Saying goodbye to William

28th November 2017
in news

On Friday last week we said goodbye to the William Gaskell portrait that’s been hanging in the study as it is returning to Manchester Art Gallery for an exhibition in the spring – but don’t worry  he will be coming back to the house later in 2018.

The portrait (oil on canvas), painted in 1879, was bequeathed by Meta Gaskell in 1914 to Manchester Art Gallery is by Annie Swynnerton (1844-1933). It has gone back to the art gallery for an exhibition specifically on Annie Swynnerton who was born in Hulme, Manchester.  She was the first elected woman member at the Royal Academy of Arts in 1922 and was commissioned by the Portico Library (although she was chosen by the Gaskell daughters) to paint the portrait of William to commemorate his role as chairman of the library, a position that he held from 1849 until his death in 1884.

The exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery is called Protected: Annie Swynnerton: Painting Light and Hope and will open in February 2018. It is the first retrospective for nearly a century of the Manchester born painter, a pioneering professional artist who challenged convention in art and life.


Did you know you can hold your wedding in William Gaskell’s Study? Find out more.

A Large Cheerful, airy house, quite out of Manchester smoke.

Charlotte Brontë on visiting the House, 1851