This article publishes previously unknown documents revealing a plan to exhibit paintings at the British Great Exhibition of Works of Industry of All Nations in 1851, in a building especially designed for that purpose. Although the project was ultimately unsuccessful, as the French refused the funds to ship the work to London, its very existence places in a new light the traditional history which states that the French were the first to include all the fine arts in a Universal Exposition in 1855. The correspondence between Green, Prince and Company and the various French ministries shows that such a project had the support of the French artistic community but was opposed by the Government for economic reasons. The plan for the Picture Gallery, by an anonymous British architect, seems to suggest that while it was considered appropriate to house industry in a modern Crystal Palace, the fine arts were still considered part of tradition and thus were to be exhibited in a building whose design evoked the past through a pastiche of traditional styles.

[Footnotes]

[Footnotes]
1
Kenneth W. Luckhurst, The Story of Exhibitions, London and N.Y., 1951
Luckhurst
The Story of Exhibitions
1951
Archives of The Victoria and Albert Museum, Collection of Printed Documents and Forms used in Carrying on the Business of the Exhi- bition of 1851, 6 vols.
Official Descriptive and Illustrated Catalogue, 3 vols. plus supp.; the Reports by the Juries; the memoirs of Sir Henry Cole, Fifty Years of Public Work, 2 vols., London, 1884
Christopher Hobhouse, 1851 and the Crystal Palace, London, 1950
Hobhouse
1851 and the Crystal Palace
1950
C. H. Gibbs-Smith, ed., The Great Exhibition of 1851, A Commemorative Album, London, 1950
Gibbs-Smith
The Great Exhibition of 1851, A Commemorative Album
1950
Y. ffrench; The Great Exhibi- tion, 1851, London, 1951
Ffrench
The Great Exhibition, 1851
1951
Commission franpaise sur l'industrie des nations, Londres 1851, Travaux de la Commission franfaise sur l'industrie des na- tions, Paris, 1856
Travaux de la Commission franfaise sur l'industrie des nations
1851
Michel Chevalier, Exposition universelle de Londres, consideree sous les rapports philosophiques, techniques, commercials et administratifs au point de vuefranfais, 2 vols., Paris, 1851
Chevalier
Exposition universelle de Londres, consideree sous les rapports philosophiques, techniques, commercials et administratifs au point de vuefranfais
1851
2
Leon de Laborde, L'Application des arts a l'industrie, vol. 8 of the Travaux de la Commission frangaise (the 1851 Report), 234
de Laborde
234
L'Application des arts a l'industrie
1851
"Des Curiosite's de l'Exposition Universelle a Londres en 1851," Magasin Pittoresque, 19 (September 1851), 304
September
304
19
Magasin Pittoresque
1851
3
Paris, Exposition Universelle de 1855, Commission Imp&eiale, Rapport sur l'Exposition Universelle de 1855 presente' a l'Empereur par S.A.I. le prince Napoleon, 1857, especially 171-172 and 396-397
Rapport sur l'Exposition Universelle de 1855 presente' a l'Empereur par .S.A.I. le prince Napoleon
1855
Musée des arts d&eoratifs catalog, Le Livre des expositions universelles 1851-1889, Paris, 1983
Le Livre des expositions universelles 1851-1889
1983
Eliane Wauquiez, "Acade'misme et Modernite," 245-256
Wauquiez
245
Acade'misme et Modernite
4
L'Artiste, 13 March 1851, 63
13 March
63
L'Artiste
1851
5
Laborde, 235-238
235
6
Arch. Nat. F21 559 (1848-1849), F21 560 (1850)
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