Portrait of Sir Henry Cole

Portrait of Sir Henry Cole

c. 1867

Glazed ceramic tiles with embossed relief in the dome. Masks of Tragedy and Comedy on either side

7 X 5 feet

Ceramic Stairs, Staircase 1

Victoria and Albert Museum


The inscription reads: "Erected to record the eminent services of Sir Henry Cole K.C.B., who in addition to other labours in the promotion of science and art devoted twenty years (1853-1873) to the formation of this museum."

The lunette depicts the rear of Fowke's Royal Albert Hall (1871) with the statue of Albert as viewed from Prince Consort Road. Henry Cole was "at the centre of the group which organised the Great Exhibition in1851, where his roles were promoter, publicist, and administrator." After that he would indeed "spend the next twenty years working to make 'South Kensington' a national centre for the arts and sciences" (Cooper).

Photograph and caption, by Jacqueline Banerjee; commentary by George P. Landow

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