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Exhibition Celebrates Victorian Style


30 March 2001


All the exuberance and self-confidence of the Victorian age will be on show at a new exhibition staged by Auckland City Libraries.

Entitled ‘An Embarrassment of Riches: The visual style of the Victorians’, the exhibition will be opened at the Central City Library on Monday, April 2 by Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Judith Tizard. It features a dizzying array of books, prints, photographs and other collectibles known as ‘Victoriana’.

This year marks the centenary of Queen Victoria’s death and her long reign from 1837 until 1901 gave rise to a unique ‘look’ and style. Included in the exhibition are illustrations by ‘Phiz’ for Charles Dickens’ Little Dorritt, comic sketches from Punch, Millais’ illustrations for Cornhill Magazine and lithographic plates depicting scenes from the Great Exhibition of 1851.

The more homely side of Victorian taste appears in the shape of jellies, illustrated for the 1861 first edition of Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management, and fashion plates for the World of Fashion magazine.

A wide-ranging collection of New Zealand Victoriana will also be on display, including programmes for Auckland Balls held in the 1860s, family albums and portraiture scrapbooks and visiting cards.

The exhibition is free and open to everyone. It runs from April 3 to June 23, 2001 at the Special Collections Exhibitions Room, Floor 2, Central Library, Lorne Street. Opening hours are 9.30am to 5pm weekdays, 10am to 4pm Saturday and 12pm to 4pm Sunday.


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