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 :
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?
I’m a sucker for lion-headed anything.
A little “sweetness and light”.