Arts on show: Australia’s first national pavilions at international expositions in 1908 and 1937

Catherine De Lorenzo, Eileen Chanin

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Australia’s pavilions at the Franco-British Exhibition (London, 1908) and the Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne (Paris, 1937) were among the first to represent the new nation to the world, yet both have eluded close examination. Through a comparative history of each pavilion and its displays, this article seeks to demonstrate the evolving strategies towards using the visual arts to help forge both a national identity and a distinctive cultural identity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)731-752
Number of pages22
JournalHistory Australia
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Exhibition pavilions
  • exhibitions and national identity
  • Franco-British Exhibition 1908
  • international exhibitions and Aboriginal art
  • international expositions
  • Paris International Exposition 1937

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