Welcome to Harry, our new intern

Today’s post is written by Harry Pickard who recently joined our team as a Graduate Intern. Harry shares his experience of graduating and reflects on the first few weeks of his internship. Continue reading

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Virago Modern Classics

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Cover illustrations by Yehrin Tong on display in our Reading Room. 

To celebrate the fortieth anniversary of Virago Modern Classics, earlier this summer Virago Press published a baker’s dozen of deluxe paperbacks, designed by Hannah Wood and featuring artwork by the illustrator, Yehrin Tong. We are delighted that they have donated a complete set of the books to our Book Design Collection, available for all to see in our Reading Room.

The books in this series are by some of Virago’s most-loved writers: Antonia White, Elizabeth Taylor, Zora Neale Hurston, Angela Carter, Patricia Highsmith, Nora Ephron, Grace Paley, Janet Frame, Rosamond Lehmann, Mary Renault, Rebecca West, Muriel Spark and Elaine Dundy. And they are introduced by some of the very best contemporary writers, including Sarah Waters, Hilary Mantel, George Saunders, Tessa Hadley, Zadie Smith, Gillian Flynn, Tom Holland, A. L. Kennedy, Elizabeth Day and Rachel Cooke.

Virago also issued a hardback, Writers as Readers: an anthology of forty introductions from the last four decades.  This anthology celebrates the women and men who, from the list’s inception, have shared their knowledge and enthusiasm by writing wonderful introductions, championing the Virago Modern Classics as books that deserve once again to be read and loved.

John Angus posters

Poster for The Damned at Lancaster University Student’s Union, 1977 designed by John Angus. ©John Angus

We are very pleased to have be given 139 posters by the Lancaster based artist John Angus. He is best known as a designer of posters for cultural events all around the UK from 1974 to 2006. The posters are mainly screen-printed, many by hand.

Angus’s commissions have included poster designs for the Arts Council of England; The Young Vic Theatre;  the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra;  the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester; BBC Television;  the Royal College of Midwives and Lancaster University.

His work can be found in the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery and the Wellcome Collection in London. His work is featured in the book When Rock went To College: Legends Live at Lancaster University 1969–1985 by Barry Lucas and Paul Tomlinson, published by Palatine Books (2017).

Mitzi Cunliffe Commemorated

‘A Flutter of Birds’ in the Holden Gallery, 1968. ©Manchester Metropolitan University Special Collections

In June, the Twentieth Century Society Northwest and the Modernist Society commemorated the life and work of renowned sculptor Mitzi Solomon Cunliffe (1918-2006) with the unveiling of a civic plaque at her former home and studio in Didsbury, where she lived from 1951 to 1964. The unveiling was followed by a talk given by Professor Ann Sumner, who is currently researching Cunliffe’s life and work, and Mitzi Cunliffe’s daughter, Antonia Cunliffe Davis.

Special Collections is pleased to have contributed to this event by bringing to light a sculpture that was known only to researchers through photographs. The hanging sculpture A Flutter of Birds (1961-1962) has been in the Manchester School of Art Collection since the late 1960s, but its existence was not widely known. It is hoped that the sculpture will be on display later in the year.

Mitzi Cunliffe is best known for her work for the Festival of Britain in 1951, and her design for the BAFTA trophy mask. However, some of her most arresting work can be found in Manchester, such as the Heaton Park pumping station (the only post 1945 building to be listed for its sculpture) and the panels set into the external wall of the Manchester University halls of residence in Owens Park, Fallowfield.

Victorian TripAdvisor

Today’s post has been written by John and Lucia, two second year students studying History at Manchester Metropolitan University. As part of the History in Public unit, John and Lucia have spent the past few months researching a number of albums and travel journals from our collections.  They have done a great job and the exhibition they curated is on display in our Spotlight Gallery until 26 April. Here they share what they have learnt about travel and holidays in the 19th century:
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