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Margaret Pilkington Papers

Date range: 20th century.

Papers of Margaret Pilkington (1891–1974), deputy chairman and honorary director of the Whitworth Art Gallery from 1936 until 1959.

Pilkington trained at the Slade School of Art and the Central School of Arts and Crafts, and she was an artist of some importance in her own right, particularly in the medium of wood-engraving.

She was instrumental in the formation of the Red Rose Guild of Designer Craftsmen in the 1920s, and from 1924 she was secretary of the Society of Wood Engravers, serving as chairman from 1952 to 1967.

She joined the council of the Whitworth Art Gallery in 1925, and was honorary director from 1936 to 1959. She was also actively involved in many aspects of Manchester’s social and intellectual scene. 

The papers comprise correspondence, lecture notes, detailed diaries, journals, personal sketch-books, woodblocks and material relating to the Red Rose Guild of Craftsmen.

The papers constitute a valuable source for information on the arts and crafts in the first half of the twentieth century.

Finding aids

  • Catalogue available online via ELGAR.
  • Margaret Pilkington, A Victorian Venture: The Manchester Whitworth Art Gallery (Manchester, 1953).
  • David Blamires, Margaret Pilkington (Buxton, 1995).

Location

The John Rylands Library

Using the reading rooms in the John Rylands Library

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