Georgians Revealed shows off "unbeatable collections" in British Library exhibition

By Culture24 Reporter | 11 November 2013

Exhibition preview: Georgians Revealed, British Library, London, until March 11 2014

A photo of a pair of red shoes with white laces from the English Georgian period
Georgian men's shoes (circa 1790)© Northampton Museum
If, as curator Dr Moira Goff suggests, the Georgian period has been “somewhat overlooked” in exhibition terms, the items filling the cases in the British Library’s charming-looking display redress the balance in elegantly forceful style: An English Family at Tea is borrowed from Tate Britain, furniture and crockery comes from the V&A, and there are masks, statues, picnic hampers and a violin from the Museum of London, as well as a pair of the shoes Northampton Museum specialises in.

This is the first in a year-long programme devised between British and German curatorial teams, containing 200 objects. Some of the books were once part of George III’s personal library, but the social origins depicted elsewhere – from fashion and shopping to gambling and celebrity magazines – resonate with everyday life hundreds of years later.

“We’re showing off the Library’s unbeatable 18th and 19th century printed collections,” says Goff, mentioning adverts, tickets, receipts and the “gargantuan and exquisitely illustrated” tomes from the shelves once lined by the King’s choice of reading material.

“We hope visitors will enjoy the exhibition’s playful atmosphere and make the connections between then and now that really bring the period to life.”

  • Open 10am-6pm (8pm Tuesday, 5pm Saturday, 11am-5pm Sunday). Admission £5-£10 (free for under-18s). Visit the exhibition online. Follow the library on Twitter @britishlibrary and use the hashtag #BLGeorgians.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

An image of a Georgian painting of men and women standing around a drawing room
Van Aken, An English Family at Tea (circa 1720)© Tate Britain
An image of a black and white drawing of various figures around a square board page
William Hogarth, Country Dancing. From The Analysis of Beauty (1753)© British Library Board
An image of a painting of various people talking inside a print shop in Georgian England
Speactators at a Print Shop in St Paul's Churchyard© British Museum
An image of an illustration inside a Georgian book of a woman in a dress playing a piano
Miniature book from The Infant's Library (1800)© British Library Board
An image of playing cards from the Georgian period
Pack of playing cards (1775-1800)© British Museum
An image of a white teapot from the Georgian period with a dark red illustration on it
English teapot and cover© Victoria and Albert Museum
An image of a grey stone statue of a boy holding a parchment from Georgian times
Boy from Farringdon Ward School (1705-1800)© Museum of London
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