'Perfectly painted' or 'catastrophe'?
Manchester Art Gallery
Wednesday 3 July 2019, 12.15pm–1pm
Join curator Hannah Williamson for a gallery tour to consider what Ruskin had to say about works in Manchester’s collection. Part of Ruskin in Manchester.
Ruskin in Manchester celebrates the legacy of John Ruskin (1819-1900) in Manchester, in the year that marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of this visionary thinker, with a programme of public events taking place across summer 2019. As an artist, writer, poet, critic, social reformer, philanthropist and ecologist, Ruskin’s is a legacy that shapes our world and lives in so many ways. Expressions of his ideas can be found in the creation of the Welfare State and National Health Service, National Trust, Campaign for Drawing (Big Draw) and Labour Party.
Ruskin’s relationship with Manchester was simple and blunt; he hated the city. As a social reformer he was deeply troubled by the pollution and poor working conditions. In his writings he talks of ‘Manchester devil’s darkness’. And yet Ruskin would come to have a close connection to the city. Some of Ruskin’s most important lectures were given in Manchester, including two linked to the Art Treasures exhibition of 1857.
It was in Manchester that the first Ruskin Society was founded (1878) and the people of Manchester and its civic leaders responded to his ideas in their work to make the city a happier and healthier place to live. Supported by the Guild of St George (the education charity founded by Ruskin in 1871) and Manchester Metropolitan University, Ruskin in Manchester will see different cultural organisations across the city exploring the world of Ruskin through a programme of events, exhibitions, talks, walking tours and creative activities.