At the Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of all Nations, held in London in 1851, displays of art and manufacture were shown at the Crystal Palace, a specially built glass and iron building designed by Joseph Paxton and erected in Hyde Park. Between May and October more than six million visitors flocked to view thousands of objects organized by theme and place of origin at this first world’s fair. This lithograph of the American Court centers on Hiram Powers’s Greek Slave (1841–43), a marble sculpture of a nude young woman in a Turkish slave market. By inference, it was seen as a poignant commentary on the slavery still being practiced in the southern United States. Behind a red curtained niche that accentuates the work’s pure whiteness, figures in Native American dress offer a glimpse of the West, while manufactured objects at right include a group of clocks. Publishers Lloyd Brothers teamed with lithographers Day & Son to create the hand-colored set to which the print belongs, the whole offering well-to-do visitors a detailed and beautifully produced souvenir.
Sculpture Victorious: Art in an Age of Invention, 1837-1901. Martina Droth, Jason Edwards, Michael Hatt, New Haven, 2014, cat. no. 115, pp. 318-21, ill.