Adrift by John Cassidy :: Shared Description

The Public Monument and Sculpture Association describes Adrift by John Cassidy as a "Bronze sculpture of a family clinging to a raft in a stormy sea. The central figure is a half-naked man, holding a sheet aloft in his raised right hand, calling for help. Arranged around him are the figures of his wife and three children. His wife is shown leaning over and kissing their infant son. To the left, is the daughter, her raised arm held in her father's left hand. At the rear is the prone figure of a youth, the elder son, holding his breast. Parts of the raft are visible in the waves which make up the base."

"Adrift" was Manchester's first modern figurative outdoor sculpture. It was the work of the Irish-born sculptor, John Cassidy, who developed a successful studio in Manchester, following his success at the Manchester Jubilee Exhibition of 1887. The work was modelled at Cassidy's studio in Plymouth Grove, Manchester and completed in 1907. "Adrift" was displayed at the New Gallery, London. It was purchased by James Gresham, whose local engineering business helped to provide him with the means to build up an extensive art collection in both his London and Manchester homes. He decided to present it as a gift to the City Council with the intention that it would be displayed in the new municipal art gallery that was to be built on the site of the demolished Royal Infirmary in Piccadilly. The donation had the proviso that 'my gift of this statuary to become absolute when a permanent home is found for it in your new gallery.' The gift was accepted but the plan to build a new gallery was not realised. Following the First World War the fate of the 'Great Hole of Piccadilly' was to be landscaped and made into a public garden. "Adrift", however, was not forgotten as it was moved to Piccadilly to become the centrepiece of the new garden. The sculpture that Gresham had hoped to see inside a modern municipal art gallery in Piccadilly was now displayed outside in the middle of a sunken garden in Piccadilly. The sculpture, surmounting a low rectangular stone base, remained in the centre of the gardens until around 1953 when the construction of the Coronation fountain led to its removal to the southern side of the gardens. In the revival of interest in public sculpture within the council in the 1980s it seemed probable that "Adrift" might be both restored and transferred to the new gardens at the rear of the town hall. But this was not realised and the sculpture remained on a cheap pedestal in the gardens.

When Piccadilly Gardens was "redesigned" in 2002, the statue was put into storage. In 2009 it re-appeared in St Peter's Square replacing the 1988 sculpture "Struggle for Peace and Freedom" by Philip Jackson.

Two years later it was put into storage during the refurbishment of St Peter's Square. In 2014 it reappeared and is now on the corner of Mount Street and Peter Street outside the refurbished Manchester Central Library.

More information can be found on the John Cassidy website at LinkExternal link and LinkExternal link
by Gerald England
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16 images use this description:

SJ8397 : Adrift by David Dixon
SJ8397 : Adrift - Calling for Help by David Dixon
SJ8397 : Adrift in Manchester by Gerald England
SJ8397 : Adrift by Thomas Nugent
SJ8397 : Adrift in St Peter's Square by Gerald England
SJ8397 : Behind the statue by Gerald England
SJ8397 : Adrift in St Peter's Square by Gerald England
SJ8397 : Humanity Adrift on the Sea of Life by David Dixon
SJ8397 : Humanity Adrift on the Sea of Life by John Cassidy by David Dixon
SJ8397 : Adrift outside the Midland Hotel by Gerald England
SJ8397 : "Adrift" outside Central Library by Stephen Craven
SJ8397 : John Cassidy's "Adrift" by David Dixon
SJ8397 : Adrift by John Cassidy (detail) by Gerald England
SJ8397 : John Cassidy Fecit 1907 by David Dixon
SJ8397 : John Cassidy's Adrift outside Manchester Central Library by David Dixon
SJ8397 : Adrift, Mother and Child by David Dixon

These Shared Descriptions are common to multiple images. For example, you can create a generic description for an object shown in a photo, and reuse the description on all photos of the object. All descriptions are public and shared between contributors, i.e. you can reuse a description created by others, just as they can use yours.
Created: Thu, 28 Oct 2010, Updated: Sun, 1 Oct 2017

The 'Shared Description' text on this page is Copyright 2010 Gerald England, however it is specifically licensed so that contributors can reuse it on their own images without restriction.

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