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Photography and the Great Exhibition


Price: £65.00


by Anthony Hamber with a forward by Tristram Hunt

This is the first comprehensive account of the wide-reaching impact of photography at the 1851 Great Exhibition. It is profusely illustrated with colour illustrations of 200 photographs taken of the building in Hyde Park and the exhibits it held, including a number of the photographic exhibits. The book also explains how photography was used create many of the steel and wood engraved illustrations in a number of the contemporary publications connected with the 1851 Great Exhibition.

Contents:
Chapter One – State of Photography
An overview of the state of photography in the years immediately before the Great Exhibition. This focuses on the countries that provided the vast majority of the photographic exhibits at the Great Exhibition; United Kingdom, France and the United States.

Chapter Two – Selecting Photographs for the Exhibition
An overview of the channels and mechanisms used in the selection of photographs that made up the bulk of the photographic exhibits (United Kingdom, France, United States, Germany and Austria) are discussed.

Chapter Three – Exhibiting Photographs and Photographic Equipment
This chapter provides an overview of the photographs and photographic equipment exhibited. It is linked to Appendix One that provides a detailed listing of all Photographs and Photographic Equipment exhibited.

Chapter Four – Photography, Commercialism and Contemporary Illustration
Photography had a profound impact on the contemporary illustration of the Great Exhibition. This chapter examines a number of periodicals (such as the Illustrated London News) and well-known and lesser known serials, including Tallis’s History and Description of the Crystal Palace.

Chapter Five – Reports by the Juries
The special, four-volume presentation sets of the Reports by the Juries were illustrated with 154 original, pasted-in photographs providing views of the building and the exhibits. The painful story of their creation is documented and is illustrated with previously unpublished photographs of some of the exhibits. Appendix Four provides an item-level catalogue of the photographic illustrations

Chapter Six – Aftermath & Legacy
This chapter documents how photographs of the Great Exhibition building and exhibits were subsequently exhibited. It is also illustrated with photographs of the empty building and little-known photographs by Philip Delamotte of the building in Hyde Park being taken down prior to removal to Sydenham.

Appendix One - Photographs and Photographic Equipment Exhibited
This appendix is an item-level listing all the photographs and photographic exhibits mentioned in the Official Catalogue and the Reports by the Juries. A number of the photographs exhibited have been located and are exhibited.

Appendix Two – Reports by the Juries – List of Class X and Class XXX Jurors
This appendix lists the Jurors of the two Classes of the Great Exhibition that included photographs, together with short biographies explaining what knowledge (if any) they had of photography.

Appendix Three – List of Prize Winners Representing Photography
Prizes were awarded in three forms and this appendix lists all exhibitors of photographs and photographic equipment awarded prizes by the Juries of their respective classes.

Appendix Four – Reports by the Juries – Catalogue of Photographic Illustrations
All 154 photographs distributed across the four volumes of the presentation set of the Reports by the Juries are illustrated together with detailed descriptions of exactly what they are, and where identified, their current locations.

Appendix Five – Reports by the Juries – Census of Presentation copies.
This appendix documents who received copies of the four-volume, photographically illustrated presentation sets, why they received them, and where identified, the location of copies. This latter point is important for those wishing to view a set of the original volumes that are now distributed all over the world.

Appendix Six – Photoscience: Behind the Negatives and their Printing
This technical appendix explains the complexity of the taking of the negatives and the extensive retouching and manipulation of the negatives at the time of their printing.

There is an extensive bibliography and reference to primary sources.

Hardback 414 pages 300 colour photographs