Cultural Trends in the Victorian Era

Cultural Trends

The Victorian age was a time greatly influenced by cultural trends influenced the growing industrialization of the era.   Trends and movements such as The Great Exhibition of 1851, The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, The Arts and Crafts Movement and the Medieval/Gothic Revival, transformed England into a culture with a passion for visual advancement.
In 1849, Paris held one of several national exhibitions, showcasing products of craft and industry.   Successfully hoping to advance interest in the industries, the idea of such an exhibition was emulated by the Great Exhibition of 1851 in London, England.   The idea of holding such an event in London was presented to Prince Albert by an engineer named John Scott Russell.   Although those of England did not favor the engineer, the plan for the exhibition won the favor of the Prince, with influence by the Queen since she “wanted Albert to be a success” (Dugan).   The Great Exhibition was commonly referred to as The Crystal Palace Exhibition, due to the cast-iron and glass building in which the fair was held.
The Great Exhibition boosted Victorian culture, creating a vast appeal to a visual culture specifically.   London exploded with an array of “public amusements, popular shows, traveling exhibitions, circuses, sporting events, holiday resorts, and public gardens” (Broadview LIV).   This advancement in a culture that celebrated leisure time was even expanded to the working and lower classes, allowing them to entertain music and dance performances.   During this time, London landmarks commonly recognized today were established, such as museums and department stores.   Print technology also advanced, releasing “the world’s first illustrated weekly paper to hit newsstands, The Illustrated London News” (Broadview LV).
Since the Victorian’s became so fascinated with visual culture, naturally, painters of the era profited.   A style known as “Social Realism” became quite popular, with portrayals of contemporary...