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term frequently applied to an organized public fair or display of industrial and artistic productions, designed usually to promote trade and to reflect cultural progress. Expositions have also been important for their emphasis on scientific and technological innovations. Expositions grew out of the traditional medieval cloth fairs (see fairfair,
market exhibition at which producers, traders, and consumers meet either to barter or to buy and sell goods and services. Before the development of transportation and marketing, fairs furnished the primary opportunity for the exchange of merchandise, and served as centers
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). Organized exhibitions of fine and industrial arts date back to 18th-century France and England. The international exposition as we know it today began with the exhibition at the Crystal PalaceCrystal Palace,
building designed by Sir Joseph Paxton and erected in Hyde Park, London, for the Great Exhibition in 1851. In 1854 it was removed to Sydenham, where, until its damage by fire in 1936, it housed a museum of sculpture, pictures, and architecture and was used for
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 in London in 1851; its huge success inspired a series of international expositions throughout the world. Among the most famous expositions and world's fairs are the following: the Paris international expositions of 1867, 1889 (the Eiffel TowerEiffel Tower,
structure designed by A. G. Eiffel and erected in the Champ-de-Mars for the Paris exposition of 1889. The tower is 984 ft (300 m) high and consists of an iron framework supported on four masonry piers, from which rise four columns uniting to form one shaft.
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 was built for this occasion), and 1900; the Centennial Exposition at Philadelphia (1876); the World's Columbian Exposition at Chicago (1893); the Louisiana Purchase Exposition at St. Louis (1904); the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley (1924–25); the Century of Progress Exposition at Chicago (1933–34); the Golden Gate International Exposition at San Francisco (1939–40); the two New York world's fairs (1939–40, 1964–65); the Brussels World's Fair (1958); the Century 21 Exposition at Seattle (1962); Expo 67 in Montreal (1967 world's fair); and Expo 70 in Osaka, Japan (1970 world's fair). More recent expositions and world's fairs include those held at Vancouver (1986), Seville (1992), Lisbon (1998), Hanover, Germany (2000), and Shanghai (2010). The Bureau of International Expositions in Paris regulates and sanctions world's fairs and international expositions.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



an oral or written retelling of a text, used in general-education schools (primarily elementary schools and the fourth to eighth grades) as one of the main forms of classroom work to develop speech, spelling, and style.

The term “exposition” covers a number of oral and written exercises, from almost literal retelling of a short text to a brief rendering of the contents of an entire work. Making an abridged account of long texts helps pupils form the habit of making outlines and taking lecture notes and is usually employed in the upper grades.

Depending on content, exposition is called a narrative, a description (of natural phenomena or labor processes), a life sketch, or an opinion. It can be used for instruction or for testing.

Texts for exposition are selected from works of fiction, journalism, or popular science; in practical classroom work, they are also based on recordings of dramatic works, film strips, films, and plays.


Zakozhurnikova, M. L. Obuchenie izlozheniiu i sochineniiu v nachal’noi shkole, 4th ed. Moscow, 1959.
Tekuchev, A. V. Metodika russkogo iazyka v srednei shkole. Moscow, 1970.



(Russian, ekspositsiia), in literature, the part of the plot (or, in alternative terminology, the “plot scheme”) that logically precedes the development (seePLOT). The exposition sets forth the situation to be developed—the time and place of the action, the cast of characters, and the relationships between the characters—and shapes the reader’s expectations. The exposition may be found at the beginning of the work, or it may be delayed.



in music, the first section, in which the main musical ideas are stated, of the sonata form or fugue. In the sonata form, the exposition contains a first and second theme, which are connected by a bridge (modulating passage), and a closing theme; in some cases the bridge and the closing theme are absent. In the exposition section of the fugue, each of the voices in turn state the theme (or themes).

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. a large public exhibition, esp of industrial products or arts and crafts
2. Lit the part of a play, novel, etc., in which the theme and main characters are introduced
3. Music the first statement of the subjects or themes of a movement in sonata form or a fugue
4. RC Church the exhibiting of the consecrated Eucharistic Host or a relic for public veneration
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Given Vanarragon's virtues as an expositor, his book's shortcomings derive largely from sins of omission.
The Expositor skilfully provided the bridge between the two episodes.
He combined scholarship and original insight with a mordant wit and prodigious gifts as an expositor of complex ideas.
In contrast, the Expositor, a character she argues is likely a late addition, places the action in the past and explains the "true meaning" of the past to the audience, at times "correcting" the more Catholic elements of the play.
The Narrator, the Expositor and the Prompter in European Medieval Theatre