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Great Exhibition of 1851

The Great Exhibition, Crystal Palace, London 1851. The Great Exhibition, Crystal Palace, London 1851.

The Great Exhibition of London in 1851 was the first in a series of international exhibitions in Europe and America. These exhibitions often showed a wide range of hand and machine made decorative needlework from around the world. The 1851 exhibition took place at the Crystal Palace, in Hyde Park, London. It was presented under the name of the Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations.

The Great Exhibition of 1851, with the full title "The Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All nations", displayed thousands of objects, including outfits and individual garments for men, women and children, animal trappings, tents, a wide range of raw fibres, spun threads, textiles, as well as many different forms of decorative needlework. 

Over six million visitors of all social classes, cultural and ethnic backgrounds visited the Great Exhibition between 1st May and 1th October 1851. Not surprisingly, there were comments, descriptions and designs relating to decorative needlework in a wide range of contemporary publications, including the Illustrated London News, the Journal of the Society of Arts, the New American Cyclopedia, and the Young Ladies Journal.

The South Kensington Museum, later known as the Victoria and Albert Museum, eventually acquired many of the items from the Great Exhibition, including embroideries and embroidered garments.

Sources:

  • MORRIS, Barbara (1962). Victorian Embroidery, London: Herbert Jenkins.
  • RIPLEY, George and Charles DANA (eds; 1859). ‘Embroidery,’ New American Cyclopedia, vol. 7, D. New York: Appleton and Co., pp. 119-120.
  • WILLIS, George (1859). ‘On embroidery by machine,’ Journal of the Society of Arts, (London), April 8th, pp. 318-324.

Digital source of illustration (retrieved 8th June 2016).

GVE

Last modified on Sunday, 10 September 2017 18:58