Ruskin’s Manchester: ‘Devil’s Darkness’ to Beacon City at MMU

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Ruskin's Manchester: 'Devil's Darkness' to Beacon City at MMU, Manchester
Rose Textile Pattern, c. 1895 © Collection of the Guild of St George/Museums Sheffield

Ruskin's Manchester: 'Devil's Darkness' to Beacon City at Manchester Metropolitan University Special Collections, Manchester, 24 June–23 August 2019, free entry - Visit now

This year marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of John Ruskin, the prominent Victorian writer, art critic, artist and social thinker. Ruskin gave some of his most important lectures in Manchester and was enthusiastically received by Mancunians. This exhibition held at Manchester Metropolitan University Special Collections celebrates Ruskin’s relationship with Manchester and the city’s response to him. Ruskin spoke out against the social, political and environmental injustices of his day and criticised the worst aspects of industrialisation. He promoted access to museums and art education for the working classes. During his lecture ‘The Unity of Art’, at the Manchester School of Art, he spoke about education, manufacture, craft and art, declaring that, ‘FINE ART is that in which the hand, the head, and the heart of man go together’. This lecture is at the heart of this exhibition, which seeks to introduce Ruskin and demonstrate his importance and continuing influence on art, craft and design education.

Ruskin's Manchester: 'Devil's Darkness' to Beacon City at Manchester Metropolitan University Special Collections, Manchester

24 June–23 August 2019
Free entry

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