About Manchester Academy of Fine Arts (MAFA)

Manchester Academy Fine Arts was founded on 14th November 1859. Originally affiliated to the Royal Manchester Institution on Mosley Street, the Academy continued to be based at the building, now Manchester Art Gallery, after the Institution gifted it to the city council in 1882.

The last exhibition, which attracted 23,906 visitors, was held there in 1997 before the gallery was refurbished. At the present time exhibitions of members’ work take place in both public and private galleries across the region. Workshops, classes and talks are held during the run of some exhibitions.

The Academy’s outstanding contributions to the cultural life of the city are well documented: its members designed the Town Hall and the University, and have created murals and public sculptures throughout the city. It was responsible for the only art exhibitions to be staged in Manchester in both world wars. Classes run by academicians have influenced many students, including L.S. Lowry.

Today the membership of a hundred plus painters, sculptors and printmakers represents the best in fine art across the region. Some belong to national organisations including the Royal Institute of Oil Painters, the Royal Society of British Sculptors and the

MAFA 2017 Exhibition
MAFA 2017 Exhibition

Royal Society of Portrait Painters. All remain committed to the original objectives practised for one hundred and fifty years: to promote fine art in the wider community through exhibitions and education.