Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha as Collector, Educator and Cultural Transferant

23. Juni 2022 18:00

Dr. Jana Riedel

The contribution that Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (1819–1861) made as a cultural transferant between Britain and the German lands has long been undervalued in both British and German research. Historiography has tended to overlook and/or systematically underplay Albert’s role in British political and cultural life, although this has begun to change in recent years. Jana’s research is part of this new movement in that it reassesses Albert’s life and work, corrects previous omissions and dismantles old prejudices. It uses the lens of cultural transfer theory to re-evaluate the multifarious contributions of this German prince to British life.
This lecture traces Albert’s education, his collecting and other cultural endeavours, as well as the working practices he developed before his arrival in Britain. Following on from this, it examines the stages of his integration into British life and the forces that shaped his position as Prince Consort. At the centre of the lecture is an examination of Albert’s role in the organisation and facilitation of the Great Exhibition of 1851 and its legacy, as demonstrated especially in the South Kensington complex of museums and other cultural institutions, also known as Albertopolis.

Originally from Germany, Jana Riedel has now spent over 20 years living, studying and working in the UK. With a background in Film and Video Production and working for years as an independent producer and filmmaker, she re-entered education in 2013 when studying for an MA in Anglo-German Cultural Relations at the Centre for AGCR at Queen Mary University of London. She went on to complete her PhD, also at the Centre, in collaboration with the Victoria and Albert Museum. Jana is now a Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre and works as Research Projects Officer at the Research Institute of the V&A.
Previous positions held include Arts & Culture Manager at QMUL and Knowledge Exchange Hub Manager for Creativeworks London, also at QMUL.

The lecture will conclude with drawing a connection to the V&A today and how the Museum relates to the founding vision of the South Kensington Museum.

Please register by June 20 at Participants will receive the login details on June 22.

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