This article aims to investigate the colonial photographic collections belonging to the traveller Giuseppe De Reali (1877-1937) and the anthropologist Nello Puccioni (1881- 1937). Between the end of the 19th century and the 1930s, both visited the African continent several times, creating two collections - a zoological-naturalistic one, and an anthropological-ethnographic one - now kept and partly displayed in the Museum of natural history in Venice and in the Museum of anthropology and ethnology in Florence, respectively. By analyzing these images, the article examines the modes of representation of the African continent and its populations, and the functions and meanings acquired by pictures and objects in the transfer to museums. In conclusion, it raises a series of preliminary questions concerning the continuities of exhibition practices between the Fascist and the Republican period.
Keywords: Colonialism, racism, photography, anthropology, Fascism, museum