World Exhibition Paris 1937

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World Exhibition Paris 1937
Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne

Exhibition space 101 ha
Number of visitors 34 million
BIE recognition Yes
countries 44 countries
Place of issue
place Paris
terrain Champ de Mars , Trocadéro Coordinates: 48 ° 51 '44 "  N , 2 ° 17' 17.7"  EWorld icon
opening May 25, 1937
closure November 25, 1937
Chronological order
predecessor Brussels 1935
successor New York 1939

The Paris World Exhibition of 1937 ( Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne ) was only a "small" world exhibition according to the rules of the BIE ( Bureau International des Expositions ). The "exposition specialisée" took place from May 25th to November 25th 1937. The exhibition area was 101 hectares and included the Champ de Mars , the Trocadéro and the banks of the Seine . The exhibition had 34 million visitors.


The exhibition, which was open daily from 9 a.m. to midnight and was also entitled Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques appliqués à la vie modern , was dedicated to the subject of art and technology in modern life. On this occasion, the Palais du Trocadéro was converted into the Palais de Chaillot and the Museum of Prehistory and Anthropology ( Musée de l'Homme ) was founded. On May 24th, the state and municipal museums of modern art ( Palais des Musées d'Art Moderne ) were opened in the nearby Palais de Tokyo .

The decision for the Expo was made in a law of July 6, 1934. The motto was that art and technology as well as the useful and the beautiful do not contradict each other, but complement one another. The importance of peace should also be emphasized in a time of growing danger of war.

The originally modest project was expanded twice. In addition to the traditional Expo area Champ de Mars and Chaillot Hill, the elongated Swan Island ( Île aux Cygnes ) in the middle of the Seine was included. The Phare du Monde , which was planned for the exhibition, was not realized.

The show was overshadowed by the global economic crisis and social unrest and strikes in the host country, the Spanish civil war and the impending world war .

Detail of the exhibition plan

Picasso's anti-war painting Guernica was exhibited in the Spanish pavilion . The pavilions of the German Empire ( Deutsches Haus ) and the Soviet Union faced each other. The German pavilion designed by Albert Speer (outside) and Woldemar Brinkmann (inside) had a 140 m long, 20 m wide and 15 m high hall of honor, a 55.13 m high mosaic-adorned tower (area 20 × 15 m), which was supported by a A 5.50 m high imperial eagle was crowned with a swastika in an oak wreath, a restaurant floating on the Seine, as well as monumental sculptures by Josef Thorak . On the pavilion of the Soviet Union designed by Boris Michailowitsch Iofan , the sculpture Worker and Kolkhoz farmer by Vera Ignatjewna Muchina rose . Due to the strikes, the last two pavilions mentioned were the only ones completed on the opening day.

In the Norwegian pavilion, Hannah Ryggen processed the Italian invasion of Ethiopia and the unsuccessful appeal of the Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassies to the League of Nations on a woven tapestry. In order not to snub the Italians, part of the Etiopia exhibit was censored: the right side of the carpet on which an Ethiopian fighter impaled Mussolini's head was turned over.

Numerous festivities and events complemented the exhibition, whose management (Commissarat Général de l 'Exposition Internationale de Paris 1937) resided at 35 Rue Saint-Didier and to which an official guide ( Catalog officiel de l'exposition ) for 7½ francs , an overview plan (3 fr.) And daily programs ( programs quotidien ) at 50 ct. appeared.

Map of the exhibition and admission

190 pavilions, grouped into sections, were arranged between the tip of the Île aux Cygnes and the Place de la Concorde on
both sides of the Seine. The main access (Porte d'Honneur) was from the Trocadéro . Additional locations were on Boulevard Kellermann , at Porte de Saint-Cloud and Porte Maillot ; they were connected by tram lines (archive of L'Illustration magazine )


Palais de l'air 1937

The entrance fee on normal days was 6 francs, which would be the equivalent of around 4.50 . An identification card for foreign visitors, also sold through MER , for 20 francs. entitled to ten entry at half price. For the adjoining area and the Grand Palais an additional 2 fr. to be paid. Access to the two amusement parks, the Parc des Attractions scientifiques the Cours Albert Premier with a Zeiss - Planetarium and the transparent man and the Parc de la Gaité on the Esplanade des Invalides with an old French village ( Vielle France ), cost 5 Fri.

Awards (selection)

Grand Prix diploma for the Soviet architect Kriatchkov

Gold medals were u. a. awarded to Albert Speer and Boris Michailowitsch Iofan for their design . Both had designed the pavilions of their respective home countries. Iofan had also submitted a draft of the Soviet Palace planned for Moscow , and Speer even received a Grand Prix for his model of the Nuremberg Rally Grounds . The Klepper Faltbootwerft received another Grand Prix for the new Super T6 model and Leni Riefenstahl for the film Triumph des Willens .

Polish engineers from Warsaw won a gold medal for the new Polish locomotive of PKP class PM36-1 .

For the sculpture standing one went Diplome de Grand Prix to the Austrian sculptor Anna Mahler , and the granddaughter of the Finnish composer and conductor Robert Kajanus , Johanne deRibert Kajanus , won a bronze medal for its life-size sculpture "Mother and Child". The French painter Lucien Simon received the first prize for the work in the Luxembourg pavilion: La procession dansante d'Echternach , La Moselle and La Sûre . The first picture can be seen today in the Echternach St. Willibrord basilica .

The American architect Alden Dow won the “Grand Prize for Residential Architecture” for his home built for John S. Whitman in Midland , Michigan.

The Ukrainian folk artist Marija Prymatschenko received a gold medal for her naive paintings.

The Swiss Adolf Lengweiler from Staad near Rorschach won the gold medal for his invention, a toy that automatically turns when it hits an object. Later made in America and still hundreds of thousands of times in Japan today.

Picture gallery

Web links


  • Erik Mattie: World's Fair . Belser, 1998, ISBN 3-7630-2358-5 .
  • World Exhibition Paris 1937. In: The work: Architecture and Art = L'oeuvre: architecture et art, Vol. 24, 1937, pp. 321–351 ( digitized version ).
  • Art in Paris on the occasion of the 1937 exhibition. In: The work: Architecture and Art = L'oeuvre: architecture et art, Vol. 25, 1938, pp. 9–24 ( digitized version ).

Individual evidence

  1. Article "Foray through the Paris World Exhibition 1937, in:" Der Baumeister, 35th year, September 1937, issue 9, pp. 269–278.
  2. Coming soon: Hannah Ryggen's woven manifestos. September 10, 2019, accessed January 2, 2020 .
  3. ^ A b Addendum to Baedeker's Paris and environs, 20th edition . Karl Baedeker, Leipzig 1937, p. 30
  4. ↑ In 1937 one franc was worth around 16  pfennigs .
  5. ^ The Reich Commissioner for the International Exhibition Paris 1937 (Ed.): Directory of the German exhibitors and employees honored by the International Jury . Berlin 1937. (The order of the prizes was - starting with the highest: Grand Prix, Certificate of Honor, Gold Medal, Silver Medal, Bronze Medal)
  6. Joachim Fest: Speer (English edition), p. 88
  7. ^ Faltbootbasteln, Klepper Super T6 , accessed on March 1, 2016
  8. ^ Sidney K. Robinson: The Architecture of Alden B. Dow . Wayne State University Press, Detroit, MI 1983, p. 45
  9. Ukrainian Painting - Marija Prymatschenko , accessed on January 5, 2015
  10. [1]