The Great Exhibition-design reform and bias

The Great Exhibition, or it’s really cumbersome proper name, The Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of all Continents ( you really just have to  admire 19th grandiosity) ran from May 1st through Octobere 1851. Conceived by the dashing Prince Albert (of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, in case you forgot) to set an example of what the Industrial Revolution was capable of.

Very fine intentions.

Of course the never happy reformers tore it to bits, so many objections, lack of “honesty”, naturalistic floral designs for carpets and fabrics, putti scampering up and down,revival styles such as Modern French, Rococo Revival ( see the lovely Belter,previous post), etc.so many grave sins for the public to adore.

Poor Morris, Eastlake, Ruskin, Dresser et al ,it must have been painful. I sympathize, truly.  I love and respect their principle. I love what they produced.

But I also sincerely adore what they despised.

The following were entries that must have spun their rarefied heads :

Monumental pieces such as sideboards seem to have been a designer and/or manufactures favored way of promoting their virtuosity. Love the eagles.

Never afraid to shy away from narrative, decorative figures from a work by Sir Walter Scott.

As a vegetarian, I am crazy for hunt allegories in the dining room. It’s the perfect addition to my 900 sq.ft. W Hollywood condo.

Every lady requires a “rustic” little secretary.

Not to mention a place to do ‘lady-work”.

The screen with it’s ridiculous base would have drove Eastlake bonkers with it’s lack of “integrity”; I understand what he is saying, but how do you resist such delightful fluff?

Perhaps a modest little State chair, for the Lord and Master.

I’m a sucker for lion-headed anything.

Striving for cultural sophistication was an accepted norm, grand housing for your library, essential.

Mock Elizabethan?

In my world  Gothic Revival is a neutral.

A little “sweetness and light”.

At days end…this can not be beat.

A fantastic closing view,

for now.

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