Association.