View looking westwards from near the entrance of the German Piano Court in the central temporary annexe on the western side of the main avenue 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 was 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.
Throughout the Exhibition, musical recitals were periodically held in the German Piano Court, such as on Friday afternoon, 3 December 1880, when English pianist Madam Carlotta Tasca gave performances, first at the French Court at 3pm before moving to the German Court at 4pm to perform no the 'singing' piano, the Blüthner grand.
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.
Description of Content
International Exhibition at Exhibition Building, Melbourne, 1880: interior view showing the German piano court.
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.
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.
Transfer from Trustees of the Royal Exhibition Building (REB), 09/1991
Place & Date Depicted
Printed in black ink on card below the photograph: '59. GERMAN PIANO COURT.'
Type of item
Image Dimensions - Photograph
289 mm (Width), 232 mm (Height)
Dimensions of photograph only
'Exhibition Notes', Argus, 3 December 1880, p.5. On Ludovico Hart see: The Aust'n Photographic Journal, March 20 1896, p.56.
Buildings, Civic Mementoes, Exhibitions, Exhibitions: Melbourne International, 1880-1881, German Communities, Keepsakes, Medal Presentations, Photography, Pianos, Public Ceremonies, Royal Exhibition Building, Royal Exhibition Building Trustees, Royal Exhibition Building: History of Events, 1879-1899