• 1934
  • 1948
  • Backgrounds

  • Map of the pavilions in the Giardini, 1934, courtesy of Archivio Storico della Biennale di Venezia – ASAC, © Fondazione La Biennale di Venezia)
  • Map of the pavilions from the catalogue of the Biennale di Venezia, 1948, courtesy of Archivio Storico della Biennale di Venezia – ASAC, © Fondazione La Biennale di Venezia
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  • The Belgian Pavilion was the first foreign pavilion built on the Giardini in 1907. This was followed in 1909 by the inauguration of the Hungarian, the Bavarian (which was reconstructed later as the German Pavilion in 1912 and 1938), and the British Pavilion. The French and Dutch Pavilions opened in 1912 (the latter to be rebuilt in 1953). The Russian Pavilion followed in 1914. After the First World War, the Spanish Pavilion was built in 1922, the façade of which was later to be renewed. The national pavilion of what was then Czechoslovakia opened in 1926, the U.S. Pavilion in 1930 and the Danish Pavilion in 1932, which was later expanded. The Venetian Pavilion was also inaugurated in 1932 and further modified in 1938. And in 1934, from which this map originates, Austria and Greece were represented for the first time with a country pavilion at the Biennale.

  • The first post-war Biennale Arte was held in 1948. Germany was not officially invited to participate with a national presentation and the German Pavilion housed an exhibition on French Impressionism. Nevertheless, the central pavilion included a small presentation of German artists as indicated by the word “Tedeschi” on the map. The exhibition took place due to an agreement between the commissioner of the German Pavilion in 1934 and 1936, Eberhard Hanfstaengl, and the president of the Biennale, Giovanni Ponti. Since Eberhard Hanfstaengl as the General Director of the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlung in Munich had agreed to loan several major works from the collection to the Impressionism exhibition, he was provided with an opportunity to show a presentation of two dozen German artists in the central exhibition building, among them Otto Dix, Erich Heckel, Karl Hofer, Max Pechstein, and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff.

    Read more on the history of the German Pavilion in: Germany’s contributions to the Venice Biennale 1985–2007, ed. by Ursula Zeller / ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen) (Cologne: Dumont, 2009) https://ifa-publikationen.de/en/Arts/Germany-s-Contributions-to-the-Venice-Biennale-1895-2007.html?listtype=search&searchparam=contribution