Albert, Prince Francis (Albert) Augustus Charles Emmanuel, Duke of Saxony and Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
Albert was also President of the Society for Improving the Condition of the Labouring Classes, and helped to encourage the building of exemplary dwellings: the Society erected four ‘Model Houses for Families’ as part of the 1851 Exhibition, designed by Henry Roberts and paid for by the Prince. Later, Albert proposed using the profits of the Great Exhibition to found an establishment where science and art could be applied to industry of all nations. This was the beginning of South Kensington, a complex of museums, scientific institutions, and places of learning, known as Albertopolis, which had at its nucleus the Schools of Design. The Victoria & Albert Museum, a national museum of fine and applied art, is probably the Prince's greatest memorial.
As an influence on architecture the Prince was significant. Not only was polychromy favoured from the late 1840s, but many of Grüner's other Italianizing enthusiasms took root. Albert himself was involved in a number of design projects, including the Italianate Osborne House, IoW (with the London builder Thomas Cubitt from 1845), the Royal Dairy at the Model Farms at Windsor, alterations at Buckingham Palace, and Balmoral Castle (an essay in the Scottish Baronial style executed by William Smith (1817–91) of Aberdeen). However, Prince Albert's importance in the history of design lies in the immense improvements that became apparent from the time of the 1862 London Exhibition, which he encouraged, but did not live to see realized.
J. Curl (1983);
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004);
Rhodes James (1983);
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