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“Industry without Art Is Brutality”: Aesthetic Ideology and Social Practice in Victorian Art Museums

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 December 2012


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1 We can thus see a clear connection between the philanthropic “Art for the People” art gallery movement and the development of municipal art museums in the major industrial cities. See, e.g., Waterfield, Giles, Art for the People: Culture in the Slums of Late Victorian Britain (London, 1994)Google Scholar; Borzello, Frances, Civilising Caliban: The Misuse of Art, 1875–1980 (London, 1987)Google Scholar; Wilson, Shelagh, “‘The Highest Art for the Lowest People’: The Whitechapel and Other Philanthropic Art Galleries, 1877–1901,” in Governing Cultures: Art Institutions in Victorian London, ed. Barlow, Paul and Trodd, Colin (Aldershot, 2000), 172–86Google Scholar; Harrison, Michael, “Art and Philanthropy: T. C. Horsfall and the Manchester Art Museum,” in City, Class, and Culture: Studies of Social Policy and Cultural Production in Victorian Manchester, ed. Kidd, Alan J. and Roberts, K. W. (Manchester, 1985), 120–47Google Scholar; Harrison, Michael, “Art and Social Regeneration: The Ancoats Art Museum,” Manchester Region History Review 7 (1993): 6372Google Scholar; and Koven, Seth, “The Whitechapel Picture Exhibitions and the Politics of Seeing,” in Museum Culture: Histories, Discourses, Spectacles, ed. Sherman, Daniel J. and Rogoff, Irit (Minneapolis, 1994), 22–48Google Scholar.

2 There is now a large literature on the history of museums. For an assessment of museum history and its relation to recent museological practice, see Klein, Rachel N., “Art Museums and Public Life in Historical Perspective,” Intellectual History Newsletter 23 (2001): 3543Google Scholar. For a recent historiography, see Starn, Randolph, “A Historian's Brief Guide to New Museum Studies,” American Historical Review 110, no. 1 (2005): 6898CrossRefGoogle Scholar. Scholars have analyzed art museums in particular as performing many key functions within and for the modern state and capitalist society. For Carol Duncan, the museum of modern art facilitates a variety of social “rituals” (Duncan, , “The Art Museum as Ritual,” Art Bulletin 77 [March 1995]: 1013Google Scholar; Duncan, Carol and Wallach, Alan, “The Museum of Modern Art as Late Capitalist Ritual,” Marxist Perspectives, no. 4 [Winter 1978]: 2851Google Scholar, and “The Universal Survey Museum,” Art History 3 [1980]: 447–69). Art museums perpetuate cultural “distinctions” between classes and “naturalize” art in Bourdieu, Pierre, Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste, trans. Nice, Richard (Cambridge, MA, 1984)Google Scholar; and Bourdieu, Pierre, Darbel, Alain, and Schnapper, Dominique, The Love of Art: European Art Museums and Their Public (Stanford, CA, 1991)Google Scholar. They “transform the population into a useful resource for the state,” according to Hooper-Greenhill, Eilean, Museums and the Shaping of Knowledge (New York, 1992), 168Google Scholar. For Tony Bennett, they are “vehicles for inscribing and broadcasting messages of power” that form part of an “exhibitionary complex” that is the counterpart of Foucault's “carceral achipelago” (Bennett, The Birth of the Museum: History, Theory, Politics [London, 1995], 60–61). Susan Pearce describes art museums as “place[s] of apotheosis where market values and cultural values become one” (Pearce, On Collecting: An Investigation into Collecting in the European Tradition [London, 1995], 396). To Donald Preziosi, they are “laborator[ies] for the education and refinement of bourgeois sentiment” and “social instrument[s] for the fabrication and maintenance of modernity,” as he notes in “In the Temple of Entelechy: The Museum as Evidentiary Artefact,” in The Formation of National Collections of Art and Archaeology, ed. Wright, Gwendolyn (Washington, DC, 1996), 168, 170Google Scholar. Finally, emphasizing their ritual aspect and central role in the modern city, art museums figure as “cathedrals of urban modernity” in Lorente, Jesús Pedro, Cathedrals of Urban Modernity: The First Museums of Contemporary Art, 1800–1930 (Brookfield, VT, 1998)Google Scholar.

3 For good case studies in the British context, see esp. Hill, Kate, Culture and Class in English Public Museums, 1850–1914 (Aldershot, 2005)Google Scholar; Bailkin, Jordanna, The Culture of Property: The Crisis of Liberalism in Modern Britain (Chicago, 2004)Google Scholar; as well as Taylor, Brandon, Art for the Nation: Exhibitions and the London Public, 1747–2001 (New Brunswick, NJ, 1999)Google Scholar. Shorter studies have also appeared as essays in the edited volumes put out by Manchester University and Ashgate Press on culture, class, and gender. For other national contexts, see, e.g., Conn, Stephen, Museums and American Intellectual Life, 1876–1926 (Chicago, 1998)Google Scholar; Sheehan, James, Museums in the German Art World: From the End of the Old Regime to the Rise of Modernism (Oxford, 2000)Google Scholar; and Sherman, Daniel J., Worthy Monuments: Art Museums and the Politics of Culture in Nineteenth-Century France (Cambridge, MA, 1989)CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

4 The scope of this article does not allow me to fully explore the implications of these debates over museum policies and collections. I need to note here, however, that particular visual practices, painting styles, and aesthetic ideology helped redefine art as a viable means of social reform. I am exploring this in work in progress.

5 Bennett, The Birth of the Museum, and Hooper-Greenhill, Museums and the Shaping of Knowledge, use Foucauldian analyses to emphasize museums as sites of social control.

6 In her recent study of municipal (primarily natural history) museums, Kate Hill has come to similar conclusions, and she emphasizes the extent to which municipal museums apparently failed as sites of social control (see Hill, Culture and Class, esp. chap. 7).

7 I am using Simon Gunn's sense of “ritual” as part of the “visualisation of social position, and with it the affirmation of collective [middle-class] identity” (122) that included such Manchester practices as commuting, meeting at the High Exchange, and “Doing the Square” on Saturday mornings. From Gunn, Simon, “The Middle Class, Modernity and the Provincial City: Manchester, c. 1840–1880,” in Gender, Civic Culture, and Consumerism: Middle-Class Identity in Britain, 1800–1940, ed. Kidd, Alan and Nicholls, David (Manchester, 1999), 112–27Google Scholar; he further elaborated these ideas in his The Public Culture of the Victorian Middle Class: Ritual and Authority and the English Industrial City, 1840–1914 (Manchester, 2000)Google Scholar.

8 This thus corroborates, in a different national and historical context, Pierre Bourdieu's ideas about how art and art museums function to create distinctions between classes (see Bourdieu, Distinction).

9 Ruskin defended the late works of J. M. W. Turner by arguing that his paintings captured nature more faithfully than previous painters; he subsequently supported both the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and Italian Gothic architecture for the same “truth to nature.” Ruskin interpreted this fidelity to natural forms as illuminating the grandeur of God's creation and hence as providing beauty and meaning for those who used or produced such art or architecture. See, e.g., Ruskin, John, Modern Painters (Kent, 1888), esp. vol. 1, pt. 2Google Scholar, “Of Truth.” Matthew Arnold argued for the importance of culture because it would help develop both “inward” and “general” “perfection,” both of which would counteract the “mechanical and external” character of modern civilization (Arnold, Culture and Anarchy and Other Writings, ed. Stefan Collini [Cambridge, 1999], 62–63; see esp. “Culture and Anarchy: An Essay in Political and Social Criticism,” chap. 1, “Sweetness and Light”).

10 I am grateful to Tim Barringer for his useful comments on this idea and on my doctoral dissertation generally, from which parts of this article derive. For further information and detail about the foundation and development of these three museums, see Woodson-Boulton, Amy, “Temples of Art in Cities of Industry: Municipal Art Museums in Birmingham, Liverpool, and Manchester, c. 1870–1914” (PhD diss., University of California, Los Angeles, 2003)Google Scholar.

11 See Ibid., chap. 6.

12 A point made well in the introduction to Richard Aldington, ed., The Religion of Beauty: Selections from the Aesthetes, with an Introduction by Richard Aldington (London, 1950), esp. 13–14Google Scholar. I am grateful to Bill McKelvy for this reference.

13 Hewison, Robert and Wildman, Stephen, Ruskin, Turner, and the Pre-Raphaelites (London, 2000), 13Google Scholar. My understanding of the relationship between Ruskin's background, his ideas on art, and his political and economic ideas has also been inspired by Williams, Raymond, Culture and Society: 1780–1950 (New York, 1983)Google Scholar; Hilton, Timothy, John Ruskin: The Early Years (New Haven, CT, 2000)Google Scholar, and John Ruskin: The Later Years (New Haven, CT, 2000)Google Scholar; Barringer, Tim, Men at Work: Art and Labour in Victorian Britain (New Haven, CT, 2005)Google Scholar; and the teaching of Debora Silverman.

14 For a good discussion of how Pugin's and Ruskin's ideas played out in practice, see Macleod, Robert, Style and Society: Architectural Ideology in Britain, 1835–1914 (London, 1971)Google Scholar.

15 “We may indeed perceive, as far as we are acquainted with the nature of God, that we have been so constructed as in a healthy state of mind to derive pleasure from whatever things are illustrative of that nature” (The Works of John Ruskin, ed. Cook, E. T. and Wedderburn, Alexander, 39 vols. [London, 1903–12], 2:51Google Scholar, quoting a passage of Ruskin's Modern Painters, vol. 1).

16 Cook and Wedderburn, The Works of John Ruskin, 11:49; reference in Hewison and Wildman, Ruskin, Turner and the Pre-Raphaelites, 13.

17 Crook, J. Mordaunt, The Dilemma of Style (Chicago, 1987)Google Scholar, writes that Ruskin argued for the Italian Gothic as a compromise solution to the search for an appropriate historical model for modern architecture, which most practitioners had until then conceived only in terms of the choice between classical and Gothic (the “Battle of Styles”).

18 Ruskin, John, Fors Clavigera: Letters to the Workmen and Labourers of Great Britain (Philadelphia, 1891)Google Scholar.

19 On the role of culture in the formation of urban government and as a response to urbanization, see, e.g., Meller, H. E., Leisure and the Changing City, 1870–1914 (London, 1976)Google Scholar; Hennock, E. P., Fit and Proper Persons: Ideal and Reality in Nineteenth-Century Urban Government (London, 1973)CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Joyce, Patrick, Visions of the People: Industrial England and the Question of Class, 1848–1914 (Cambridge, 1991)CrossRefGoogle Scholar; and Hunt, Tristam, Building Jerusalem: The Rise and Fall of the Victorian City (London, 2004)Google Scholar.

20 Hennock, Fit and Proper Persons; Kate Hill, “‘Thoroughly Embued with the Spirit of Ancient Greece’: Symbolism and Space in Victorian Civic Culture,” in Kidd and Nichols, Gender, Civic Culture, and Consumerism, 99–111, and Culture and Class.

21 Horsfall, T. C., The Government of Manchester: A Paper Read to the Manchester Statistical Society, November 13th, 1895, with Additions (Manchester, 1895), 3233Google Scholar.

22 As Morris wrote to Horsfall, “Educate your workmen into general discontent” (letter from Morris to Horsfall, undated [ca. 12 February 1881], in Dorothy Frances Skinner, T. C. Horsfall [1841–1932]: A Memoir [unpublished typed manuscript, Manchester Central Library Archives (hereafter MCLA), MISC/690/11, 71]; according to Michael Harrison, there are no extant versions of this correspondence [Harrison, “Art and Philanthropy,” 145 n. 55]).

23 See Carol Duncan, “Putting the ‘Nation’ in London's National Gallery,” 101–11.

24 For further elaboration on the founding of these art museums, see Woodson-Boulton, “Temples of Art in Cities of Industry,” chaps. 1–3.

25 See Hennock, Fit and Proper Persons, 31–34, 105–7.

26 Dale, A. W. W., The Life of R. W. Dale of Birmingham (London, 1898), 401–2Google Scholar.

27 See Dale, A. W. W., “George Dawson,” in Nine Famous Birmingham Men: Lectures Delivered in the University, ed. Muirhead, J. H. (Birmingham, 1909), 75–108Google Scholar; Hennock, Fit and Proper Persons, 61–79; and Dale, The Life of R. W. Dale of Birmingham.

28 The Spectator, 2 December 1876. Quoted in Hennock, Fit and Proper Persons, 68.

29 Ruskin took note of the work that Dale and Dawson did to articulate and explain his ideas about art, nature, and duty; see Charles Silvester Horne, “R. W. Dale,” in Muirhead, Nine Famous Birmingham Men, 262–63.

30 No date is given in the text published in 1888, but Dawson died in 1876 (Dawson, George, “Beauty and Purity in Towns,” in his Shakespeare and Other Lectures, ed. Clair, George St. [London, 1888], 494–99)Google Scholar.

31 As discussed above; see Ruskin, “Of the Use of Pictures,” in Modern Painters, vol. 3, in Cook and Wedderburn, The Works of John Ruskin, 5:171–72.

32 Dawson, “Beauty and Purity in Towns,” 495.

34 Dawson's congregants who were also chairmen of the Free Libraries and Museums Committee included E. C. Osborne, William Harris, Jesse Collings, and G. J. Johnson; others involved in art education included Samuel Timmins, J. A. Langford, and H. S. Pearson (Hennock, Fit and Proper Persons, 94 nn. 38 and 39).

35 Brothers Joseph, Arthur, and Richard Chamberlain, their brother-in-law William Kenrick, and R. F. Martineau were all part of Crosskey's congregation. On Crosskey and the membership of these men in his Church of the Messiah, see Hennock, Fit and Proper Persons, 94.

36 The Sunday Question Again: Shall the Free Libraries and Art Gallery Be Open on Sunday? (anonymous pamphlet; Birmingham, 1871), 4.

37 For an excellent recent study of Birmingham's civic culture and the tradition of “self-improvement,” see Rodrick, Anne B., Self-Help and Civic Culture: Citizenship in Victorian Birmingham (Aldershot, 2004)Google Scholar.

38 John Henry Chamberlain was not related to Joseph Chamberlain. Asa Briggs noted John Henry Chamberlain's influence in the suburbs in introducing Gothic red-brick decorated architecture. See Briggs, , History of Birmingham, vol. 2, Borough and City, 1865–1938 (London, 1952), 23Google Scholar. See also Brooks, M. W., John Ruskin and Victorian Architecture (London, 1989)Google Scholar; and Weiner, Deborah E. B., Architecture and Social Reform in Late-Victorian London (Manchester, 1994)Google Scholar.

39 J. H. Chamberlain, “A Catalogue of the Work of Mr. John Ruskin, as collected by J. H. Chamberlain, prior to January the first, 1879” (manuscript, 1879, Birmingham Central Library Archives Inner Iron Room, 74/78126). Samuel Timmins called Chamberlain a “fellow-worker” and “devoted friend” of George Dawson (see Timmins, A History of Warwickshire [London, 1889], 207).

40 Cossins, J. A., “Architecture,” in Handbook of Birmingham, Prepared for Members of the British Association (Birmingham, 1886), 125Google Scholar. His son was Arthur Bensley Chamberlain. See SirWallis, Whitworth, “The Museum and Art Gallery,” in Birmingham Institutions: Lectures Given at the University, ed. Muirhead, John H. (Birmingham, 1911), 516–18Google Scholar; and The late Sir Whitworth Wallis, F.S.A., 1855–1927,” Connoisseur 77 (1927): 185–86Google Scholar. I am grateful to Victoria Emmanuel of the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery for providing me with a copy of the latter.

41 William Kenrick, another admirer of Ruskin and a good friend of Edward Burne-Jones, chaired the Museums and School of Art Committee from its inception in 1884 until his death in 1918. A room of the house John Henry Chamberlain designed for him is now on display in the British Galleries of the Victoria and Albert Museum. On Kenrick's house, The Grove, see also a watercolor, ca. 1877, depicting the interior (Victoria and Albert Museum, ref. 8542, Description Museum no. E.217-1968, Joseph Chamberlain's house, Highbury, became Birmingham city property in 1932; information available through

42 Compare Weiner, Architecture and Social Reform.

43 Morris, William, Address Delivered at the Town Hall, Birmingham, on the 19th of February, 1879 by William Morris, President (Birmingham, 1879)Google Scholar, and Labour and Pleasure, Vs. Labour and Sorrow: Address in Town Hall (Birmingham, 1880)Google Scholar, later collected in The Collected Works of William Morris, with an Introduction by His Daughter May Morris, vol. 22, Hopes and Fear for Art, Lectures on Art and Industry (London, 1914), 2850, 51–80Google Scholar.

44 Morris, Labour and Pleasure, 6.

45 Ibid., 8.

46 Ibid., 28.

47 R. W. Dale in Richard Acland Armstrong, Henry William Crosskey: His Life and Work (1895), quoted in Dale, The Life of R. W. Dale of Birmingham, 402. On the improvements of the 1860s, see Briggs, History of Birmingham, 2:9–11; following earlier historians Bunce and Hiley, Briggs also emphasizes the importance of Joseph Chamberlain's mayoralty (2:69). Under Chamberlain, the Town Council municipalized the gas and water works and rebuilt a large central area of the town (E. V. Hiley, “Birmingham City Government,” in Muirhead, Birmingham Institutions, 87–144, 102–3; Briggs, History of Birmingham, 2:72–82). Denys P. Leighton calls Joseph Chamberlain and his followers the “New Radicals,” emphasizing the extent to which they centralized municipal government in the Town Council (see Leighton, “Municipal Progress, Democracy and Radical Identity in Birmingham, 1838–1886,” Midland History 25 [2000]: 115–42, 128–29).

48 See Report of the Free Libraries Committee, 6 March 1860, Borough of Birmingham: Proceedings of the Council (BCP; Birmingham, 1859–1914), 1860, 122–23.

49 Free Public Libraries and Museums Committee Report, 15 May 1860, BCP 1860, 195.

50 Langford, John Alfred, The Birmingham Free Libraries, the Shakspere [sic] Memorial Library, and the Art Gallery (Birmingham, 1871), 4Google Scholar; Free Libraries Committee Report, 5 September 1865, BCP 1865, 350; Bunce, J. T., Address Delivered at the Annual Meeting of Members, 10th January 1876 (Birmingham, 1876), 89Google Scholar. See also Free Libraries Committee Report, 9 April 1861, BCP 1861, 197.

51 See Free Libraries Committee Report, 6 August 1867, BCP 1867, 399; Chamberlain, A. Bensley, The Corporation Museum and Art Gallery (Birmingham, 1913), 3Google Scholar; and Free Libraries Committee Report, 11 May 1875, BCP 1875, 423. On the collection, see Report of the Free Libraries and Museum Committee (Birmingham, 1867), 56Google Scholar.

52 Roy Hartnell argues that the social and political prestige of certain individuals—designers, artists, and architects—contributed to the implementation of the civic gospel. However, while he recognizes that the “civic gospel required visual expression” (231), Hartnell does not acknowledge the substantial cultural aims inherent within the civic gospel itself (see Hartnell, , “Art and Civic Culture in Birmingham in the Late Nineteenth Century,” Urban History 22, no. 2 [1995]: 229–37)CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

53 Letter dated 26 April 1875, from Chamberlain to Collings, printed in the Free Libraries Committee Report, 11 May 1875, BCP 1875, 419.

54 Free Libraries Committee Report, 11 May 1875, BCP 1875, 420.

55 The semipublic bodies included the Industrial Art Museum Committee and the Public Picture Gallery Fund, which included members of the council and the Free Libraries Committee as well as art-reforming citizens. For more detailed information, see Woodson-Boulton, “Temples of Art in Cities of Industry,” 36–42. Annual attendance in the thirty-by-seventy-foot room was 145,761 in 1872, when the gallery first opened on Sundays. By 1877, in the same space, it was an astonishing 393,645. Attendance figures from the Museum and Art Gallery Committee Report, 6 May 1913, BCP 1913, 418 (see also Woodson-Boulton, “Temples of Art in Cities of Industry,” apps. 3 and 4).

56 Meeting of the Town Council, 7 May 1872, BCP 1872, 405, and 11 May 1876, BCP 1876, 424–25.

57 As the council tried to find ways to house it adequately, the Art Gallery had an itinerant existence from 1877, when it moved into temporary rooms in Paradise Street, until 1880, when it in fact became only an administrative reality and the collections went into storage until 1885.

58 John Henry Chamberlain, discussed above, was connected with local hydraulic engine manufacturer and art museum benefactor Richard Tangye, who himself had an extensive collection of Ruskin's works, as well as a copy of J. H. Chamberlain's Ruskin bibliography, and who specifically named Chamberlain as the most appropriate architect for the School of Art (see SirTangye, Richard, My Library Catalogue [London, 1904], 218–20Google Scholar; and Council Minutes, 9 November 1881, BCP 1881, 10).

59 After Council House architect Yeoville Thomason declared the land behind that building unsuitable for the new Assize Courts, the General Purposes Committee recommended that site for the new permanent Art Gallery and Museum, the bottom floors to be used for municipal offices. This was recommended in the Report of the General Purposes Committee, 3 August 1880, and approved in Resolutions on the same date (BCP 1880, 373, 375–77). According to a report in the Birmingham Daily Post of the speech given by the chairman of the Gas Committee, Councilor Marris, at the laying of the inscription stone of the Art Gallery on 19 July 1881, “the suggestion of the exact manner in which the Free Libraries Committee and the Gas Committee should join in doing this work emanated from the Mayor” (Birmingham Daily Post, 20 July 1881). The mayor at the time was Richard Chamberlain.

60 Joseph Chamberlain apparently anticipated that the profits from the gasworks would be of a magnitude to allow for ambitious building or other improvement schemes (see letter to Jesse Collings dated 12 September 1875, in University of Birmingham Library, Special Collections, JC5/16/47).

61 Gas Committee Report, 7 March 1882, BCP 1882, 362–63. The former Gas Offices, as well as the former Water Department, are now administration and temporary exhibition spaces.

62 Museum and School of Art Committee Report, 8 December 1885, BCP 1885, 34–37.

63 Guide to Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery 1886 with Plan (Birmingham, 1886), 10Google Scholar. Twenty-five years later, reflecting on the goals and achievements of the art museum, Wallis noted that in “the Museum, the eye is the organ through which the perception of beauty and proportion is conveyed to the mind” and explained that in showing both fine art and fine crafts, the museum hoped to create a space separate from the everyday: “Ruskin says that the word museum means ‘Belonging to the muses,’ and that all museums ought to be places of noble instruction, where, free from the distractions of the outside world, one can devote a portion of secluded and reverent life to the attainment of divine wisdom, which the Greeks supposed to be the gift of Apollo or of the sun, but which the Christian knows to be the gift of Christ” (Wallis, “The Museum and Art Gallery,” 477, 491).

64 See Dale, The Life of R. W. Dale of Birmingham, 412–13.

65 See Simey, Margaret, Charity Rediscovered: A Study of Philanthropic Effort in Nineteenth-Century Liverpool (Liverpool, 1992)Google Scholar. In addition, the Town Council controlled only limited sources of municipal income (taxable property or municipal trading) that might have allowed a greater extension of and confidence in municipal projects. The Liverpool Town Council lost control of the dock revenues to a merchant-controlled board in 1857 but did ultimately take over tramways and electricity companies in the 1890s (White, Brian D., A History of the Corporation of Liverpool, 1835–1914 [Liverpool, 1951], 78, 160–66Google Scholar; and Harris, George Montagu, Municipal Self-Government in Britain: A Study of the Practice of Local Government in Ten of the Larger British Cities [London, 1939], 183–84)Google Scholar.

66 Compare Arline Wilson, “‘The Florence of the North’? The Civic Culture of Liverpool in the Early Nineteenth Century,” in Kidd and Nichols, Gender, Civic Culture, and Consumerism, 34–46.

67 “Art and £11,000,” Liberal Review, 11 June 1881, 5. On Edward Samuelson, see Morris, Edward, Victorian and Edwardian Paintings in the Walker Art Gallery and at Sudley House: British Artists Born after 1810 but before 1861 (London, 1996), 2, 78Google Scholar.

68 For example, see Rathbone, Philip H., The Political Value of Art to the Municipal Life of a Nation: A Lecture Delivered at the Free Library, Liverpool (Liverpool, 1875), 24, 32Google Scholar.

69 Picton, J. A., Our Municipal Institutions in Their Past and Future (Liverpool, 1882), 2, 24Google Scholar.

70 See J. Picton, Allanson, Sir James A. Picton: A Biography (London, 1891), 214–15Google Scholar.

71 Picton corresponded with Ruskin on various topics of Liverpool history and architecture. Ruskin's letters appear in his biography; see, e.g., the letter dated 13 January 1886, in Ibid., 375.

72 As Ruskin argued in The Stones of Venice, first published in 1853. See Ruskin, John, The Stones of Venice, ed. Links, J. G. (New York, 1960)Google Scholar.

73 Rathbone, The Political Value of Art, 32, 38.

74 Ibid., 36.

75 He explicitly linked this to the history of Protestantism: “Unfortunately the Reformation in too many instances repressed rather than encouraged Art, and even succeeded in associating the idea of it with that of moral corruption—its necessary antithesis” (Ibid., 24).

76 This ultimately took place after his death, in 1892. Influential collector of early Italian and German art William Roscoe had helped to found the Liverpool Royal Institution (LRI), and Roscoe's friends had bought his collection and presented it to the LRI on his bankruptcy in 1816. See Ormerod, Henry A., The Liverpool Royal Institution: A Record and a Retrospect (Liverpool, 1953), 32–33Google Scholar; Gallery, Walker Art, The Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool (London, 1994), 8Google Scholar; and Wilson, “‘The Florence of the North’?” 41. Probably around the same time, Picton also apparently negotiated with the Liverpool Academy to display its diploma works in the Royal Institution, according to B. H. Grindley, “on the condition that they should be the nucleus of a Permanent Gallery of Art”; see Grindley, B. H., History and Work of the Liverpool Academy of Arts (Liverpool, 1875), 1415Google Scholar. On the 1849–50 transfer scheme, see Royal Institution Minutes of 29 June and 2 July 1850, quoted in Ormerod, The Liverpool Royal Institution, 43. On the successful 1892 transfer, see Library, Museum, and Arts Committee Report on the Transfer in City of Liverpool: Proceedings of the Council 1892–1893 (Liverpool, 1893), 1631–37Google Scholar. Compare this to the 1883 transfer of the Royal Manchester Institution, below.

77 This building contained the small city art collection; see Walker Art Gallery: Annual Report, 1937–38 (Liverpool, 1938), 5Google Scholar. On Liverpool's public library movement, see Glasgow, Eric, “The Origins of the Liverpool Public Libraries,” Library Review 46, no. 4 (1997): 262–67CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

78 The council paid £10,000 for the land behind St. George's Hall known as Shaw's Brow (now site of the Derby Museum, Brown Library, Picton Reading Room, and Walker Art Gallery). At the time it was a slum area. Brown was Liberal M.P. for South Lancashire and head of the firm Brown, Shipley, and Company; Picton designed many waterside warehouses for Brown's company and probably had a role in prompting Brown's offer. See [First] Report of the Library and Museum Committee, to the Town Council, of the Borough of Liverpool, October, 1853 (Liverpool, 1854), 8Google Scholar; Library and Museum Rate: Report of the Gardens, Library, and Museum Committee, in Reference to and Consequent upon the Decision of the Court of Queen's Bench on the Library and Museum Rate (Liverpool, 1862), 4Google Scholar; J. A. Picton, Notes on the Free Library and Museum of the Borough of Liverpool (ca. 1858), unidentified text at Liverpool Record Office, H 027.4 PIC, 692–93; and J. Allanson Picton, Sir James A. Picton: A Biography, 263–65. Brown eventually spent £35,000 on the grand neoclassical building designed by the town architect and surveyor, John Weightman (Picton, Sir James A. Picton, 268).

79 Thirteenth Annual Report of the Committee of the Free Public Library, Museum, and Gallery of Arts, of the Borough of Liverpool (Liverpool, 1865), 7Google Scholar.

80 Ibid., 7.

81 “A Word to Art-Maniacs, by a Free Lance, I,” Liberal Review, 26 October 1878, 5.

82 Grindley, B. H., Exhibitions of Pictures and Municipal Management: Lecture by B. H. Grindley, Delivered at the Free Public Library, Museum, and Gallery of Art, Liverpool, March 9th, 1875 (Liverpool, 1875), 5Google Scholar.

83 “A Word to Art-Maniacs, by a Free Lance, I,” 5, and “A Word to Art-Maniacs, by a Free Lance, III,” Liberal Review, 9 November 1878, 5, respectively.

84 See n. 83 above as well as “A Word to Art-Maniacs, by a Free Lance, II,” Liberal Review, 2 November 1878, 4–5.

85 “A Word to Art-Maniacs, by a Free Lance, I,” 5.

86 Reformer and general Liverpool gadfly Hugh Shimmin became sole editor of the Porcupine soon after its founding in 1868. On the Porcupine, see Simey, Charity Rediscovered, esp. 53–54. On Shimmin, see Walton, John K. and Wilcox, Alastair, eds., Low Life and Moral Improvement in Mid-Victorian England: Liverpool through the Journalism of Hugh Shimmin (Leicester, 1991), introGoogle Scholar.

87 “Fine Arts and Photography,” Porcupine, 11 July 1868, 150.

89 Minutes of the Sub-Committee for Art Exhibition 1871–72 (1871–72) (manuscript): Minutes of Sub-Committee for Art Exhibition/Art & Exhibition Sub-Committee, Walker Art Gallery Archives, WAG Box 1.

90 The exhibition attracted over twenty-three thousand paying visitors and grossed over £6,000, allowing the expenditure of £500 on works of art (Nineteenth Annual Report of the Committee of the Free Public Library, Museum and Schools, of the Borough of Liverpool [Liverpool, 1871], 6)Google Scholar. The committee bought Elaine, by Mrs. Anderson, for £315; Snowdon, by John Finnie, for £80; and Starry Eyes, by J. M. Jopling, for £100. See Statement of the Works of Art, Purchased by or Presented to the Corporation of Liverpool (Liverpool, 1875), 3Google Scholar.

91 See Libraries, Museums and Arts Committee, Gallery of Arts: Report (1873), and Meetings of the Council of the Borough of Liverpool held on Wednesday the 6th day of August 1873 and Wednesday the 3rd day of September 1873, Libraries, Museum and Arts Committee Minute Book, April 1872–October 1874, Liverpool Central Reference Library (hereafter LCRL) Archives, 352 MIN/LIB 1/9, 257 and 272.

92 He donated £20,000: Council Proceedings, 10 November 1873, in Libraries, Museum and Arts Committee Minute Book, April 1872–October 1874, LCRL Archives, 352 MIN/LIB 1/9, 301.

93 On 3 December 1873, Picton resolved, Samuelson seconded, and the council approved unanimously, the name Walker Art Gallery (Council Minutes, Library, Museum, and Arts Committee Report, Corporation of Liverpool: Council Proceedings [Liverpool, 1874], 3233)Google Scholar. The council allocated £1,200 for purchases; see Statement of the Works of Art, 5.

94 See Simey, Charity Rediscovered.

95 Dyall, Charles, First Decade of the Walker Art Gallery: A Report of Its Operations from 1877 to 1887 (Liverpool, 1888), 17Google Scholar.

96 Ibid., 6.

98 The siting and architecture of the Brown Library and Derby Museum and the Walker Art Gallery served to heighten the symbolic power and prestige of these municipal institutions and to set them off from the rest of the city center. (Through the years of debate in the council and press over whether to have and how to pay for a permanent, purpose-built municipal art gallery, the site for such a gallery had been largely decided. See the Twenty-first Annual Report of the Committee of the Free Public Library, Museum, and Gallery of Art, of the Borough of Liverpool, for the Year 1873 [Liverpool, 1873]Google Scholar; and the 1873 Gallery of Arts: Report, 5–6. As early as 1868, however, the Porcupine argued that the gallery site's angle was unseemly and “awkward” and that the council missed the opportunity to create an imposing square. See “The Proposed Fine Art Gallery,” Porcupine, 22 February 1868, 468.) The architecture of the group is a series of variations on the classical theme set both by convention and by the particular local influence of St. George's Hall.

99 For example, as Eric Hobsbawm writes, “Whoever says Industrial Revolution says cotton. When we think of it we see, like the contemporary foreign visitors to England, the new and revolutionary city of Manchester” (Hobsbawm, E. J., Industry and Empire from 1750 to the Present Day [New York, 1990], 56)Google Scholar.

100 Important works in this rethinking of Manchester include Kidd and Roberts, City, Class, and Culture; Archer, John H. G., ed., Art and Architecture in Victorian Manchester: Ten Illustrations of Patronage and Practice (Manchester, 1985)Google Scholar; Wolff, Janet and Seed, John, eds., The Culture of Capital: Art, Power and the Nineteenth-Century Middle Class (Manchester, 1988)Google Scholar; Hewitt, Martin, The Emergence of Stability in the Industrial City: Manchester, 1832–1867 (Aldershot, 1996)Google Scholar; and Gunn, The Public Culture of the Victorian Middle Class.

101 Michael E. Rose, “Culture, Philanthropy, and the Manchester Middle Classes,” in Kidd and Roberts, City, Class, and Culture, 103–19.

102 On Fairbairn, see Wolff, Janet and Arscott, Caroline, “‘Cultivated Capital’: Patronage and Art in Nineteenth-Century Manchester and Leeds,” History Today 37 (March 1987): 2228, 23Google Scholar; Caroline Arscott, “Employer, Husband, Spectator: Thomas Fairbairn's Commission of The Awakening Conscience,” in Wolff and Seed, The Culture of Capital, 162–65; and Macleod, Dianne Sachko, Art and the Victorian Middle Class: Money and the Making of Cultural Identity (Cambridge, 1996), 90Google Scholar.

103 Free Art Gallery and Museum for Manchester: Report of a Meeting Held in Manchester Town Hall, March 5th, 1860 (Manchester, 1860), 1415Google Scholar.

104 During the height of this crisis, November 1862, the Poor Law Guardians or the Relief Committees gave aid to fully one-half of all workers in the cotton district (Redford, Arthur, The History of Local Government in Manchester [London, 1940], 266Google Scholar; see also Walton, John K., Lancashire: A Social History, 1558–1939 [Manchester, 1987], 241)Google Scholar.

105 Redford, The History of Local Government in Manchester, 252–67.

106 Originally printed in the Manchester Guardian, 27 February 1877, reprinted as a pamphlet, separate, An Art Gallery for Manchester (Manchester, 1877)Google Scholar. Shelagh Wilson notes Horsfall's importance as the “founding figure” of the art philanthropy movement (Wilson, “The Highest Art for the Lowest People,” 173).

107 Horsfall, T. C., The Art Museum, Manchester. I. The Scheme and History of the Committee. II. Pamphlet on the Scheme, by T.C. Horsfall. III. Relation … to the Elementary Schools and Workmen's Clubs (Manchester, 1878), 3Google Scholar.

108 The Ruskin Society was founded specifically “to promote the study and circulation of Mr. Ruskin's writings; to exemplify his teachings; and to aid his practical efforts of social improvements” (Aims of the Society, Preliminary Statement of the Ruskin Society, undated, although presumably from First General Meeting of the Society held on 15 January 1879; in Ruskin Society Scrapbook, 1879–1904, MCLA, BR824.86.Gr.1). On the Ancoats Recreation Society's art exhibitions, see Rowley, Charles, Fifty Years of Work without Wages (Laborare Est Orare) (London, 1912), 174, 197Google Scholar; and Catalogue of the Exhibition of Works of Art in the New Islington Public Room, Ancoats (Manchester, 1880, 1881, 1882, 1884)Google Scholar. The first exhibition included engravings after Holman Hunt and E. Burne-Jones, works by Ford Madox Brown—including designs for the Town Hall murals, and two paintings commissioned by Charles Rowley—drawings by Frederick Shields, copies of Turner, Van Eyck, da Vinci, and British watercolors.

109 Ruskin, John, quoted in frontispiece of both 1880 and 1881 Catalogue of the Exhibition of Works of Art in the New Islington Public Room, Ancoats (Manchester, 1880, 1881)Google Scholar.

110 Several other individuals who proved important to the effort to establish a municipal art museum also participated in these projects: city librarian, journalist, and antiquarian W. E. A. Axon; lithographer George Falkner; manufacturer George Milner; and banker Thomas Read Wilkinson. See agreement between the Royal Manchester Institution and the City of Manchester, dated 16 November 1881, Appendix to Special Meeting of the [Royal Manchester Institution, hereafter RMI] Governors, 2 December 1881, RMI Annual Meeting Minutes, MCLA, M6/1/2.

111 Letter from Thomas Worthington to Council of the Royal Manchester Institution, 2 December 1879, in RMI Transfer Documents, MCLA M183/3. In this letter, Worthington suggested changes to the internal layout of their building to create a series of seven galleries on the top floor, “so that, when there is a crowd of visitors, they may enter on one side, pass through the whole of the rooms and make their exits on the opposite side, without retracing their steps.” On Worthington's Ruskinian, red-brick architecture, see Pass, Anthony J., Thomas Worthington: Victorian Architecture and Social Purpose (Manchester, 1988)Google Scholar.

112 Letter from Thos. Worthington, George Falkner, W. A. Turner, C. J. Pooley to Chairman and Council of the Royal Manchester Institution, 1 March 1880, printed copy (six copies printed, Strictly Private and Confidential), in RMI Transfer Documents, MCLA, M183/11.

113 I summarize the transfer of the RMI to the City Council from the published minutes of the City Council, City of Manchester, Proceedings of the Council (Manchester, November to November, printed January of following year), hereafter MCP, and the manuscript RMI minutes and documents held in the MCLA. For the City Council's transactions in relation to the transfer, see MCP, 1880–81, 39, 52, 543–48, 633–37, 733–36; 1881–82, 33–38, 79–80, 106–111, 260–62; and 1882–83, 25–26. For the RMI's transactions relating to the transfer, see RMI Rough Minutes, MCLA, M6/1/3/16; RMI Sub-Committee Minutes, MCLA, M6/1/8/3; Transfer Documents, MCLA, M183; RMI Council Minutes, MCLA, M6/1/1/5; and RMI Annual Meeting Minutes, MCLA, M6/1/2.

114 Letter from Worthington, Falkner, Turner, and Pooley to RMI, 1 March 1880. The City Council would, for example, be able to afford the changes recently proposed to the RMI building (see n. 111 above).

115 Ibid.

116 This change was first made by the [City] Council Sub-Committee as to the Royal Manchester Institution at a meeting on 1 July 1881 and approved by the RMI Transfer Scheme Committee on 15 July 1881; see RMI Sub-Committee Minutes, MCLA, M6/1/8/3. The City Council approved this agreement on the limitation of the £2,000 annual grant to twenty years at a special meeting of the [City] Council, 7 September 1881, MCP, 1880–81, 543.

117 In Charles Barry's classical building designed for the institution in 1829.

118 In preparing for the first municipally run autumn exhibition, curator William Stanfield reported to W. A. Turner, chairman of the Art Sub-Committee, that they had invited over one thousand London artists to submit works. This pressure could mean that the exhibition privileged fame over quality. See note from Stanfield to Turner, Manchester City Art Gallery Archives, Art Gallery Curator's Letter Book, vol. 1, 7 June 1883, 18, and 2 August 1883, 46.

119 For example, Charles Rowley drew a clear contrast between his own policies and those of “the commercial and popular party” (see Rowley, “Art Food and Art Poison, A Paper Read before the Manchester Athenaeum Graphic Club,” Odds and Ends 35 [Easter 1889]: 530–56, 546–47, MCLA, M38/4/2/35). T. C. Horsfall continued to work for increased educational measures such as lectures and labels (see Horsfall, “Neglected Pictures, a Lecture Delivered before the Manchester Literary Club,” Architect, a Weekly Illustrated Journal of Art, Civil Engineering, and Building 30 [20 October 1883]: 236). Other art reformers, such as J. E. Phythian, put their ideas into action by lecturing in the Manchester City Art Gallery and working on exhibitions of Ruskin and the Pre-Raphaelites (see, e.g., The Manchester City Art Gallery, Catalogue of the Ruskin Exhibition, Spring 1904 [no publishing information given; in Manchester Arts Library, 824.86 G7]; or J. E. Phythian, “How to Enjoy Pictures: A Course of Six Popular Lantern Lectures,” Workers’ Educational Association, Stockport and District Branch, MCLA, M270/9/33).

120 Rowley, “Art Food and Art Poison”; Horsfall, “Neglected Pictures.”

121 See Picton, Sir James A. Picton: A Biography, 214–15.

122 See Woodson-Boulton, “Temples of Art in Cities of Industry,” chaps. 4–6.

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