Charles Allen Du Val

His life and works

1857 Art Treasures Exhibition

In 1857 the Art Treasures Exhibition was held in a specially constructed temporary building on a site at Old Trafford, then in the semi-rural outskirts of Manchester. This major event, in which works of art were exhibited from collections from all over the United Kingdom, was opened with great ceremony by Prince Albert and visited by Queen Victoria (1)

To mark the occasion a limited edition of a large and sumptuous volume called “The Art Treasures Examiner” was advertised as being “the only PERMANENT RECORD – Pictorial, Critical, and Historical” of the exhibition”. It was ready in November of that year, just in time to “be found suitable for a Christmas Gift Book, or an Elegant Volume for the Drawing Room Table”. (Priced however at ten shillings.) (2).

The distinguished contributors to the “Literary Department” of this work included Charles Allen Du Val, who wrote several articles. He also exhibited two pictures, Forgotten Vows and Recalled to Memory “which were a favourable expression of his power as a humorist, and attracted considerable notice”.

(1) A picture of the opening of the exhibition by Prince Albert was painted by Louis Haghe, a detail of which forms the front cover of the catalogue of the “Art Treasures in Manchester : 150 Years On” exhibition held at the Manchester Art Gallery between 6 October 2007 and 27 January 2008.

Articles by Tristram Hunt and Victoria Whitfield in that catalogue give valuable information on 1857 exhibition.

(2) Advertisement in the Manchester Times on 14 November 1857.