The fountain in the Grand Entrance was a popular meeting place. The Great Exhibition of 1851 was the brainchild of Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria, and Henry Cole. It took place in Hyde Park, London in an enormous glass and iron structure, the Crystal Palace that was designed by Joseph Paxton. It was the first international exhibition of manufactured products and visited by over six million people. Of the 100,000 exhibits, more than half were from Britain and the British Empire. Although meant to be a celebration of British industry and its colonies, the likes of art critic, John Ruskin and the young William Morris were left unimpressed with what they considered the low standards of design in mass produced items. This had a real impact on art and design education bringing about reform.

© Victoria and Albert Museum, London

The Transept from the Grand Entrance
Color lithograph
J. McNeven (artist); William Simpson (lithographer); Ackermann & Co. (publisher)
Made in
United Kingdom
Victoria & Albert Museum, London