COLE, Henry

COLE, Henry. Bath 15.7.1808 — London 18.4.1882. Sir. English Civil Servant, Designer and Inventor. Son of Captain Henry Robert Cole and Lætitia Dormer. Educated in London. Working at government Dept. of Science and Art and supported by Price Albert he organized several exhibitions and the first World Exhibition in London in 1851. He founded the South Kensington Museum in 1857 (from 1899 Victoria and Albert Museum) and was its first director until 1873. He developed the application of Indian art to industrial manufacture. In 1843 he invented the commercial Christmas card. In 1866 and 1867 he caused the government to collect photographs, plans and casts of Indian architecture. Knighted K.C.B. 1875. Married 1833 Marian Fairman Bond, five daughters and three sons (—> Henry H. Cole). In children’s books he used the nom-de-plume Felix Summerly. Sometimes confused with his son.

Publications: A number of books unrelated to India, including some children’s books.

Sources: *D.N.B. 11, 268-270; Up. Singh 2004, 199-201; *E.P. Alexander, Museum Masters: Their Museums and Their Influence. 1995; Wikipedia with portrait and a caricature.

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