Victoria and Albert Museum

The world’s greatest museum of art and design

The Great Exhibition in 1851 was the first international exhibition of manufactured products. It was organised by Henry Cole and Prince Albert, and held in a purpose-built Crystal Palace in Hyde Park. Many of the objects in the Exhibition were used as the first collection for the South Kensington Museum which opened in 1857 and later became the Victoria and Albert Museum.

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The Great Exhibitor: The Life and Work of Henry Cole

The Great Exhibitor: The Life and Work of Henry Cole

A substantial contribution to our understanding of Cole's achievements. Invaluable' Apollo By the end of his life Henry Cole was recognised as a natio…

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Event - The Great Exhibition and the V&A

Tue 12 May 2015 15:30–16:30

Christopher Marsden, Senior Archivist, talks about the importance of 1851 to the founding of the Museum, and the wealth of material from the Great Exhibition in the collections.

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