Conversations through time: Historic and Contemporary Art

A guided tour of Manchester Art Gallery

illustration with details of two paintings from manchester art gallery's collection by george stubbs and jeremy moon manchester lit and phil event
This is a past event
Date and time
18 October 2023
2.00 pm
£6.00 (members)


How do Historic and Contemporary Art speak to one another at Manchester Art Gallery?

One of the most exciting things about the display of art at Manchester Art Gallery in 2023 is the cutting-edge contemporary pieces living in the immediate presence of dreamy seventeenth century landscapes, Dutch Golden Age portraits and world-famous Pre-Raphaelite masterpieces. How do these vastly different pieces relate to each other?

Take the example in the illustration here: on the left, a detail from George Stubb’s The Cheetah and a Stag with Two Indian Attendants painted about 1764; on the right, a detail of 14/73 by Jeremy Moon (painted in 1973). The one draws upon the deep well of age-old human experience. The other operates on the very frontiers of the unknown. But are these paintings so very different from one another?

Few subjects divide public opinion in the way that contemporary art does. But we are also reminded that a relentless creative impulse has always driven artists to explore alternative worlds in which they can then provoke, challenge and question. This is equally true of these two very different artists, George Stubbs and Jeremy Moon. Their works will begin the tour.

Earlier this year, novelist and critic Sarah Dunant spoke on Radio 4 of how when “the past is speaking to the present, it can be a rich conversation”. Join gallery Guide John Ward as we put this observation to the test, by taking several different journeys back and forth across the centuries.

Good to know: We will meet in the main entrance of the gallery. The tour will start promptly at 2.00pm, so please arrive in good time.

Image credit: Manchester Art Gallery

john ward

John Ward

John Ward has been a volunteer guide at Manchester Art Gallery since 2014. He has extensive experience in presenting on a wide range of topics as well as in writing for the Gallery’s website.

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