Aristocracy: Luxury and Leisure in Britain highlights the evolution of leisure in 19th-century England. During this spectacular age of extravagance and spectacle, Britain experienced a profound revolution of scientific innovation, economic growth and artistic exploration. As a result, a new culture of leisure emerged, fueled by the wealth and affluence of the cultural elite. This comprehensive exhibition offers a glimpse into the lavish lifestyles of the 19th-century British aristocracy.
An exciting time for technology, science and the arts, British culture of the 19th century found itself at a crossroads - awakening to change with echoes of the past still visible. While strict rules of etiquette still governed society, opulence and entertainment emerged as a driving socioeconomic force that became a central facet of aristocratic life.
Through an exploration of the elaborate leisure culture that defined the era, the exhibition will reveal the complex ways in which the English aristocracy displayed – and ultimately preserved – its vast wealth and social power in the face of a rapidly changing economic structure.