Propelling Italy into a New Century: Fiat, International Expositions and the Stile Liberty | Lecture by Peter Clericuzio

New Perspectives on National Pavilions at World Fairs: The Institute for the Study of International Expositions (ISIE) Lecture Series

FIAT 1096

Fiat, 1906. Image courtesy Peter Clericuzio.


3 to 4 p.m., May 5, 2023

3-4 p.m. PT

The Institute for the Study of International Expositions (ISIE) presents its 2023 Speaker Series: New Perspectives on National Pavilions at World Fairs, which focuses on country/region-specific presentations and representations at past world fairs. This ISIE Speaker Series lecture will be held online via Zoom (with previous registration required).

The goal of the series is to share and support exposition scholarship across disciplines and to provide the opportunity to exchange ideas with everyone interested in international expositions, from scholars, researchers, participants, and developers to those who cherish the memory of having visited one.


Registration is required:

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About the Lecture

In the wake of the widespread emergence of Art Nouveau as the favored style for many international expositions around 1900, Peter Clericuzio’s presentation examines its Italian variant, called the Stile Liberty among other names, which was quickly adopted as a kind of corporate emblem by the nascent Turin-based automobile company Fiat (originally FIAT). Fiat employed the style in all aspects of its design over the next two decades, from its graphics in advertising and communication to its exposition stands to its first factory in Turin as well as the garages that it began building around the country. Fiat's liberal use of the Stile Liberty spurred the adoption of the style by many executives in the automotive and other industries, such as agriculture, shipping, textiles, utilities and railways, who used it for pavilions and graphics at nearly all Italian expositions preceding World War I and even their own private residences. The association of the Stile Liberty on such a massive scale with critical sectors of the developing Italian economy thus ensured its unusual survival as an emblem of Italian modernity to rival Futurism until the advent of the Fascist era in the 1920s.

About the Speaker

Peter Clericuzio

Peter Clericuzio.

Peter Clericuzio has served as the MSc Program Director of Architectural History & Theory at the University of Edinburgh and presented the paper “A Synecdoche of Empire: International Expositions and the Great Mosque of Djenné” at the 2022 ISIE Symposium.


About ISIE

ISIE is a new global interdisciplinary network of researchers interested in the design, promotion, reception and consequence of the world’s fairs and expositions held since 1851. Though rooted in the history of architecture, science, diplomacy, art and technology, our members hail from many disciplines and we welcome the participation of all those interested in exploring the many intersecting aspects of international expositions.

Our recent second major online symposium Best Practices for International Exposition Design held this past March included a wonderful range of academic presentations on the topic, as well as top designers from Expo 2020 in Dubai and representatives from bid teams for Expo 2027 and Expo 2030. Current ISIE initiatives include upcoming publications from the symposiums, evolving the ISIE website into a valuable networking and disseminating tool for those involved in researching and planning international expositions, and the ongoing speaker series.

For more details on ISIE and abstracts from the 2023 symposium, see:

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