Exposition universelle de 1889 / État d'avancement

Louis-Emile Durandelle11/23/1888

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The Centennial Exposition of 1889 was organized by the French government to commemorate the French Revolution. Bridge engineer Gustave Eiffel's 984-foot (300-meter) tower of open-lattice wrought iron was selected in a competition to erect a memorial at the exposition. Twice as high as the dome of St. Peter's in Rome or the Great Pyramid of Giza, nothing like it had ever been built before. This view was made about four months short of the tower's completion. Louis-Émile Durandelle photographed the tower from a low vantage point to emphasize its monumentality. The massive building barely visible in the far distance is dwarfed under the tower's arches.

Incidentally, the tower's innovative glass-cage elevators, engineered to ascend on a curve, were designed by the Otis Elevator Company of New York, the same company that designed the Getty Center's diagonally ascending tram.

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  • Title: Exposition universelle de 1889 / État d'avancement
  • Creator: Louis-Émile Durandelle
  • Date: 11/23/1888
  • Location Created: Paris, France
  • Physical Dimensions: 43.2 x 34.6 cm (17 x 13 5/8 in.)
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Albumen silver print
  • Source Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
  • Object Type: Print
  • Object Status: Permanent Collection
  • Number: 87.XM.121.16
  • Markings: (Recto, mount) upper center, imprinted in black ink: "Exposition Universelle de 1889/Etat d'Avancement/Au 188 /G. Eiffel, Ingenieur et Constructeur".
  • Inscription: (Recto, print) upper center, in pencil: "Panneau 18" lower right, inscribed on the negative: "23 NOVEMBRE 88, No 49" (Recto, mount) upper left, in red and black pencil: "1544"
  • Display Location: Not currently on view
  • Department: Photographs
  • Culture: French
  • Classification: Photographs