Henry Cole and the Chamber of Horrors

Henry Cole and the Chamber of Horrors

In this fascinating book, Christopher Frayling shows how the Victoria and Albert Museum's first director attempted to define the principles of good and bad design, and in doing so laid the foundations of one of the world's great public institutions. Henry Cole's provocative ideas on the education of manufacturers and consumers through design and the arts dominated national debates at the time. His gallery of false principles, which opened in 1852 at Marlborough House and came to be called the 'chamber of horrors', was in effect the Museum's inaugural exhibition. Many of the exhibits in the chamber of horrors are now lost, but all those known to survive have been recovered and brought together here for the first time. What was then despised and why makes engaging reading a century and a half later. This book is based on the inaugural Henry Cole Lecture given by Christopher Frayling in 2008 to celebrate the opening of the V+A's Sackler Centre for arts education. The first in a series to explore the relationship between culture and society, it is published with the support of the Royal Commission for the Great Exhibition of 1851. For designers, curators, cultural historians and the museum-going public, the book resurrects a great Victorian experiment whose influence is still felt today.

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Publisher Victoria & Albert Museum
Release Date
ISBN 9781851776238
Pages 96 pages
Rating 4/5 (30 users)

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