Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Request to view at the Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C , Case CAT, Shelf 4, Box A

Sir Henry Cole, C.B. (1858-1873)

Photograph
ca. 1858-1873 (Photographed)
Artist/Maker

Sir Henry Cole (born Bath 1808, died London 1882), founder of the V&A, began his career as a junior civil servant. When he was dismissed in 1835, he conducted a brilliant campaign to expose the wasteful inefficiency of his former employers. His talent for publicity also helped achieve the introduction of the Penny Post (and he invented the Christmas card), but his great mission was to improve the quality of design in British manufacturing. Setting an example with his own small business, Felix Summerly's Art-Manufactures, started in 1847, Cole soon began educating manufacturers and the public on a much larger scale, when he became Prince Albert's chief adviser for the Great Exhibition of 1851. He went on to establish and manage the South Kensington Museum (now called the V&A) and a new Government department for education in art and science.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Additional TitleOrganised and conducted the two museums from which the Victoria and Albert Museum grew, the Museum of Ornamental Art and the South Kensington Museum
Materials and Techniques
Photographic print
Brief Description
'Sir Henry Cole', photograph by unknown photographer, mid to late 19th century.
Physical Description
Three-quarter length portrait of Sir Henry Cole.
Dimensions
  • Sheet height: 14.6cm
  • Sheet width: 11.5cm
  • Image height: 13.7cm
  • Image width: 10.5cm
Marks and Inscriptions
'14 3/4 x 10 3/4 / Sir Henry Cole / 1858-1873' (Written in pencil on reverse of mount.)
Object history
Vintage print removed from Directorate staircase January 2005. Replaced with modern reproduction.
Subject depicted
Summary
Sir Henry Cole (born Bath 1808, died London 1882), founder of the V&A, began his career as a junior civil servant. When he was dismissed in 1835, he conducted a brilliant campaign to expose the wasteful inefficiency of his former employers. His talent for publicity also helped achieve the introduction of the Penny Post (and he invented the Christmas card), but his great mission was to improve the quality of design in British manufacturing. Setting an example with his own small business, Felix Summerly's Art-Manufactures, started in 1847, Cole soon began educating manufacturers and the public on a much larger scale, when he became Prince Albert's chief adviser for the Great Exhibition of 1851. He went on to establish and manage the South Kensington Museum (now called the V&A) and a new Government department for education in art and science.
Collection
Accession Number
E.207-2005

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record createdMarch 4, 2005
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