A group of children are standing on a beach at the edge of the water. The end of a large boat is visible on the shore to the left background. Two sailors are standing next to the boat, on the right. The children have model boats which are floating on the water. The child stood to the far left of the group is crying and has her hands raised towards her head.
Art for All: Thomas Horsfall’s Gift to Manchester Thomas Coglan Horsfall (1844-1932) was a pioneering philanthropist who established the Manchester Art Museum in 1884 in Harpurhey, moving it to larger premises at Ancoats Hall in 1886. The Museum was at the forefront of developments in art education, operating an innovative picture loan scheme for schools. In the 1880s, Harpurhey and Ancoats were crowded working class areas: the residents lived hard lives in impoverished surroundings. Horsfall wanted to make them aware of natural beauty by means of the Museum. He decided to locate the Museum close to their homes and to open it until 10 o’clock at night and on Sundays so that working people could visit. The Museum showed decorative and industrial art, original paintings and drawings, and copious reproductions. The works of art were arranged in themed rooms and everything had an explanatory label. Clubs for rambling, singing and woodcarving were formed and twice-weekly entertainments were held in the Museum’s concert hall. In 1918, the Museum and its contents were transferred to the management of Manchester City Council. The Museum finally closed in 1953. The majority of the items in this exhibition are from the original Museum. The exhibition has been co-curated by the Year 5 pupils at St Augustine’s CE Primary School in Harpurhey, Manchester.
plate mark: 21cm x 29.3cm
support: 29.1cm x 44.7cm
Place of creation
Transferred from the Horsfall Museum Collection, 1918