The Exhibition Building Melbourne 1880, from the South East Showing the Main Hall

Joseph Reed1879

Museums Victoria

Museums Victoria
Carlton, Australia

A competition to design a permanent Exhibition Building in Melbourne was announced late in 1877. Joseph Reed of Reed & Barnes architects was announced the winner in May 1878, and by February 1879 construction in Carlton Gardens was underway. In May 1879 the Exhibition commissioners sanctioned the addition of two permanent machinery annexes and 100,000 square metres of temporary annexing following a huge demand from foreign exhibitors. The permanent annexes were designed by Reed, while Messrs Walker & Haliday were commissioned to design and build the temporary annexing.The Exhibition Buildings and redesigned Carlton Gardens were finished in time for the opening of the Melbourne International Exhibition on 1 October 1880, although touch-up works continued for about a month after that date.


  • Title: The Exhibition Building Melbourne 1880, from the South East Showing the Main Hall
  • Creator: Joseph Reed
  • Creator Lifespan: 1832 - 1890
  • Creator Nationality: English
  • Creator Gender: Male
  • Creator Death Place: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • Creator Birth Place: Cornwall, England
  • Date Created: 1879
  • Type: Image
  • Rights: Copyright Expired, Source: Museum Victoria / Artist: Joseph Reed
  • External Link: Museum Victoria Collections
  • Medium: Watercolour on Paper
  • Themes: Royal Exhibition Building
  • Artist biography: Joseph Reed was born in Cornwall, England in 1823. He arrived in Melbourne, Victoria, in July 1853, and by January 1854 had won his first architectural competition to design the city's Public Library. That same year he also designed the Bank of New South Wales (Melbourne branch) and the Geelong Town Hall.Reed was appointed the university architect in 1858. In 1862 he went into partnership with Frederick Barnes.Reed & Barnes were responsible for the design of many of Melbourne's public buildings including the Wesley Church (circa 1858), the Collins Street Independent Church (1866), St Jude's Church (1866), Rippon Lea (1868), the Melbourne Town Hall, the Menzies Hotel (1867), Trades Hall (1873), Wilson Hall, University of Melbourne (1878), and the (Royal) Exhibition Building (1879).Barnes retired in 1883, and Reed went into partnership with AM Henderson and FJ Smart. Together they worked on designs for St Paul's Cathedral in Melbourne. Henderson resigned in 1890, shortly before Reed's death 'of inanition and exhaustion'.
  • Artist: Joseph Reed

Additional Items

Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more

Flash this QR Code to get the app
Google apps