The Pavilion for the 1935 World's Fair

This painting by Jan Van Looy, a painter from Brussels, shows the pavilion built for the 1935 World’s Fair. This edition took place at the Heysel in Brussels and had the theme of transport and colonization.

The pavilion, in the shape of a triangle, was about 9,000 m2 in size and was located opposite the Esplanade des Grands Palais. It included a church dedicated to St. Paul, an exhibition hall and reception services. The church had a diameter of 31 meters; the central dome, made of gilded copper, was 35 meters high and was flanked by three smaller domes and six obelisks. The whole thing has a very eastern feel.

The pavilion was designed by architect Henri Lacoste (1885 – 1968), a student and later professor at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Brussels. He was known for his atypical architectural designs as well as his passion for archaeology. Lacoste was very involved with the Museum of Art & History, located in Parc du Cinquantenaire.

Jan Van Looy
The painter, who was also a watercolorist, is best known for his landscapes of the Kempen region. As a student at the Royal Academy of Brussels, he was attached to the school of Tervuren. He was awarded the Prix de l’Yser at the Paris Salon in 1830. Some of his works are in the MSK in Ghent and the Hof van Busleyden in Mechelen.

Why did we include this work in our collections?
• This painting is an interesting acquisition due to its historical importance.
• The 1935 World’s Fair is well documented with photographs and postcards, but few paintings or sculptures exist on the subject. The museum had not owned one until this acquisition.

Want to know more about this acquisition?  You will find more details about the work itself in the inventory sheet here available.