In Commemoration of 150 Years of the 1873 Vienna World Exhibition (Expo) – Bridging Japan and Europe

Vienna celebrated the 150th anniversary of the 1873 Vienna World Exhibition in 2023. To mark the occasion, the Weltmuseum Wien 2023 also focused on this topic:

As part of the project In Commemoration of 150 Years of the 1873 Vienna World Exhibition (Expo) – Bridging Japan and Europe at the Weltmuseum Wien (KHM-Museumsverband), a short edutainment Film Japan at the Vienna World Exhibition and the Database of Japanese Exhibits at the 1873 World Exhibition were completed with the help of financial support from the Japan World Exposition Commemorative Fund/Kansai Osaka 21st Century Association (JEC).

The film can be seen in the Japan room  ‚1873 – Japan comes to Europe‘ of our display collection.

Duration: The two sub-projects were carried out in the period from April 2022 to March 2024 on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the Vienna World Exhibition (1873–2023).

The Database

The Database

The Japanese Meiji government (1868–1912) sent around 6,800 exhibits to the World Exhibition in Vienna in 1873. Part of the research project is to record objects that still exist today, both in Viennese museum collections and in publicly accessible collections worldwide, and to link them virtually with their historical catalogue information.

The database is available in three languages: German, Japanese and English.

The information on the individual objects is summarized from Japanese and German sources, compared with each other and thus made easier to find digitally. The aim is to enable further re-use and research of the data in accordance with the FAIR principles. Object histories on Japan's economy, art and culture in exchange with the West will be added to the online database in the future.

The official exhibition catalogue of the Japanese commission in German was used as the basis and framework for the database: Catalog der kaiserlichen japanischen Ausstellung 1873, Vienna 1873. A Japanese original version is still not known today. However, there are many administrative lists that were compiled by members of the Japanese exhibition commission in 1872, 1873 and later. They are now in the Tokyo National Museum and other institutions in Japan.

Some of the original Japanese material was published by the Tokyo National Cultural Research Institute in 1997: 明治期万国博覧会美術品出品目録 / 東京国立文化財研究所美術部 (Meijiki bankoku hakurankai bijutsuhin shuppin mokuroku / Tōkyō Kokuritsu Bunkazai Kenkyūjo Bijutsubu hen, Catalog of artworks exhibited at the Meiji Period World's Fair / compiled by the Art Department of the National Cultural Properties Research Institute, Tokyo), 東京: 中央公論美術出版, 平成 9 (Tōkyō: Chūō Kōron Bijtusu Shuppan, Heisei 9 [1997. 5]).

This publication is based on the work of: Yokomizo 1993–1994

横溝廣子Yokomizo, Hiroko [黒川廣子 Kurokawa, Hiroko], ウイーン万国博覧会出品目録草稿. 美術工芸編 (Draft for Japanese Catalogue of Vienna Universal Exhibition. Sections of Arts and Crafts, Part I–III), in: 美術研究 (The Bijutsu Kenkyu. The Journal of Art Studies, 編集. 東京国立文化財研究所美術部 (Department of Fine Arts, Tokyo National Research Institute of Cultural Properties), 通号 357, 1993.7, p. 260–269, 通号 358, 1993.12, p. 329–355, 通号 359, 1994.3, p. 30–68.

If available, historical images from a photo album from 1872, current data on location/whereabouts in current museum collections, inventory number, photograph, etc. are added to the data.

Project description:

Notes on using the database:


Here is a tabular overview of the available data material for each group.
Exhibition of the Japanese Department 1873:

Gliederung der Weltausstellung 1873Katalog­nummernaus dem Japanischen transkribiert
Gruppe I. Bergbau und Hüttenwesen 357nicht transkribiert
Gruppe II. Land- und Forstwirtschaft, Wein- und Obstbau und Gartenbau, landwirtschaftliche Maschinen604nicht transkribiert
Gruppe III. Chemische Industrie202nicht transkribiert
Gruppe IV. Nahrungs- und Genussmittel als Erzeugnisse der Industrie 562nicht transkribiert
Gruppe V. Textil- und Bekleidungs-Industrie1674 [1566]nicht transkribiert
Gruppe VI. Leder- und Kautschuk-Industrie106transkribiert
Gruppe VII. Metall-Industrie 748transkribiert
Gruppe VIII. Holz-Industrie 618transkribiert
Gruppe IX. Stein-, Thon- und Glas-Industrie384transkribiert
Gruppe X. Kurzwaaren-Industrie635transkribiert
Gruppe XI. Papier-Industrie 394nicht transkribiert
Gruppe XII. Graphische Künste und gewerbliches Zeichnen15transkribiert
Gruppe XIII. Maschinenwesen und Transportmittel4nicht transkribiert
Gruppe XIV. Wissenschaftliche Instrumente 19nicht transkribiert
Gruppe XV. Musikalische Instrumente38transkribiert
Gruppe XVI. Heereswesen//
Gruppe XVII. Marinewesen 18nicht transkribiert
Gruppe XVIII. Bau- und Civil-Ingenieurwesen99nicht transkribiert
Gruppe XIX. Das bürgerliche Wohnhaus mit seiner inneren Einrichtung und Ausschmückung 71transkribiert
Gruppe XX. Das Bauernhaus mit seiner Einrichtung und seinen Geräthen3transkribiert
Gruppe XXI. Nationale Hausindustrie //
Gruppe XXII. Darstellung der Wirksamkeit der Museen für Kunstgewerbe//
Gruppe XXIII. Kirchliche Kunst 22transkribiert

Gruppe XXIV. Objekte von Kunst und Kunstgewerbe früherer Zeiten

Gruppe XXV. Bildende Kunst der Gegenwart48transkribiert
Gruppe XXVI. 1. Erziehungs-, Unterrichts-, und Bildungswesen//
Additionelle Ausstellung der Frauenarbeiten //
Additionelle Ausstellung: Pavillon des Kindes [?]/
Additionelle Ausstellung: Geschichte der Gewerbe und Erfindungen //
Additionelle Ausstellung: Geschichte der Preise//
Additionelle Ausstellung: Abfallsverwerthung //
Additionelle Ausstellung: Darstellung des Welthandels[?]/
 gesamt 6.560 

Daimyō residence

Daimyō residence

The model of a daimyō residence was exhibited at the Vienna World Exhibition in the Palace of Industry under the category Group 19: ‘The bourgeois residence with its interior furnishings and decorations: executed buildings, models and drawings of the bourgeois residence of the cultured peoples; fully furnished living quarters.’ In addition to the Roman numeral XIX, the Japanese paper label on this model house bears the number 19. It was built in 1872 by the Musashiya Masayuki model-making workshop in the Asakusa district of Tōkyō.

The model can be seen in the Japan Room of our display collection.



Project management: Dr. Bettina Zorn, Curator of the East Asia Collection, Weltmuseum Wien
Research assistants: Agnes Schwanzer, BA; Alexandra Kobalt, BA; Sibylle Girmond, MA
Translation: Kana Totsuka, MA; Alexandra Kobalt, BA; Eiko Funada
Interns: Leonard Stiles; Nicole Lorek, BA, BA; Hannah Außerdorfer, BSc; Alexandra Kobalt, BA; Elyar Najmehchi, MA; Julia Nussbaumer; Komari Fujio, BA; Theresa Forstenlehner, BA; Lara Deniz Ersoy, BA.
Data preparation: Agnes Schwanzer, BA
Goobi database system: Support from intranda GmbH
With the kind support of Hanna Schneck MSc, Director KHM Museum Library

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