The Crystal Palace & The Great Exhibition: Tim Parrott & Caroline Bacon

"In 1851 a ground-breaking structure, containing extraordinary exhibits from around the world, opened in London. The building and its contents created huge influences that still reverberate today. Joseph Paxton built the largest glass and cast-iron structure the world had seen, and for a shilling a day, visitors could marvel at over 100,000 objects as diverse as the Koh-I-Noor diamond, a folding piano, and marvel at the new adding machines, indeed ‘every conceivable invention’ as Queen Victoria wrote. Six million visitors (equivalent to one third of the UK population) visited the exhibition, although it was not without controversy. The government believed there would be riots with the masses pouring into London; Karl Marx saw it as a capitalist fetish, and Henry Cole was so appalled at the quality of the exhibits it led to the formation of the South Kensington School and Museum (later the Royal College of Art and V&A). This day-course will look at the architecture and engineering of the building and survey its contents, as well as the legacy of this astonishing building and exhibition."

Tutor: Tim Parrott & Caroline Bacon

"Tim Parrott, who took his degree at Cambridge, has been teaching short courses in popular science to adults for many years. He is especially keen to engage those with little or no prior knowledge. Caroline Bacon obtained her BA (Hons) in History of Art & Design in 1987. After producing pop videos, she went to work for the BBC as a Senior Costume Cataloguer, later becoming a curator in the Indian Department of the V&A. In 1992 she moved to Bedford to take up the position of Assistant Curator at the then Cecil Higgins Art Gallery, becoming Curator from 1998 to 2008. Since 2010 she has been the REC Centre Manager, having taught at the REC since 1997. Caroline has written a number of books and articles on various aspects of art and design history and has lectured and tutored widely."