The ‘Death’ of the Life Room at The Whitworth

The ‘Death’ of the Life Room
The Whitworth
6th June 2024 – 12th January 2025

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George Alfred Stevens, (1817–1875). Study of a Man’s Legs in a Reclining Position. © The Whitworth, The University of Manchester. Photo: Michael Pollard.
George Alfred Stevens, (1817–1875). Study of a Man’s Legs in a Reclining Position. © The Whitworth, The University of Manchester. Photo: Michael Pollard.

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 By the late 1950s, the life room came to represent an outdated and academic model that for some, was hindering innovation.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.

Events

Life Drawing Workshops, Presented by In Demand MCR
Thursday 27 June, 5.45pm-8pm, £16
Join us for a wonderful evening of life drawing at the gallery, inspired by our new exhibition The ‘Death’ of the Life Room. In collaboration with the two-person art collective In Demand MCR.
Click here to find out more and book.

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