Milestones In MAFA’s Story:

A  history of MAFA highlighting significant milestones in date order.

  • 2000 To Present

    1998 – 2002 Following closure of Manchester Art Gallery for refurbishment annual members’ exhibitions held at Bury Art Gallery with a series of lectures and workshops.  Prize money at annual exhibitions over £6000. 2003 Exhibition of selected members’ work at Manchester Art Gallery. 2003 to present Members’ exhibitions held in public art galleries across the […]

  • 1980’s & 1990’s

    Several Academicians Gain International Recognition. More eclectic work in a variety of media reflecting diversity of artists, especially sculptors and printmakers. Increase of work in the public domain. Several academicians exhibiting internationally.

  • 1970’s

    Continuing development of Northern School artists including Theodore Major, Roger Hampson and Norman Jaques Strong three dimensional work with sculptors such as Ted Roocroft. 1976 L.S. Lowry died. Lowry was elected a member in 1935 and had exhibited with the Academy for over forty years.

  • 1960’s

    1961-69 MAFA President was Harry Rutherford Harry Rutherford, President from 1961 -9, a strong influence in a decade of changes. Encouragement of young artists with more abstract work in evidence.

  • 1950’s

    MAFA artists prominent in emerging ‘Northern School’ Emergence of a Northern School of artists inspired by contemporary industrial life.

  • 1940’s

    MAFA Annual Exhibitions continue throughout the war. 1939 – 1945 Several members again official war artists. Annual exhibitions continued throughout the war. Artists commissioned to record Manchester’s wartime industry.

  • 1930’s

    MAFA members leading Manchesters’ emerging arts centre 1931 Members only exhibitions changed – anyone could submit work for the annual show. 1932 First open exhibition ‘Worthy of the best tradition of Manchester as an arts centre’ (Manchester Evening News)

  • 1920’s

    A number of MAFA artists become Royal Academicians. Influx of younger artists brought ‘renewed energies’ Several including Francis Dodd and Charles Tunnicliffe later became Royal Academicians.

  • 1919

    Academy student L.S.Lowry exhibited for first time.

  • 1914-1918

    MAFA members appointed war artists Several members appointed official war artists. Annual exhibitions continued in spite of  ‘formidable logistics’.

  • 1890’s

    …and early 1900s Municipal Galleries throughout north west bought work for their new collections More artists travelling and working in Europe while continuing to show work in annual exhibitions

  • 1880’s

    RMI building donated to the city of Manchester Annual Academy exhibitions continued in what was now the City Art Gallery Several Academicians working in Wales instrumental in establishing the Royal Cambrian Academy 1887 Members exhibited at the Royal Jubilee Exhibition at Old Trafford – 4,153,724 visitors

  • 1870’s

    Women Elected For First Time Continuation of flourishing Manchester School Design of Town Hall by Alfred Waterhouse Women elected for first time

  • 1860’s

    First Members Annual Spring Exhibitions Private members’ exhibitions held every Spring The rise of a Manchester School of Painting headed by Anderson Hague

  • 1859

    Academy Founded in 1859: After the foundation of the Academy it was based in the Royal Manchester Institution building on Mosley Street (now Manchester Art Gallery).



Manchester Academy Of Fine Arts is the leading art organisation in the North West

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