THE EXHIBITIONS organized by the Council of Europe, every year, in one of the member countries, have each concentrated upon some particular epoch of European civilization. A number of publishers have joined together in order to produce, in several languages, a volume devoted to each of these outstanding occasions and so to preserve the achievements and impressions of them permanently. The first volume of this series was The Age of Rococo, corresponding to the exhibition in Munich in 1958.
In the same way the present volume takes as its starting-point the exhibition held at the Musée d'Art Moderne in Paris, from November 9th 1960 to January 23rd 1961, and called Les Sources du XXe Siècle. Les Arts en Europe de 1884 à 1914. The task of presenting the subject as a whole -- the political movements, the industrial and social revolutions of the time, and also the scientific ideas and the intellectual trends that characterized it -- was given to me, in my capacity as Commissaire Général of the Exhibition. The chapter on the visual arts and that on architecture and the applied arts during the same period, were undertaken by Emile Langui and Nikolaus Pevsner respectively, both of whom were members of the organizing committee of the exhibition. Since we had all three already co-operated on the actual exhibition, we naturally found it easy to work together in presenting the same material in another form -- a book. The years of the last quarter of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th, with their variety of events, their wonderful mixture of ideas, feelings and themes, where assuredly some of the richest and most fruitful in the whole history of the human spirit. JEAN CASSOU