Photography and the Great Exhibition
Anthony Hamber, foreword by Tristram Hunt
The first comprehensive study of the diverse role and impact of photography at the 1851 Great Exhibition in London, drawing together two decades of research to create a broader understanding of the step-change in image making and distribution represented by The Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations – the genesis of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. While the Great Exhibition has received a variety of examinations, its role in exhibiting and furthering the cause and exploitation of photography and its impact on illustration has been largely underappreciated. More broadly, 1851 saw a massive change in information management: in the creation and dissemination of visually based graphic information characterized by images of the building, its contents and their display that collectively constituted the Great Exhibition. Photography played a critical role in this quantum leap.
Anthony Hamber has been researching the impact of the Great Exhibition through photography for two decades