11/08/2022

1865, Dublin IE – International Exhibition of Arts and Manufactures

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1865 Dublin

Name:International Exhibition of Arts and Manufactures
Dates:9 May – 10 Nov
Days:186 days
Venue:Dublin Exhibition Palace and Winter Garden, Earlsfort Terrace, formerly Cobourg Gardens
Theme:
Exhibitors:770 British and 288 colonial and foreign exhibitors from 25 countries and 23 colonies
Awards:
Visitors:956,295, averaging 5,000 day visitors and 3,000 evening visitors
Legacy:Some sources say it was a financial failure, one says it made £10,074 profit

In 1862 the Duke of Leinster (Lord Talbot de Malahide) and the brewer Benjamin Guinness founded a Dublin Exhibition Palace and Winter Garden company to establish this event, it was to be the first in Dublin since the 1853 Great Industrial Exhibition. Part of this initiative was to strees Dublin was part of the British Empire, and its ‘second city’. Its initial capital was £5,000 (1,000 x £5 shares)

A call for designs in June 1862 was not successful as none of teh designs could meet the ceiling price of £35,000, eventually a local designer was appointed, Alfred G Jones. The show was opened by the Prince of Wales (Edward VII),

Guinness acquired the 15-acre Cobourg Gardens as the site for the venue and funded the exhibition. He had just finished paying for a major refurbishment of the St Paul’s Cathedral in Dublin.

1865 views of buildings

Three buildings were erected, the Central Hall of brick and stone, the Winter Gardens in iron and glass and a stone-built annex with an iron roof and glazed skylight (for machinery). The Winter Gardens was almost inevitably inspired by London’s Crystal Palace. This building was stress-tested by 600 closely-packed soldiers of the 78th Highlanders marching around the galleries before it was allowed to open.

1865 Dublin Official Catalogue

The exhibition covered 6.9 ha (17 acres), the central hall was 6,104 sq m (65,700 sq ft) and the winter gardens 3,722 sq m (40,068 sq ft). It included raw materials, machinery, textile fabrics, manufactuerers and fine arts.

Internal view

A fourth venue was used for vegetables, seeds and farm implements, the Royal Dublin Society buildings (today the Archaeology and Natural History Museum buildings) in Kildare Street.

There were six classes; five of industrial products and one for the fine arts, some 298 sculptural works were displayed. 4,781 display cases were used for manufactured items and raw materials – 2,413 used by the British Isles and 2,368 foreign countries and colonies.

A 2,400-seater concert hall was built for the event able to accommodate 1,000 performers. The main building later became the National Concert Hall. The winter gardens subsequently became the Iveagh Gardens.

The venue had been erected to be a permanent exhibition venue, but eighteen years later it mwas dismantled and then erected in London’s Battersea Park. It opened in 1885 as the Albert Palace of Science and Art – but demolished nine years later.

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