Thursday, March 6, 2008

City Art Gallery, Manchester

There’s so much for the buildings buff to enjoy in Manchester – the city's industrial and commercial history can be traced in its bricks and stones; great architectural statements like the famous Town Hall speak of justifiable civic pride; modern regeneration unravels here, there, and everywhere… But walking around Manchester I’ve also been struck by small things, like bits of decoration, that are easy to miss in the rush. Again, many of these are bits of Mancunian myth-making, like the industrious bees and images of cotton on the Town Hall that tell us what made the city rich. So I’ve picked a few different ones. And what better for the English Buildings blog than images of buildings?

This one is a panel from the City Art gallery. It’s one of a series of allegorical figures carved by John Hemming Junior to relieve the stone walls of this very serious Classical building designed by Barry and erected in the 1830s. Presumably this is Architecture, in front of a Greek temple, appropriately on this building in the Greek Revival style. A charming personification to adorn a temple of the arts.

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