Helen Cresswell and Ruth Mason
South Kensington and the 1862 International Exhibition
The editors of visit1862.com are delighted to announce that on Wednesday 8th July 2015 (thinking ahead!) we shall be running a day trip around South Kensington as part of the 2015 International Conference of Historical Geography (ICHG). To be held at the Royal Geographical Society (RGS) in South Kensington, this bonanza of all things historically geographic will run throughout the week, and provides delegates with a chance to stretch their legs and escape the confines of the RGS with a day of planned field trips throughout London and beyond.
In a variety of trips, delegates will have the chance to visit the Geffrye Museum and discover more about the historical geographies of the home, explore the economic botany collection at Kew Gardens or learn more about the historical geography of hop picking in Kent!
The editors of visit1862 will be running a trip around South Kensington structured by the 1862 International Exhibition and its legacy. Beginning with a walking tour around the original site of the building, we shall discuss the impact which the exhibition, and the culture of exhibition practices which it belonged, has had a lasting impact on South Kensington’s physical and metaphysical characteristics. Finishing at the Albert Memorial, the walking tour will reflect on the area’s architectural history, geographical layout and cultural significance. Once refuelled, the trip will restart in the Victoria and Albert Museum’s National Art Library. Delegates will be given the opportunity to handle a range of materials related to the exhibition, including official catalogues, popular guidebooks and contemporary reflections on the exhibition made in the media. The day will then conclude with a short tour of the V&A’s galleries to introduce delegates to some of the objects displayed at the 1862 International Exhibition and subsequently purchased by the museum.
The editors are very much looking forward to the ICHG and hope that it will provoke conversation about the 1862 International Exhibition within historical geography circles and bring new questions to the fore in our research as we engage with geographers interested in exhibitionary cultures, the nineteenth century and a variety of further potential subjects.
If this has whetted your appetite, you can have a look at visit1862’s photo essay, recording the route of the 1862 International Exhibition in contemporary photographs.
We hope you can join us – Helen Cresswell and Ruth Mason