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Photograph - Austrian Court, Great Hall, Exhibition Building, 1880-1881 Image Reg. No: MM 107821

View of some of the Austrian exhibits, including the display of August Klein of Vienna, in the transept of the Great Hall at the 1880 Melbourne International Exhibition held at the Exhibition Buildings, Carlton Gardens, between 1 October 1880 and 30 April 1881.

In addition to the main permanent Exhibition Building, two permanent annexes as well as a large, central wooden temporary annexe were constructed to house the courts of various countries, or to include larger items from countries already represented in the main Building.

The main avenue was the central corridor that extended through the temporary annexes, leading northwards from the main permament Exhibition Buildings. Many of the major European countries had their courts situated on the western side of the main avenue, while the eastern side included exhibits from smaller countries and from other Australian colonies. The Austrian Court was at the far north-west corner of the temporary annexes, next to the Italian Court. Although not reflected on contemporary floorplans of the exhibition layout, it is evident from this photo that not all of the Austrian exhibitors could be accomodated within the Court space allocated, some displaying their produce in the Great Hall.

August Klein, of 6 Ankreasgasse in Vienna's south-west, exhibited under class 29, Leather-work, Fancy Articles, and Basket-work, where he exhibited 'Leather and bronze fancy articles and trinkets'. In December 1880, a journalist reported that 'the articles from the house of August Klein, in Vienna, in bronze and leather trinkts call for honourable mention', a sentiment shared by the jurors who early the following year awarded Klein a First Order of Merit for his exhibit.

This is one of sixty-one photographs in a presentation photograph album titled '1880 Melbourne International Exhibition' presented to Thomas B. Hill. Hill was the Assistant Secretary of the 1880 Melbourne International Exhibition. This leather bound album was given to Hill, and all the Exhibition Commissioners, by the Exhibition Trustees. The photographer is believed to be Ludovico Hart, acting on a private commission from the Exhibition Trustees.
Monochrome, gold-toned, silver gelatin photograph in a black leather bound album with decorative gold tooled border and gold tooled lettering in centre of front cover. Inside, 61 monochrome photographic plates showing exterior and interior views of the 1880 International Exhibition, held at the Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne. Each photograph is mounted on heavy buff coloured card and has a simple black line border with a title beneath the photograph.
Statement Of Significance:
The Royal Exhibition Building has played an important role in Melbourne's social commercial and sporting life since it was built for the Melbourne International Exhibition in 1880. The building's size and scale provide us with a physical example of 'boom-time' Melbourne in 1880. The international exhibitions of the late 1800s provided the fledgling Australian colonies with a forum in which to showcase their progress in commerce and industry to the world. This album is significant for its detailed visual record of the first international exhibition held in Melbourne. It has clear views of the colonial & international courts, as well as specific prominent exhibits. It also provides a contemporary view of the Exhibition Building interior and exterior in the year it was constructed.
Description Of Content:
International Exhibition at Exhibition Building, Melbourne, 1880: interior view showing the Austrian Court.
Acquisition Information:
Transfer from Trustees of the Royal Exhibition Building (REB), 1991
Source: Museum Victoria
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 235 mm (Height), 288 mm (Width)
Dimension Comment: Dimensions of photograph only

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Tagged with: civic mementoes, exhibitions, leatherworking, exhibitions melbourne international 1880-1881, buildings, keepsakes, royal exhibition building, medal presentations, public ceremonies, photography, ceramics, decorative arts, bronze products, royal exhibition building trustees, royal exhibition building history of events 1879-1899
Themes this item is part of: Ludovico Hart, Photographer (circa1836-1919), Images & Image Making Collection, Public Life & Institutions Collection, Royal Exhibition Building Collection
Primary Classification: PUBLIC EVENTS
Secondary Classification: Melbourne International Exhibition 1880
Tertiary Classification: photograph albums
Inscriptions: Printed in black ink on card below the photograph: '22. AUSTRIAN COURT. - GREAT HALL.'
Format: Photograph: Monochrome
Place & Date Depicted: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1880
Manufactured For: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1880
Photographer: Ludovico Hart, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1880
Presented To: Mr Thomas Hill - Melbourne Commission, 1880 Melbourne International Exhibition, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1880
Presented By: The Exhibition Trustees, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1880
Exhibitor: August Klein, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1880
References: 'The Melbourne Exhibition. The Austrian Court', South Australian Advertiser, 27 October 1880, p.5.
'Austria', Argus Exhibition Supplement, 9 December 1880, p.53.
'Melbourne International Exhibition Awards. Leatherwork, Fancy Articles, Trunks &c.', Argus, 19 January 1881, p.6.
On Ludovico Hart see: The Aust'n Photographic Journal, March 20 1896, p.56.

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