This site celebrates the life and work of sculptor John
Cassidy (1860 - 1939).
1 November 2014: 'Adrift' has been re-installed in St Peters Square, Manchester. Updated feature coming soon.
20 June 2014: New feature on the portrait medallion of John Lewis Paton, High Master of Manchester Grammar School.
25 October 2013: Our essay about Cassidy in the Bulletin of the John Rylands Library (see below) is now available as a free PDF download from the Manchester University Press website.
25 October 2013: The plaster version of the work 'The Weaver's Wife' is on display in the exhibition 'Spindleopolis:
When Cotton Was King' until 30 November 2013 at GalleryOldham, Greater Manchester.
9 August 2013: Irish Journey. The story of our visit to John Cassidy's native village and our part in an exhibition of his work.
19 March 2013: The future of 'Adrift' - the plans for St Peter's Square
12 December 2012: Cassidy in print! Our essay about John Cassidy and his Manchester patrons has now been published in the Bulletin of the John Rylands University Library of Manchester, as part of a theme issue on Manchester Architecture. We believe this is the first-ever detailed publication about his life and works.
Copies are on sale in the gift shop within the John Rylands Library Deansgate, Manchester.
Visits in 2009: 5769
Visits in 2010: 10271
Visits in 2011: 7831
Visits in 2012: 8711
Visits in 2013: 32537
Visits in 2014: 8905
John Cassidy, by Reginald Barber (1900). Courtesy of Manchester Art Gallery
This site developed from Charlie's interest in the John Rylands Library, Manchester, and its statues. He created a small online exhibition there about John Cassidy, which led to contacts with Cassidy admirers in Scotland and Ireland, and in turn to the creation of this larger tribute. We are not professional historians; if you find inaccuracies here, please let us know.
'Of all the sculptors mentioned [in this book], John Cassidy is the most intriguing. A biography would focus directly on the little-researched world of the provincial sculptor. Given the range of his output - from statues and busts to war memorials and architectural sculpture - it would appear that versatility was one of the attributes needed by sculptors outside London if they were to survive.' - Derek Brumhead and Terry Wyke. A walk round Manchester sculptures. Walkround Books, 1990.
As you browse the features, you will find that we follow trains of thought and journeys inspired by Cassidy's work and the people he portrayed, as well as offering what biographical information we can discover, and illustrating and describing as many of his works as we can locate. We hope you find something of interest.
Special thanks to everyone who has helped with research and shown interest, especially Doug Cassidy, John Canner, John Doyle, Frances Lee Gargan, Sheila Crehan, Sheila Dewsbury, and all the archivists at the John Rylands Library.
(Then again, if you are looking for his modern namesake John
Cassidy, magician and balloon sculptor, you want www.johncassidy.com. For John
Cassidy the ever-popular after-dinner entertainer see www.johncassidy.co.uk)