National Art Library and Wembley exhibition

Getting excited about my first visit to the National Art Library at the V&A in the next few days. The Leeds University Library is brilliant and spectacular – and has surprisingly extensive holdings on Cypriot archaeology – but no one library can do everything, so I’m going to London to fill some of the gaps. I’ll be looking at Sotheby’s catalogues from the 1880s (more on that another time), and also reading about the British Empire Exhibition held at Wembley in 1924/5.

We know that some of the Cypriot ceramics in the Leeds City Museum were purchased by the then Curator, Mr Henry Crowther, following the Exhibition at Wembley.

Henry Crowther Wembley purchase

This raises several questions: what was in the Cyprus exhibit at Wembley, and who arranged it? Who did the ceramics belong to, where were they from, and how were they selected? How was the sale organised, and who benefited? Hopefully after some more reading I’ll be getting closer to some answers.


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