World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Colonial exhibition

Counter exposition to the 1931 Colonial Exhibition in Paris.

A colonial exhibition was a type of international exhibition intended to boost trade and bolster popular support for the various colonial empires during the New Imperialism period, which started in the 1880s with the scramble for Africa.

The British Empire Exhibition of 1924–5 ranked among these expositions, but perhaps the most notable was the rather successful 1931 Paris Colonial Exposition, which lasted six months and sold 33 million tickets.[1] Paris's Colonial Exhibition debuted on 6 May 1931, and encompassed 110 hectares of the Bois de Vincennes. The exhibition included dozens of temporary museums and façades representing the various colonies of the European nations, as well as several permanent buildings. Among these were the Palais de la Porte Dorée, designed by architect Albert Laprode, which then housed the Musée permanent des Colonies, and serves today as the Cité nationale de l'histoire de l'immigration.[1]

An anti-colonial counter-exhibition was held near the 1931 Colonial Exhibition, titled Truth on the Colonies and was organized by the French Communist Party. The first section was dedicated to the crimes made during the colonial conquests, and quoted Albert Londres and André Gide's criticisms of forced labour while the second one made an apology of the Soviets' "nationalities' policy" compared to "imperialist colonialism".

Germany and Portugal also staged colonial exhibitions, as well as Belgium, which had a Foire coloniale as late as 1948. Human zoos were featured in some of these exhibitions, such as in the Parisian 1931 exhibition.[2]


  • Colonial exhibitions 1
  • Japanese colonial exhibitions 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • Bibliography 5
  • External links 6

Colonial exhibitions

Exhibitions which may be described as colonial exhibitions include:

Name of exhibition Date Location Country Image Notes
Intercolonial Exhibition of Australasia (1866) 1866 Melbourne
Intercolonial Exhibition (1870)[3] 1870 Sydney Included printwork by Helena Scott
Victorian Intercolonial Exhibition[3] 1875 Melbourne
Intercolonial Exhibition (1876) 1876 Brisbane
Internationale Koloniale en Uitvoerhandel Tentoonstelling 1883 Amsterdam
The Internationale Koloniale en Uitvoerhandel Tentoonstelling
Colonial and Indian Exhibition 1886 London
Opening of the Colonial and Indian Exhibition 1886
Exposition internationale et coloniale (1894) 1894 Lyon
Map of the 1894 Lyon fair
Exposição Insular e Colonial Portuguesa 1894 Oporto
Great Industrial Exposition of Berlin 1896 Berlin
Overview of 1896 exhibition
Brussels International 1897 Brussels
Postcard from Brussels International
Hanoi exhibition 1902 Hanoi
Postcard of the Palais d'expositions at Hanoi Exhibition
United States, Colonial and International Exposition 1902
Exposition coloniale 1906 Marseille
Postcard of the Annam Tower built for the exhibition.
Franco-British Exhibition 1908 London
Bird's eye view of the Franco-British exhibition
The exhibition celebrated the Entente Cordiale signed in 1904 by the United Kingdom and France.
Exposition Universelle de Bruxelles 1910 Brussels
Poster for the exposition Universelle de Bruxelles
Colonial Exhibition of Semarang 1914 Semarang, Java
Overview of the colonial exhibition of Semarang.
Intended to "give a comprehensive picture of the Dutch Indies in their present prosperous condition".[4]
International Exhibition of Rubber and Other Tropical Products 1921 London
The Royal Agricultural Hall site of the rubber exhibition
Festival of Empire 1911 London
Replica of Canada Parliament Building at Festival of Empire
Exposition nationale coloniale 1922 Marseille
British Empire Exhibition 1924–5 London
The Palace of Industry building from British Empire Exhibition
Exposition internationale coloniale, maritime et d'art flamand 1930 Antwerp[5]
Paris Colonial Exposition 1931 Paris
"Le Cactus" at the 1931 French exhibition
A six-month exhibition that attempted to display the diverse cultures and immense resources of France's colonial possessions.
Exposição Colonial Portuguesa 1934 Porto
Empire Exhibition, Johannesburg 1936 Johannesburg Union of South Africa A continuation of the Empire Exhibition held in Wembley in 1924-25[6]
Empire Exhibition, Scotland 1938 1938 Glasgow
A season ticket pass section showing logo
Deutsche Kolonial Ausstellung 1939
Foire coloniale 1948 Brussels

Japanese colonial exhibitions

Entrance to the Korea Exhibition, Seoul, 1929

During the early 20th century, the Empire of Japan was noteworthy in that it not only hosted colonial showcases in exhibitions within the Home Islands, but also held several full-scale expositions inside its colonies of Korea and Taiwan. These exhibitions did however have objectives comparable to that of their European counterparts, in that they highlighted economic achievements and social progress under Japanese colonial rule to Japanese and colonial subjects alike.

Expositions held in Japanese colonies included:

  • Korea Trade Fair to Commemorate 5 Years of Government (Seoul, 1915)
  • Korea Exhibition (Seoul, 1929)
  • Taiwan Exhibition to Commemorate 40 Years of Government (Taipei, 1935)

See also


  1. ^ a b Blevis, Laure; Lafout-Couturieur, Hélène; et al. (2008). 1931: Les Étrangers au temps de l'Exposition Coloniale. Paris: Gallimard. 
  2. ^ "From human zoos to colonial apotheoses: the era of exhibiting the Other". Centro de Estudos Sociais. Retrieved 2014-02-03. 
  3. ^ a b Pelle, Findling, ed. (2008). "Appendix D:Fairs Not Included". Encyclopedia of World's Fairs and Expositions. McFarland & Company, Inc. p. 423.  
  4. ^ "Calendar". The Independent. 13 Jul 1914. Retrieved 5 August 2012. 
  5. ^ Pelle, Findling, ed. (2008). "Appendix B:Fair Statistics". Encyclopedia of World's Fairs and Expositions. McFarland & Company, Inc. p. 415.  
  6. ^ "Lexicon - Empire Exhibition". Retrieved December 5, 2013. 


  • Alexander C.T. Geppert, Fleeting Cities. Imperial Expositions in Fin-de-Siècle Europe, Basingstoke/New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.

External links

  • Exposition Coloniale of Paris 1931 photographs
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.