Taking care to improve the quality of Silesian handicraft in 19th century and the first decades of 20th century (in the context of the exibitions of craft and industry organized in Wrocław)

Marta Zwierz
Original title: Troska o poprawę jakości śląskich produktów oraz wyrobów rękodzieła w XIX i pierwszej połowie XX w. (w kontekście organizowanych we Wrocławiu wystaw rzemiosła i przemysłu)
Śląski Kwartalnik Historyczny Sobótka 2010

The people of Wrocław and Silesia participated in many world and national exhibitions of different kinds to present their products. They brought home awards and latest news. And at the same time, as the people of other neighboring cities, like Prague, Brno, Leipzig, Dresden or Poznań, they organized the exhibitions to promote local, Silesian products. Lasting many months exhibitions of crafts and industry, where almost all domains of production were presented, differed from branch exhibitions that lasted only several days. Individual parts of these exhibitions were commented widely and described in the local press. The advantages of products were praised and defects – criticized. The exhibitions guaranteed information and entertainment, which, but were also a form of advertising for producers and helped to develop many branches of economy. Assembled in a small space commodities of various kinds enabled the audience to alleviate their curiosity of the world, earlier, in a big measure, hidden and inaccessible for them. The interest was fostered by the mentioned press reports, lotteries or concerts and visits of celebrities, as well as prizes awarded to producers. Exhibitions were also an opportunity to present new architectonic concepts and interior designs. There are some examples: in 1881 „deutsches Wohnhaus” by C. Schmidt, in 1904 a model family house by H. Poelzig, in 1913 house with garden presented during the new exhibition in the Szczytniki district of Wrocław. In 1929 an exhibition of great multiregional meaning „Wohnung und Werkraum” (WUWA) made by Werkbund was presented in the same place. An Exhibition of the Recovered Territories (WZO) organized with great effort in 1948, that had a political and propaganda character, was also an opportunity to present Polish products and modern solutions as for exhibition methods of a state raising from the ruins of war.

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