The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

George Mayer-Marton’s ‘Oldham Mural’ in Context Tour

Twentieth Century Society and SAVE Britain’s Heritage

George Mayer-Marton’s ‘Oldham Mural’ in Context Tour

Saturday 17 September 2022

Start/Finish time: 10.30 am/4.45 pm approx.

Place: Manchester Piccadilly station

A tour led by Howard Smith with experts, Clare A P Willsdon, Dr Judith LeGrove and Henrietta Billings, to see the 1955 ‘Oldham Mural’, at the Church of the Holy Rosary, Oldham.  We will also visit two further churches on post-war estates in Greater Manchester to reveal unexpected masterpieces.

A rare and exclusive opportunity to see the acclaimed ‘Oldham Mural’ at the  Church of the Holy Rosary, Oldham, by the visionary émigré artist George Mayer-Marton (1897-1960). The mosaic mural was originally flanked by fresco representations of the mourning Mary and St John, but currently only the glittering mosaic of the Crucifixion is visible following overpainting in the 1980s. The church has been closed since 2017 and is the subject of a SAVE/C20 campaign.

We will also visit Mayer-Marton’s only other ecclesiastical mural that survives in situ at nearby St Clare’s,  Blackley, occupying almost the full height of the east end. Prof. Clare A. P. Willsdon will introduce both works.

Finally, All Saints and Martyrs,  Middleton (listed in 2021 Grade II) which  shares several features with Coventry Cathedral, in particular a work of art that totally dominates the lofty interior and which was commissioned for the church. This is the awesome ‘Langley Cross’ by Geoffrey Clarke, a sculpture which deserves to be recognised as of national significance. Dr Judith LeGrove will talk about the work.

Clare A.P. Willsdon, Professor of the History of Western Art at Glasgow University, will highlight her research on the Oldham Mural as a Gesamtkunstwerk or ‘Total Work of Art’. She authored the pioneering book Mural Painting in Britain 1840-1940 (2000) and was a member of the House of Lords expert panel on murals for the Palace of Westminster (2008-10).

Dr Judith LeGrove is the author of a monograph on Geoffrey Clarke and has written extensively on British post-war sculpture.

Henrietta Billings, director of SAVE Britain’s Heritage, will discuss the growing momentum behind the campaign to save the ‘Oldham Mural’.

A Twentieth Century Society and SAVE Britain’s Heritage event, organised by C20 Northwest

Members: £25 C20 Members and SAVE Friends/Saviours (due to technical restraints, SAVE Friends and Saviours should book via the following link

Non-members: £28

(includes coach travel but not lunch – a stop will be made for lunch)

There is no disabled access to the Church of the Holy Rosary.

Not a C20 member yet? Join Here and benefit from event ticket discounts. Looking to support our campaigning? Donate to our casework Here.

The Twentieth Century Society is an IHBC (Institute of Historic Building conservation) recognised CPD provider.

The Twentieth Century Society is a registered charity, no 1110244

Above:  The Oldham Mural (1955) Photograph: Estate George Mayor Marton


Booking Closed

Unfortunately, booking is closed for this event and we are no longer able to accept new bookings.

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