THE SO19 GALLERY: Philip Henry Delamotte and the Crystal Palace

Currently showing on the So19Gallery, some of the photographs taken by Philip Henry Delamotte in 1855 to document the re-installation of the Crystal Palace, originally created for Britain's Great Exhibition in 1851. Designed by Joseph Paxton and first standing in Hyde Park, the structure remained in its second location on Penge Common until it was destroyed by fire in 1936. Delamotte's varied images capture the diversity of cultures (mis)represented in the exhibitions, the technology of the Victorian age generally and the (re)building process in particular, and the complexity of the structure itself. The myriad workers necessary for the reinstallation can be glimpsed as well, though they're sometimes visible only as the blurry forms of those who didn't stay still long enough for the lengthy exposures.  Images, which have been cropped and slightly adjusted for use on the Gallery, courtesy of British Library Online. <