Exposition coloniale internationale, 1931

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On May 6, 1931, the first of 33,000,000 people walked through the gates of the Exposition coloniale internationale in the eastern suburbs of Paris. The exposition, which continued for six months, included a recreation of Mount Vernon from the United States, along with pavilions from Italy, Japan, and many other countries.

The majority of the expo’s 500 acres of land was used to present the French colonies of the period. Buildings were recreated and native men and women traveled to Paris to perform their music and dance; demonstrate their crafts and foods; and present the customs of their daily life. Particularly popular was a display of an entire tribe of nomadic Senegalese peoples.

Graphic Arts holds a souvenir stereoscopic viewer with 46 tiny glass slides from the 1931 exposition. Here are a few of the images. I apologize for the quality. The miniature scale (approximately one inch square) and uneven photography means we will have to digitize each image individually, rather than in groups.

Stereoscopic slides and viewer depicting scenes from Exposition coloniale, 1931. GA 2007.04407. Purchased with funds provided by Robert J. Ruben, Class of 1955.
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For more information, see: 1931, les étrangers au temps de l’exposition colonial (Paris: Gallimard: Cité nationale de l’histoire de l’immigration, 2008). Firestone Library JV7915 .A15 2008.

M. Cloche, 60 aspects de l’exposition colonial (Paris: Studio Deberny Peignot, 1931). Marquand Library (SA) Oversize NA6610.C62q

Exposition coloniale internationale: guide offert par les Grands Magasins Au Bon Marché … ([Paris: Au Bon Marché, 1931]) Rare Books (Ex) 2004-2213N

Benoit de L’Estoile, Le goût des autres: de l’exposition coloniale aux arts premiers (Paris: Flammarion, 2007). Marquand Library (SA) T805.1931.G1 L47 2007

Didier Grandsart, Paris 1931: revoir l’exposition coloniale (Paris: FVW, 2010). Firestone Library (F)

Rodolfo Micacchi, Sculptures antiques en Libye; 32 planches avec introduction et texte explicative (Bergamo: Istituto italiano d’arti grafiche [1931]). Marquand Library (SA) NB85 .I67

Patricia A. Morton, Hybrid Modernities: Architecture and Representation at the 1931 Colonial Exposition, Paris (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2000). Architecture Library (UES) NA6750.P4 E956 2000