Annie Swynnerton: Painting Light and Hope at Manchester Art Gallery

Sara Jaspan, Exhibitions Editor
Annie Swynnerton The Sense of Sight, 1895 (detail) Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool Courtesy National Museums Liverpool, Walker Art Gallery.

Annie Swynnerton: Painting Light and Hope at Manchester Art Gallery, Chinatown, 23 February 2018–6 January 2019, free entry - Visit now

As someone who had a profound impact on the status of female artists in her home city, and who was celebrated for her radical approach towards the representation of women, Annie Swynnerton’s first retrospective in nearly 100 years seems well overdue. But better late than never.

Painting Light and Hope at Manchester Art Gallery will feature 36 paintings by the pioneering artist, suffragette and feminist campaigner who was born in Hulme, Manchester, in 1844 (died 1933). Her canvases are dominated by women of all ages and social backgrounds, rendered in a style that boldly challenged traditional conventions of beauty at the time. Tate curator Alison Smith described Swynnerton as “one of the most daring female painters of the nude, often shocking audiences with her robustly painted figures.” And as such, her work captures the burgeoning sense of female power, strength and hope at the turn of the 20th century, when women’s roles and opportunities in society were beginning to change.

Swynnerton co-founded the Manchester Society of Women Painters in 1879 with her studio partner Susan Dacre, offering art education as well as presenting exhibitions; and was elected the first female Associate Member of the Royal Academy in 1922. Her portraits feature many important feminists of the period, including Darce, while her landscapes reflect a highly independent style, shaped by her experience of light and colour in Italy, where she eventually settled with her husband (the sculptor Joseph Swynnerton).

Don’t miss this rare opportunity to see such a substantial body of this important female artist’s work in one place, and to learn more about her inspiring personality and politics.

Annie Swynnerton: Painting Light and Hope at Manchester Art Gallery, Chinatown

23 February 2018–6 January 2019
Free entry

Things to do right now

Powered by culturehosts
Activity Until 3 February 2023, from £30.00

Baumka Conscious Clubbing at Victoria Warehouse

Music Until 16 February 2023, from £9.50

Donna Candy at SOUP

vegan super club
Activity Until 17 February 2023, from £50

Supper Club at the Vegetarian Society Cookery School

Exhibitions Until 18 February 2023, FREE

The Confessional at HOME

PUSH Festival 2023 at HOME
Festivals Until 18 February 2023,

PUSH Festival 2023 at HOME

The Singing Mermaid at Waterside
Families Until 19 February 2023, from £14.00

The Singing Mermaid at Waterside CANCELLED

Activity Until 25 February 2023, from £13

Elizabeth Gaskell’s House Tour

Fairy Tales at Z-Arts
Families Until 26 February 2023, from £3.00

Fairy Tales at Z-Arts

Activity Until 6 March 2023, from £6.00

Shake it off: Music Video Dance Class with Girl Gang

The Lion King at the Palace Theatre
Families Until 11 March 2023, from £20.00

The Lion King at the Palace Theatre

OUTDOOR ART CLUB AT THE WHITWORTH
Childrens Until 18 March 2023, FREE

Outdoor Art Club at The Whitworth

Activity Until 22 March 2023, FREE

Guided Tours at People’s History Museum