Based almost entirely on cotton, for much of the 19th century Manchester enjoyed spectacular growth, mirrored in the construction of grand commercial and civic buildings on an equally remarkable scale. The lecture examines how merchants and architects including Barry and Waterhouse brought directly into the streets of Manchester the golden age of Pericles, the architecture of Renaissance Italy and the gothic of the Grand Canal, often before these styles had even reached the capital. Within just fifty years even the most simple warehouses were being transformed into veritable palaces, frequently embellished with allegorical sculpture and decoration which celebrated, above all things, cotton.
A senior modern languages teacher in an independent grammar school for many years, Brian has also enjoyed a successful parallel career since the 1980’s as a professional artist and interior designer. Since 2006, he has been regularly appointed to a number of prestigious ocean and river cruise lines, either as resident artist, guest lecturer on art history or as destination speaker for more than forty countries. Most recently this work has successfully extended to art guiding through important towns and museums in France, Belgium, Holland and Spain.