After the growing professionalization of architecture, the Netherlands hosted its first architecture exhibitions in the mid-19th century. This initiative was driven by two organizations: the Maatschappij tot Bevordering der Bouwkunst (Society for the Promotion of Architecture) and the Geneootschap Architectura et Amicitia (Architectura et Amicitia Society). Soon, they realized how valuable exhibitions could be for propagandizing and educating. By the end of the 19th century, large-scale international exhibitions in the Netherlands demanded a centrally headed “representative Dutch delegation”.
The Exhibition Council for Architecture and Related Arts was established around 1920 to deal with this need, aiming to organize exhibitions that would promote the flourishing of the arts. Various societies representing architecture, ornamental, artisanal, and applied arts served on the council. Between 1925 and 1935, a collection of photographs was compiled to highlight Dutch architecture’s best features. The collection was used in numerous exhibitions, including the World Fairs in Paris in 1925 and Brussels in 1935. These photographs were taken to depict an ideal vision of architecture: they emphasize architecture’s artistic and aesthetic expressions.
These photos from Het Nieuwe Instituut are part of the Exhibition Council collection, which shows the interior design of Dutch houses during the 1930s.