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Crystal Palace Exhibition

The Exposition des produits de l'industrie française (Exhibition of Products of French Industry) organized in Paris, France, from 1798 to 1849 impressed the British public so much so that under increasing public pressure the British government reluctantly set up a Royal Commission to investigate the idea of London Exhibition. National pride dictated that the exhibition must bigger and better than anything French could organize.

A competition to design an exhibition building was won by the firm of Fox and Henderson, with plans based upon a design by Joseph Paxton and adapted from a glass and iron conservatory produced for the Duke of Devonshire’s Chatsworth House. The design of the impressive glass and iron conservatory or Crystal Palace was amended to accommodate the
Hyde Park's large elm trees. The building was 1,850 feet (564 m) long, and 108 feet (33 m) high. Shortly after the exhibition, the whole structure was removed from Hyde Park site and re-erected at Sydenham, then a sleepy hamlet in the Kent countryside, now a multi-ethnic part of South East London. The building was destroyed by fire on the 30th November 1936.

The Great Exhibition was opened by Queen Victoria on 1st May 1851.

The opening of the Great Expedition happened to coincide with the great innovation of the Industrial Revolution. The Exhibition of 1851 ran from May to October and was visited by six million people. The event became one of the defining points of the nineteenth century.


The exhibits included every marvel of the Victorian age, including pottery, porcelain, ironwork, furniture, perfumes, pianos, firearms, fabrics, steam hammers, hydraulic presses and even the odd house or two.

Although the original aim of the world fair had been as a celebration of art in industry for the benefit of All Nations, it turned into a showcase of British manufacturing: more than half the 100,000 objects on display were from Britain and the British Empire.
Crystal Palace from "Holmes's Great Metropolis: or, Views and history of London in the nineteenth century ... Edited by W. G. Fearnside ... and T. Harrel. Illustrated with ... engravings"
1834
1834
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2016
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2016
303 Media in collectionpage 3 of 4
View of transept, looking north

View of transept, looking north

Photograph shows a slightly elevated view of transept with fountain and statues; large tree in the background.

View of eastern nave

View of eastern nave

Photograph shows a slightly elevated view of the interior of the Crystal Palace exhibit hall with various items on display and international flags hanging from balcony railings.

Allegorical sculpture group of the City of Paris imploring heaven to take away the plague of cholera

Allegorical sculpture group of the City of Paris imploring heaven to t...

Photograph shows sculpture of woman sitting with sickly child and elderly man leaning against her.

General View of the Interior (from Recollections of the Great Exhibition)

General View of the Interior (from Recollections of the Great Exhibiti...

At the Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of all Nations, held in London in 1851, displays of art and manufacture were shown at the Crystal Palace, a specially built glass and iron building designed by J... more

[Storeroom with Artisans and Plaster Casts, Crystal Palace]

[Storeroom with Artisans and Plaster Casts, Crystal Palace]

The Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations, the first world's fair, was held in London in 1851 in a temporary building constructed especially for the event. Named the Crystal Palace, the stru... more

Crystal Palace, Hyde Park, Transept

Crystal Palace, Hyde Park, Transept

Like many early practitioners, Turner was a gentleman amateur for whom photography was a passion, not a profession. He took up photography in 1849, when the medium was barely a decade old. He was thirty-four, r... more

Queen Victoria Presiding at the Reopening of the Reconstructed Crystal Palace at Sydenham

Queen Victoria Presiding at the Reopening of the Reconstructed Crystal...

Attributed to T. R. Williams (British, born 1825)

Progress of the Crystal Palace at Sydenham

Progress of the Crystal Palace at Sydenham

The Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations, the first world's fair, was held in London in 1851 in a temporary building constructed especially for the event. Named the Crystal Palace, the struc... more

The Upper Gallery

The Upper Gallery

This picture depicts the reconstruction of the upper gallery of the Crystal Palace in 1854. The first example of prefabricated architecture, Sir Joseph Paxton's glass and iron structure was originally built in... more

[Carving a Sphinx]

[Carving a Sphinx]

Philip Henry Delamotte (British, 1821–1889)

View in Central Hall, Art Treasures Exhibition, Manchester

View in Central Hall, Art Treasures Exhibition, Manchester

Philip Henry Delamotte (British, 1821–1889)

[View Across the Egyptian Court; View through Egyptian Columns into Classical Sculpture Gallery; Side View of Egyptian Colonnade; Facade of the Hall of Columns]

[View Across the Egyptian Court; View through Egyptian Columns into Cl...

Attributed to Philip Henry Delamotte (British, 1821–1889)

[Egyptian Court, Eastern Wall of Principal Court; Egyptian Court, Principal Facade towards the Nave; Lions in the Egyptian Court; [Colonnade Adorned with Egyptian Paintings]

[Egyptian Court, Eastern Wall of Principal Court; Egyptian Court, Prin...

Attributed to Philip Henry Delamotte (British, 1821–1889)

[View of Sphinxes Among Foliage; View of Tropical Foliage; Egyptian Court from North-east Gallery; Colossal Egyptian Figures]

[View of Sphinxes Among Foliage; View of Tropical Foliage; Egyptian Co...

Attributed to Philip Henry Delamotte (British, 1821–1889)

[Interior of Egyptian Court; Classical Sculpture Gallery with Discus-Thrower; View of Egyptian Court from Classical Sculpture Gallery; Foliage in the Egyptian Court]

[Interior of Egyptian Court; Classical Sculpture Gallery with Discus-T...

Attributed to Philip Henry Delamotte (British, 1821–1889)

[Elevated View of Egyptian Court; Ninevah Court; Monti's Fountain, and Nineveh Court; Assyrian Court with Workers]

[Elevated View of Egyptian Court; Ninevah Court; Monti's Fountain, and...

Attributed to Philip Henry Delamotte (British, 1821–1889)

[The Rochester Doorway; Vestibule, Garden Side of English Medieval Court; Byzantine Court Exterior and Interior]

[The Rochester Doorway; Vestibule, Garden Side of English Medieval Cou...

Attributed to Philip Henry Delamotte (British, 1821–1889)

[Two Gentlemen Seated on the Grounds of the Palace; The Palace from the Rosary; Cascades and North End of Palace; General View of Gardens and Fountains]

[Two Gentlemen Seated on the Grounds of the Palace; The Palace from th...

Attributed to Philip Henry Delamotte (British, 1821–1889)

[Mammoth Tree; General View of Nave, Looking South; View from North Gallery; Classical Fountain]

[Mammoth Tree; General View of Nave, Looking South; View from North Ga...

Attributed to Philip Henry Delamotte (British, 1821–1889)

[View of Fountain and Byzantine Court; Bronze Fountain in Northern Nave; Monti's Fountain, and Alhambra Court; Alhambra Court from North Transept]

[View of Fountain and Byzantine Court; Bronze Fountain in Northern Nav...

Attributed to Philip Henry Delamotte (British, 1821–1889)

[Greek Court with Farnese Torso of a Youth; View of a Classical Fountain and Pool; Roman Gallery with Apollo Belvedere and Model of the Roman Forum; Roman Sculpture Court]

[Greek Court with Farnese Torso of a Youth; View of a Classical Founta...

Attributed to Philip Henry Delamotte (British, 1821–1889)

[Greek Court; Statue of Minerva; Ludovisi Mars; Iris, Hecate, or Lucifera]

[Greek Court; Statue of Minerva; Ludovisi Mars; Iris, Hecate, or Lucif...

Attributed to Philip Henry Delamotte (British, 1821–1889)

[Alhambra Court Facade Towards the Nave; Entryway to the Alhambra Court; Side View of Alhambra Court; Alhambra Court Looking Towards the North]

[Alhambra Court Facade Towards the Nave; Entryway to the Alhambra Cour...

Attributed to Philip Henry Delamotte (British, 1821–1889)

[Assyrian Court, Facade Towards the Nave; Elevated View of Assyrian Court; Greek and Roman Sculpture Court; The Three Graces]

[Assyrian Court, Facade Towards the Nave; Elevated View of Assyrian Co...

Attributed to Philip Henry Delamotte (British, 1821–1889)

[Sculpture Court Flanked by Torso of Marsyas and Sacrificial Altar; Sculpture Court with Bust of Caracalla; Greek Court with Sculptures of Mercury, Faun, and Ariadne; Roman Court with Three Sculptures of Venus]

[Sculpture Court Flanked by Torso of Marsyas and Sacrificial Altar; Sc...

Attributed to Philip Henry Delamotte (British, 1821–1889)

[Court of Ancient Monuments; German Medieval Court; View with Statue of Albert of Bavaria; Elevated View of Central Transept]

[Court of Ancient Monuments; German Medieval Court; View with Statue o...

Attributed to Philip Henry Delamotte (British, 1821–1889)

[Sculptures in Roman Court; Sacrificial Altar; Greek Sculpture Gallery; Statues in Greek and Roman Sculpture Court]

[Sculptures in Roman Court; Sacrificial Altar; Greek Sculpture Gallery...

Attributed to Philip Henry Delamotte (British, 1821–1889)

[Tomb of Lorenzo de Medici; Tomb of Giuliano de Medici; Court of Christian Monuments; German Medieval Vestibule]

[Tomb of Lorenzo de Medici; Tomb of Giuliano de Medici; Court of Chris...

Attributed to Philip Henry Delamotte (British, 1821–1889)

[View of Fountains; Nave Looking North; Screen of the Kings and Queens of England]

[View of Fountains; Nave Looking North; Screen of the Kings and Queens...

Attributed to Philip Henry Delamotte (British, 1821–1889)

[Greek Court with Sculpture of Discobolus; Roman Court with Sculptures of Gladiator, Mercury and Fauns; Italian Sculpture near the Great Transept]

[Greek Court with Sculpture of Discobolus; Roman Court with Sculptures...

Attributed to Philip Henry Delamotte (British, 1821–1889)

[View From Music Court to South Transept; View in Tropical Department; View of the Egyptian Court; View of North Transept]

[View From Music Court to South Transept; View in Tropical Department;...

Attributed to Philip Henry Delamotte (British, 1821–1889)

[Sculptures of Cain, a Hunter Defending his Family, the Massacre of the Innocents, and Allegorical Figures of the First Whisper of Love]

[Sculptures of Cain, a Hunter Defending his Family, the Massacre of th...

Attributed to Philip Henry Delamotte (British, 1821–1889)

[View in Court of Christian Monuments; Views of Greek and Roman Sculpture Court]

[View in Court of Christian Monuments; Views of Greek and Roman Sculpt...

Attributed to Philip Henry Delamotte (British, 1821–1889)

[Sculptures of Hylas and the Nymphs, Allegorical Figures of the Three Fates, Zephyr wooing Flora, and Michelangelo's Bacchus and Donatello's St. George]

[Sculptures of Hylas and the Nymphs, Allegorical Figures of the Three ...

Attributed to Philip Henry Delamotte (British, 1821–1889)

[Exterior View of Facade and Fountains; Exterior View of Side Pavilion; Exterior Side View of Central Transept; Exterior Side View of Central Trancept with Reclining Figure in Foreground]

[Exterior View of Facade and Fountains; Exterior View of Side Pavilion...

Attributed to Philip Henry Delamotte (British, 1821–1889)

[Roman Court with Sculptures of Posidonius and Wounded Gladiator; Sculpture of Geoffrey Chaucer by Marshall; Sculpture of Shakespeare by Roubilliac]

[Roman Court with Sculptures of Posidonius and Wounded Gladiator; Scul...

Attributed to Philip Henry Delamotte (British, 1821–1889)

[Entryway to the Renaissance Court; Doorway from an Old Palace of the Dorias; The Ghiberti Gates; View in Medieval Court]

[Entryway to the Renaissance Court; Doorway from an Old Palace of the ...

Attributed to Philip Henry Delamotte (British, 1821–1889)

[Statue of a Horse; Roman Court, Portrait Busts of Emperors; Doorway of Roman Court, Flanked by Portrait Bust of Nero; Greek Court of Philosophers, Statesmen, and Generals]

[Statue of a Horse; Roman Court, Portrait Busts of Emperors; Doorway o...

Attributed to Philip Henry Delamotte (British, 1821–1889)

[Entryway of Renaissance Court; Medieval Vestibule; View of the Renaissance Court; Room of Classical Reliefs and Sarcophagi]

[Entryway of Renaissance Court; Medieval Vestibule; View of the Renais...

Attributed to Philip Henry Delamotte (British, 1821–1889)

[Medieval Court; Statue of Coleoni; Equestrian Statue of Gattamelata by Donatello, from the Court of Monuments of Christian Art; Equestrian Statue of Colleone]

[Medieval Court; Statue of Coleoni; Equestrian Statue of Gattamelata b...

Attributed to Philip Henry Delamotte (British, 1821–1889)

[Views in Greek Sculpture Gallery, Including A Pieta, Apollo Belvedere, Niobe and her Family, Priest of Bacchus and Farnese Torso]

[Views in Greek Sculpture Gallery, Including A Pieta, Apollo Belvedere...

Attributed to Philip Henry Delamotte (British, 1821–1889)

[Court of French and Italian Sculpture; Avenue in Front of Fine Arts Courts; View into Classical Sculpture Gallery; Avenue in Front of Sheffield Court]

[Court of French and Italian Sculpture; Avenue in Front of Fine Arts C...

Attributed to Philip Henry Delamotte (British, 1821–1889)

Illustration of London in England (Igirisukoku rondon zu)

Illustration of London in England (Igirisukoku rondon zu)

Yoshitora, pupil of Kuniyoshi, made many prints of foreigners in Yokohama and of foreign scenes. He never saw any of the foreign scenes he depicted and probably copied them from Western engravings. Here, London... more

Illustration of London, England (Igirisukoku rondon zu)

Illustration of London, England (Igirisukoku rondon zu)

Utagawa Yoshitora (Japanese, active ca. 1850–80) Edo period (1615–1868)

"View in London," the Prosperity of Countries: London, England

"View in London," the Prosperity of Countries: London, England

Utagawa Yoshimori (Japanese, 1830–1884) Meiji period (1868–1912)

The Crystal Palace Sydenham to be sold by auction Tuesday 28th day of November, 1911

The Crystal Palace Sydenham to be sold by auction Tuesday 28th day of ...

Howard George Frank (British, Blackhurst, Tunbridge Wells, Kent 1871–1932 London)

architecture from "Tallis's Illustrated London: in commemoration of the Great Exhibition of ... 1851. ... With historical and descriptive letter-press, by W. G"

architecture from "Tallis's Illustrated London: in commemoration of th...

This image has been taken from scan 000384 from volume 01 of "Tallis's Illustrated London: in commemoration of the Great Exhibition of ... 1851. ... With historical and descriptive letter-press, by W. G". The t... more

British Museum from "Tallis's Illustrated London: in commemoration of the Great Exhibition of ... 1851. ... With historical and descriptive letter-press, by W. G"

British Museum from "Tallis's Illustrated London: in commemoration of ...

This image has been taken from scan 000053 from volume 02 of "Tallis's Illustrated London: in commemoration of the Great Exhibition of ... 1851. ... With historical and descriptive letter-press, by W. G". The t... more

Egyptian Hall from "Tallis's Illustrated London: in commemoration of the Great Exhibition of ... 1851. ... With historical and descriptive letter-press, by W. G"

Egyptian Hall from "Tallis's Illustrated London: in commemoration of t...

This image has been taken from scan 000377 from volume 01 of "Tallis's Illustrated London: in commemoration of the Great Exhibition of ... 1851. ... With historical and descriptive letter-press, by W. G". The t... more

engraving from "William Ewart Gladstone and his Contemporaries: fifty years of social and political progress"

engraving from "William Ewart Gladstone and his Contemporaries: fifty ...

This image has been taken from scan 000239 from volume 01 of "William Ewart Gladstone and his Contemporaries: fifty years of social and political progress". The title and subject terms of this image have been g... more

Surrey Zoological Gardens from "Tallis's Illustrated London: in commemoration of the Great Exhibition of ... 1851. ... With historical and descriptive letter-press, by W. G"

Surrey Zoological Gardens from "Tallis's Illustrated London: in commem...

This image has been taken from scan 000391 from volume 02 of "Tallis's Illustrated London: in commemoration of the Great Exhibition of ... 1851. ... With historical and descriptive letter-press, by W. G". The t... more

Architecture from "Tallis's Illustrated London: in commemoration of the Great Exhibition of ... 1851. ... With historical and descriptive letter-press, by W. G"

Architecture from "Tallis's Illustrated London: in commemoration of th...

This image has been taken from scan 000169 from volume 02 of "Tallis's Illustrated London: in commemoration of the Great Exhibition of ... 1851. ... With historical and descriptive letter-press, by W. G". The t... more

Horse Guards Parade from "Tallis's Illustrated London: in commemoration of the Great Exhibition of ... 1851. ... With historical and descriptive letter-press, by W. G"

Horse Guards Parade from "Tallis's Illustrated London: in commemoratio...

This image has been taken from scan 000169 from volume 01 of "Tallis's Illustrated London: in commemoration of the Great Exhibition of ... 1851. ... With historical and descriptive letter-press, by W. G". The t... more

London. Maps. Iconographic Encyclopedia Of Science Literature And Art 1851

London. Maps. Iconographic Encyclopedia Of Science Literature And Art ...

A treasure trove of almost 12,000 detailed engravings, The Complete Encyclopedia of Illustration is a marvel of a collection culled from the worlds of science, history, geography, mythology, art, architecture, ... more

Opening of the Great Industrial Exhibition of all nations, by her most gracious majesty Queen Victoria and his royal highness Prince Albert, on the 1st of May, 1851 / taken on the spot by George Cruikshank.

Opening of the Great Industrial Exhibition of all nations, by her most...

Print shows an interior view of the Crystal Palace during the Great Industrial Exhibition, with Queen Victoria and the royal family at center, the Archbishop to the left, and many spectators gathered in the win... more

Opening of the Great Industrial Exhibition of all nations, by her most gracious majesty Queen Victoria and his royal highness Prince Albert, on the 1st of May, 1851 / taken on the spot by George Cruikshank.

Opening of the Great Industrial Exhibition of all nations, by her most...

Print shows an interior view of the Crystal Palace during the Great Industrial Exhibition, with Queen Victoria and the royal family at center, the Archbishop to the left, and many spectators gathered in the win... more

Agricultural implements

Agricultural implements

Photograph shows pieces of farm equipment: press rolls, horse hoes, and a reaping machine.

Agricultural implements

Agricultural implements

Photograph shows pieces of farm equipment: press rolls, horse hoes, and a reaping machine.

A grand balloon ascent, Batty's, Thursday, July 1st, 1852 / / Earle.

A grand balloon ascent, Batty's, Thursday, July 1st, 1852 / / Earle.

Poster shows three men and a woman holding flags while sitting in the basket of an ascending balloon labeled "Royal Hippodrom[e]" to advertise a public ascent at Batty's Grand National Hippodrome in London, England.

A grand balloon ascent, Batty's, Thursday, July 1st, 1852 / / Earle.

A grand balloon ascent, Batty's, Thursday, July 1st, 1852 / / Earle.

Poster shows three men and a woman holding flags while sitting in the basket of an ascending balloon labeled "Royal Hippodrom[e]" to advertise a public ascent at Batty's Grand National Hippodrome in London, England.

The great exhibition of 1851 American department.

The great exhibition of 1851 American department.

Illustration shows a group of men standing on the shore with the exhibition buildings in the background. Two men stand in the foreground, on the left, an American, boasting of "Yankee superiority" over the Brit... more