The wonders of common things

Luísa Leal de Faria*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


The Great Exhibition of 1851 celebrated raw materials and manufacture as wondrous objects, worth exhibiting. The trivial was treated as exhibit and classified according to new headings and categories. Everyday life was made spectacular through the amazing range and diversity of objects present in Hyde Park, not least the Crystal Palace itself. This paper addresses a number of issues arising from the new need to establish categories, to create a new language for communication in advertising, and how, in the aftermath of the Exhibition, the same criteria were transferred to new museums and new initiatives in the teaching of art and design to the new artificers in new manufactures, changing popular culture and giving clear signs of the birth of mass culture and consumption.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-183+17
JournalCahiers Victoriens and Edouardiens
Issue number57
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2003
Externally publishedYes


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