A Humbug Home: An Examination of the Model Cottage at the Great Exhibition of 1851

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Abstract

''What has a Prince to do with building cottages? What has the royally high to do with the villanously low, sir? When the Prince becomes a bricklayer, what are the bricklayers to be?''

As their name implies, the Model Cottages at the Great Exhibition of 1851 were constructed for display rather than inhabitation, and they provide an opportunity to consider not just what the modern interior was, but what it was imagined and hoped to be. To some, the cottages were a hygienic machine, to others, a threat to the liberal social order.

Celebrated as social architecture, the cottages have not been studied as interiors. This paper will explore the rooms inside them through contemporary representations, fictional and factual, reflecting on the relationship between the ‘real’ home and its aspirational model, the modern interior and its commodified image.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationVisualising the Nineteenth Century Home
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherAshgate Publishing
ISBN (Print)978-1472449634
Publication statusPublished - 5 May 2016

Keywords

  • interior design practice
  • history
  • theory

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