Exhibition

The 'Death' of the Life Room

6 Jun 2024 – 12 Jan 2025

Regular hours

Monday
Closed
Tuesday
10:00 – 18:00
Wednesday
10:00 – 18:00
Thursday
10:00 – 18:00
Friday
10:00 – 18:00
Saturday
10:00 – 18:00
Sunday
10:00 – 18:00

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The Whitworth

Manchester
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom

Event map

Set against the backdrop of the 1950s this collection display highlights the challenges faced by the life room tradition from the mid-20th century.

About

The 1950s was a decade when the Whitworth not only became a university gallery but saw progressive art education reform taking place across Britain’s further and higher educational institutions. By the late 1950s, the life room came to represent an outdated and academic model that for some, was hindering innovation. Yet for others, drawing from the figure still had a place in the forward-thinking art school.

To coincide with The University of Manchester’s bicentenary year, this exhibition places key works from one of its former teaching collections, which was transferred to the Whitworth in 1959, alongside examples from its internationally renowned collection to explore this fascinating period in the life room’s history.

Highlights include recent acquisitions alongside other works by Edward Burne-Jones, Walter Crane, Edward Poynter, Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore, and David Hockney.

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