The Wonders Inside the Great Exhibition of 1851

Image shows historic illustration from The Great Exhibition of 1851

Event schedule details

Saturday 17 June


Event location details

Ondaatje Lecture Theatre

Royal Geographical Society

Explore the finest art and industrial design of the day during this discussion of the first World’s Fair.

“Expressions of wonder and admiration saluted the ear on every side” was how the Manchester Guardian reported it. Join an exclusive visit to the Great Exhibition of 1851, the first World’s Fair, which took place inside the Crystal Palace of Hyde Park.

Pieced together from written accounts, early photos and paintings from the V&A collections, the Museum’s Keeper Emeritus, Dr Julius Bryant, leads this journey through the blockbuster exhibition of Victorian England, stopping to admire the most popular works of art and industry, as well as the awesome spectacle of the pomp and ceremony.

Whilst much has been written of the Exhibition as a celebration of British Industry and a seminal moment in the birth of retail culture and consumerism, it was much more than that. In this guided talk Julius will investigate how the Exhibition also met Prince Albert’s aim to educate and open up appreciation of fine art to the masses.

Discover more from the 'Moments of Wonder' talk series

Visitor information

Book free advance tickets ahead of the Festival weekend to reserve your place at this event. There will also be drop-in spaces available on the day.

If you register to attend this talk, please arrive 10 minutes before the event begins. If you arrive after this time, your ticket may be reallocated.

Register to attend this talk

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Event categories

  • Adults
  • Talks and tours
Image shows historic illustration from The Great Exhibition of 1851