EVENT: A Total Artwork: Important new perspectives on the threatened Oldham Mural


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10th May 2022
6.45pm – 8pm

Online event

Tickets £6


George Mayer-Marton’s ‘dazzling’ Oldham Mural is at risk – just as its significance is being better understood. Join us for this special online event organised by SAVE Britain’s Heritage and the Twentieth Century Society.

Hear from an expert panel of speakers as they discuss new perspectives on this vulnerable work which is one of only two ecclesiastical murals by Mayer-Marton that survive in situ, and the only one incorporating both fresco and mosaic.


Clare A.P. Willsdon, professor of the History of Western Art at Glasgow University, will highlight her research on the Oldham Mural as a “Total Work of Art” and its historical context. 

Sarah MacDougall, director of the Ben Uri Gallery and Museum, will expand on George Mayer-Marton’s significance within the wartime and post-war émigré artists network in Britain.

Nick Braithwaite, the artist’s great nephew, will talk about Mayer-Marton the man.

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

The event will be chaired by Twentieth Century Society director Catherine Croft.

The Oldham Mural is a unique 1955 portrayal of the Crucifixion by the visionary Hungarian émigré artist George Mayer-Marton.

Praised by V&A director Tristram Hunt for its “dazzling beauty”, it is at risk of redevelopment, locked in a redundant church on the edge of Oldham, Greater Manchester.

The mural was submitted for listing by the Twentieth Century Society in 2017 but turned down by Historic England. It is now being resubmitted and campaigned for by SAVE Britain’s Heritage and the local community.

Meanwhile, a reappraisal of the significance of both this modern “Gesamtkunstwerk” and its creator is gathering pace.

This is a joint Twentieth Century Society and SAVE Britain’s Heritage online event, with C20 Northwest.
Tickets: £6



Notes to editors:

1. SAVE Britain's Heritage is a strong, independent voice in conservation that fights for threatened historic buildings and sustainable reuses. We stand apart from other organisations by bringing together architects, engineers, planners and investors to offer viable alternative proposals. Where necessary, and with expert advice, we take legal action to prevent major and needless losses.

2. See our previous press releases on support for the Oldham Mural here and here.

3. See here for details of our current campaigns.