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After 1851The Material and Visual Cultures of the Crystal Palace at Sydenham$
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Kate Nichols and Sarah Victoria Turner

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780719096495

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719096495.001.0001

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‘[M]anly beauty and muscular strength’: sculpture, sport and the nation at the Crystal Palace, 1854–1918

‘[M]anly beauty and muscular strength’: sculpture, sport and the nation at the Crystal Palace, 1854–1918

Chapter:
(p.97) 5 ‘[M]anly beauty and muscular strength’: sculpture, sport and the nation at the Crystal Palace, 1854–1918
Source:
After 1851
Author(s):

Kate Nichols

, Kate Nichols, Sarah Victoria Turner
Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719096495.003.0005

This essay recovers episodes in the wide and varied sporting history of the Crystal Palace in the later nineteenth and early twentieth century, and situates it in the context of ideas about the body, nation and empire that were manifest in the 1850s Fine Arts Courts, showing how the Greek and Roman courts in particular were received in changing ways across Victorian and Edwardian culture. The Sydenham Palace brought together ‘Fine Arts’, consumer, and sporting cultures, and allows an examination of the ways in which these three seemingly disparate areas of study were closely intertwined. The essay emphasises the national, racial and gender politics implicit in the relationship between these three categories. Discussing Sandow’s Institute, the 1911 Inter-Empire Games, and the occupation of the Palace by the Royal Navy during the First World War, it relates the Palace’s apparently more formal Fine Arts Courts and Natural History Department to its grassy grounds, its static exhibits to its moving, breathing visitors, art historical education to bodily reformation.

Keywords:   Sport, Masculinity, Eugene Sandow, Sculpture, Nation, Empire, Race, Gender, Commonwealth Games, First World War

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