Back to All Events

An American in Manchester - A Mitzi Cunliffe tour of Manchester and Bury


Manchester Modernist Society & Twentieth Century Society NW Goup present:

An American in Manchester - A Mitzi Cunliffe tour of Manchester and Bury

Bus Tour

Mitzi Cunliffe (1918 - 2006) was born and educated in New York. She later travelled to Paris where she studied at the Académie Colarossi, famous for nurturing female students such as Camille Claudel. Returning to America she established a reputation for her lyrical sculptures in stone, wood and bronze. In 1949 she married the English academic Marcus Cunliffe and they moved to Manchester, living in Didsbury. She was swiftly selected as one of only six women sculptors for the Festival of Britain in 1951, launching her career in this country.

Mitzi Cunliffe is now best known for having designed the BAFTA trophy mask (1955) but she worked with a wide variety of materials and scale, from jewellery to panels for large buildings.   A talented designer, her design work included textiles for David Whitehead, as well as ceramics.  

The tour will give a good overview of Mitzi Cunliffe’s impressive work and we are pleased to announce that we will be joined by Antonia Cunliffe Davis, the artist’s daughter and Professor Ann Sumner, the leading Mitzi Cunliffe scholar.

£15. 00 Includes specially commissioned handout notes by Ann Sumner and the newly-published trail guide on Mitzi Cunliffe’s work in the region.


Start at 10.30, Fairfield Street entrance of Manchester Piccadilly train station.

Bury Art Gallery to see examples of the innovative Freeform ceramic bowls for Pilkington’s and five BAFTA mask trophies from their Victoria Wood Collection.

We then go to Heaton Park reservoir for the Grade 2 listed Haweswater Aqueduct bas-relief panels. We return to Manchester to see Threshold (Manchester High School for Girls) and then Cosmos 1, a rare example of her architectural work in fibreglass, at Owens Park. 

Lunch is an hour or so in Didsbury Village, and its many cafés and bars. Refreshed, it’s a short drive to 18 Cranmer Road for the commemorative plaque installed in 2018. We don’t visit the interior of the house. Finally we see the recently conserved Man and Technic in Wythenshawe.  Fully Mitzi-ed by now, we return to Piccadilly station by about 5pm. 

Tickets: £15

When: Saturday April 6, 2019

Venue: Leave Fairfield Street entrance of Manchester Piccadilly train station at 10.30am.

This is a ticketed event - please buy your tickets here beforehand. (n.b. physical tickets will not be issued.)

Organised by the Twentieth Century Society, Northwest in collaboration with the Modernist Society. Funded by generous support through Crowdfunder.

Image courtesy of the artist’s estate.

Later Event: April 20
Glasgow Zine Fest