The Modernist Society is crowdfunding to open a new gallery - in exchange for ‘modernist’ money

It’s been celebrating 20th century architecture in Manchester for ten years. Now the Modernist Society is marking its first decade with a brand new HQ and gallery. 

Founded by Jack Hale, Eddy Rhead and Maureen Ward, the Modernist Society is a non-for-profit organisation dedicated to modernist design and architecture; whose aesthetics include clean minimalist lines and bold forms, reflective of a new philosophical movement that embraced post-industrial change.  

2019 04 08 Modernist Arndale
The Modernist Society celebrates 20th century architecture like Manchester Arndale Modernist Society

The society’s diverse events span Galt toy exhibitions to Mitzi Cuncliffe bus tours, while projects have included everything from post-war websites to interactive maps and even guerrilla protests. Such is its impact that 2015 saw other cities wanting in, and it now has offshoots across the UK.   

Now, to mark its tenth anniversary, the founders are establishing a new base in a characterful (albeit not very modernist) former weavers’ cottage on Port Street, Northern Quarter. The three-storey space will house the society offices and eye-catching quarterly magazine upstairs, while the ground floor will be a public gallery space. 

2019 04 08 Modernist Gallery
The Modernist gallery will open on 58 Port Street, opposite the Crown & Anchor pub

Here, ‘frustrated at the lack of commercial gallery space in Manchester’, the team plan to show a rolling programme of exhibitions ‘from all the cool people we know’, with many already in the pipeline. The multipurpose venue will also host smaller scale indoor events - such as launches, talks and film showings - as well as a shop featuring the society’s own publications and a curated range of products.

So far, so interesting…but there’s more. With a planned opening on 1 May, the team is now crowdfunding to furnish and decorate the gallery, and they’re offering ‘modernist’ money as a reward. Designed by renowned international artist Mishka Henner, this comes in the form of 20, 50 and 100 unit notes and looks pretty damn cool (apparently it might increase in value too). 

2019 04 08 Modernist Bank Note 20 2019 04 08 Modernist Bank Note 50 2019 04 08 Modernist Bank Note 100

Other more typical rewards include vouchers to use in the shop, but we think modernist money takes some beating. And right now, it’s probably a better prospect than the post-Brexit pound sterling…

Want to support the new gallery? Visit the Crowdfunder for details