HomeThe Journal of Historyvol. 58 no. 1 (2012)

La Exposición General de Filipinas en Madrid (1887): A Review

Erlinda Kintanar-alburo

Discipline: History



The Philippine Exposition in Madrid in 1887 deserves as much attention as the better-known St. Louis Exposition in 1904. Designed as part of the efforts in reinventing the Spanish empire at a time of its decline, it highlighted advances in the colony by providing exhibits of civilizing institutions as well as products that might bring in investments. The exhibition also showed a contrast between the non-Christianized tribal peoples in a reconstructed natural setting and the Christianized villagers, whose advance was evident in the works of arts displayed in the central pavilion. A comparison with the St. Louis Exposition provides running commentaries, especially on the human display of Igorots that infuriated Filipinos. What happened after 1887 as a result of the Exposition also deserves notice.