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Photographs > Photographs

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91/1323-18 Photographic print, mounted in album, interior view, the western transept from the dome in the 1879 Sydney Exhibition 'Garden Palace' building, paper / albumen / silver, photographed by Messrs Richards and Company for the International Exhibiti
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Object statement
Photographic print, mounted in album, interior view, the western transept from the dome in the 1879 Sydney Exhibition 'Garden Palace' building, paper / albumen / silver, photographed by Messrs Richards and Company for the International Exhibition Commissioners, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1879-1880
This photograph was taken looking down the western transept towards the Macquarie Street entrance. In the background we can clearly see the magnificent glassware display of Thomas Webb and Company while the foreground is taken up with Austrian glass and 'fancy' articles, including the work of Erlaucht Graf and Harrach Sche. To the left are the Austrian and German Courts. The over-exposed light from the windows along the arched roof and galleries suggests a long exposure was necessary to illuminate the displays

The Sydney International Exhibition opened the doors of its main building the 'Garden Palace' on 17 September 1879 and closed them seven months later. Many figures in colonial Sydney talked of the success of the huge project but the 1,045,898 visitors that passed through its gates were perhaps the most eloquent testimony to its triumph.

The main feature of the Sydney exhibition, like the international ones that preceded it, was an ornate building, the 'Garden Palace'. This image is from a book of albumen photographs covering the interior and exterior of this building published by Richards and Company in 1880. The 'Garden Palace' dominated the Sydney skyline for three brief years before it was destroyed by fire in 1882.

This photograph and the others associated with this album are significant as they provide us with a unique insight into the short lived magnificence of the Garden Palace before it burned to the ground. The images are also important for their relationship to the collections at the Powerhouse Museum which originated from the 1879 exhibition.

Geoff Barker, July 2009

References
Commissioners of the Sydney International Exhibition, 'Official Record of the Sydney International Exhibition1879', Thomas Richards, Government Printer, Sydney 1881
P., Proudfoot, R. Maguire, and R. Freestone (eds.), Colonial City Global City, Sydney's International Exhibition 1879, Crossing Press, Sydney, 2000
Richards and Co. were the first to win exclusive rights to photograph the exhibition but Roberts, Richards & Company's work was deemed sub-standard and their contract was ended by early 1880.

The next appointment was another similarly named firm 'Richards & Co.' who are the authors of the photographs in Official Record of the Sydney International Exhibition1879, even though some photographs of the inaugural ceremony must have been taken by the earlier company.

In the end the bulk of the photographs were of the 'Garden Palace' building and the exhibits appear to have been produced by 'Roberts and Co.'. Once the exhibition was over controls on the photographing and the Garden Palace and the other buildings became less strict and as a result other photographers began to take their own images of the buildings. These included John Paine and Charles Bayliss.

Geoff Barker, July, 2009

References
Commissioners of the Sydney International Exhibition, 'Official Record of the Sydney International Exhibition1879', Thomas Richards, Government Printer, Sydney 1881
P., Proudfoot, R. Maguire, and R. Freestone (eds.), Colonial City Global City, Sydney's International Exhibition 1879, Crossing Press, Sydney, 2000

 This text content licensed under CC BY-NC.

Description
Photographic print, mounted in album, interior view, the western transept from the dome in the 1879 Sydney Exhibition 'Garden Palace' building, paper / albumen / silver, photographed by Messrs Richards and Company for the International Exhibition Commissioners, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1879-1880

A photographic print in landscape format showing the exhibitions contained within the West Transept of the Garden Palace. The photograph has been taken from the Dome of the Garden Palace and shows the back of the statue of Queen Victoria on the left hand side. The exhibition space has a high arched ceiling with showcases and items on open display down the middle of the gallery. Objects on display include vases, chairs and glassware. There is a mezzanine floor running down the left hand side of the gallery. Exhibits can be seen on the mezzanine and in the space under the mezzanine. Signs for 'AUSTRIA' can be seen on the displays. The photograph has been fixed on a thick cardboard page within the bound volume and is surrounded by a decorative border. The facing page provides information about the photograph.
Made: 1879 - 1880
Marks
Text on the facing page reads 'THE WEST TRANSEPT, / (FROM THE DOME) / PERHAPS the most attractive part of the Garden Palace is the West / Transept, with its magnificent display of glassware, from the works of / Messrs Webb and Son, Stourbridge. There is also a rich collection of Austrian / glass and fancy articles, also specimens of Austrian bent wood furniture, while / behind are seen entrances to the Austrian and German Courts.'
Text on the back of the page the photograph is adhered to reads 'BY SPECIAL APPOINTMENT / [printed image of the the Garden Palace] / RICHARDS & Co / Sole Portrait & Landscape Photographers / TO / The Sydney International Exhibition / 1879'.
91/1323-18
Production date
1879 - 1880
Height
147 mm
Width
200 mm

 This text content licensed under CC BY-SA.
Acquisition credit line
Purchased 1991
Subjects
+ Sydney International Exhibition, 1879
+ Albumen prints
+ Photographs
Short persistent URL
Concise link back to this object: http://from.ph/391742
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{{cite web |url=http://from.ph/391742 |title=91/1323-18 Photographic print, mounted in album, interior view, the western transept from the dome in the 1879 Sydney Exhibition 'Garden Palace' building, paper / albumen / silver, photographed by Messrs Richards and Company for the International Exhibiti |author=Powerhouse Museum |accessdate=24 April 2014 |publisher=Powerhouse Museum, Australia}}


Copyright
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