- This event has passed.
Victorians Decoded – Art and Telegraphy, Guildhall Art Gallery, London
September 20, 2016 @ 10:00 am - January 22, 2017 @ 5:00 pm
Marking the 150th anniversary of the completion of the first fast transatlantic cable in 1866 allowing messages to be transmitted between Europe and America in seconds is an art and objects exhibition: Victorians Decoded: Art and Telegraphy at Guildhall Art Gallery until 22 January 2017.
150 years ago, communication was revolutionised. The successful laying of cable along the floor of the Atlantic ocean meant that exchanges that would have taken weeks by ship, were possible within a single day.
This ground-breaking technology captivated Victorian society and how it conceived of itself in time and space. Artists responded in visual terms to the newly connected world, the hostile landscape, changed perceptions of distance, and the idea of sending/receiving messages, coding and decoding.
‘Victorians Decoded: Art and Telegraphy’ looks at the impact of telegraphy on the artistic imagination and wider social consciousness and features Victorian paintings, scientific apparatus and the personal notes and papers of telegraph pioneer Sir Charles Wheatstone.
The art is arranged around themes such as ‘transmission’ and ‘distance’.
Although reviews have said that the thematic “connections can be tenuous” it is nonetheless,
“rather fetching. It’s generally, though not exclusively, of a nautical nature, which provides some kind of drifting anchor to the undersea cable theme.” – The Londonist
The project is a collaboration between the Courtauld Institute of Art, King’s College London and the Guildhall Art Gallery, to explore the connections between art and science in the nineteenth century.
The Guildhall Art Gallery was established in 1886 as to house a “collection of art treasures worthy of the capital” and now hosts an enviable selection of works dating from 1670 to the present day with the primary focus being on London itself.