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Prince Albert used photography to document exhibitions and works of art

Hugh Owen (1808-97)

The Great Exhibition, 1851: Hawk and Heron by Hancock 1851

Salted paper print | 17.9 x 22.7 cm (image) | RCIN 2800101

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Photograph showing a taxidermy scene depicting a hawk engaged in combat with a heron. The hawk is presented with its wings slightly spread as it gazes down at the heron. The hawk pushes the heron against the ground. The heron's wings are spread. It has one claw in the air and its beak pointing up towards the hawk. The display was exhibited by Hancock at the Great Exhibition.

This photograph is from Volume IV (RCIN 2800003) of ' Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations, 1851: Reports by the Juries on the Subjects in the Thirty Classes into which the Exhibition was Divided'. The incredibly successful Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations, commonly known as the Great Exhibition, ran from May to October 1851. At the exhibition's conclusion, over 100 copies of the four volume 'Reports by the Juries' were distributed to foreign governments and notable participants. The reports consist of the juries' comments and assessments of the works displayed in the exhibition. The idea and decision to illustrate the reports with photographs is attributed to Prince Albert (1819-61).