A limited edition print has been kindly donated to the National Football Museum by Capes Dunn & Co., a local auction house. This is the first gift of football-related artwork during my time as Art Research Officer for The Art of Football project!
The print ‘Goal’ is by Norman Clifford Jaques, a Manchester-born artist. It is edition 10/20, and is signed by the artist in pencil, and dated 1968. It is a striking lithograph on paper depicting what looks like a frenzied goal.
I sadly missed out on another edition of this print when it came up for auction in December 2017. A few months later, my colleague Hannah Josey at the National Football Museum, who also works for Gallery Oldham, contacted me to say she had found a lovely football print in Gallery Oldham’s collection. It was the very same one – just another edition number. This prompted me to look again for any other versions of this print for sale. I couldn’t believe it – there was edition 10/20 coming up for auction in a lot of two of Jaques’s works! However, the auction house, Capes Dunn & Co., were unable to split the lot as the lots had already been published. Therefore I decided against bidding due to the fact that the other print was not football related and the other print would have needed disposing.
In museum terms, ‘disposal’ does not mean throwing away. To be in accordance with museum ethics, this usually means being offered to other accredited museums, and transferred to the organisation who is interested in it. As I am currently in the process of finding a home for another print which was acquired at auction in a lot of two works, I did not want to have to do the same with the Jaques print.
After the auction containing the lot of two Jaques prints had ended, I was absolutely flabbergasted to receive an email from Capes Dunn & Co., informing me that the proprietor and Principle Auctioneer, Mr. Michael Perry, had bought the lot at the auction, and wanted to donate ‘Goal’ to the museum from himself and on behalf of the auction house. They said Mr. Perry is an avid football fan, as are most of the staff! Such a kind gesture.
And now to the artist. Norman Clifford Jaques was born in Openshaw, Manchester, in 1922. Norman studied at the Manchester College of Art and Technology from 1937 until 1942. He specialised in printmaking – especially etchings, lithographs and wood engravings, and he later worked at Manchester Polytechnic. He was the Senior Lecturer in the Printmaking Department here, from 1950 until 1982. Among many other achievements, such as winning the Procter award and the Giles bequest award in block printing, he was a member of and President of both the Manchester Academy of Fine Arts (1984-1989) and The Manchester Art Club. He died aged 92 in 2014.
I found a lovely post written about Norman on the Facebook page ‘Northern Art‘, dated 18th March 2014:
Norman Jaques, Past President of the Academy, has died at the age of 92. From his election in 1950, he played prominent role in the Academy, serving on Council and on Selection and Hanging committees before becoming President from 1984 to 1990. He continued to exhibit annually until recently, and was highly regarded by fellow artists. He was born in Manchester and educated at Manchester School of Art. In 1948 he won the Proctor Travelling Scholarship to Italy and France. In 1954 he received the Giles Bequest prize for block printing from the Victoria and Albert Museum. From 1950 to 1982 he he was a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Art and Design at Manchester Polytechnic (now MMU), where he specialised in printmaking, illustration and book design. He exhibited in Edinburgh, London and Manchester, and as far afield as Francisco, Nebraska and Cleveland in the USA. His work is in the collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum, the BBC, Manchester Art Gallery and Nebraska University, and he received commissions from the General Post Office, the Ministry of Transport and Saatchi and Saatchi. (Obituary from Sheila Dewsbury)
Charlie Holt remembers Norman Jaques: “I have very fond memories of Norman he was gentle and kind and very supportive of me many years ago and he was a hell of good printmaker”
Mike Sargent remembers Norman Jaques: ” …. his wife ….. was also an artist. As a couple they were very friendly and approachable. ”
Glenys Latham remembers Norman Jaques: “Norman was a lovely man, who I remember with great affection because many years ago he nominated me as a candidate for the office of President of the Manchester Academy of Fine Arts when he stood down. My election as the first woman to hold the office was a significant event in my life which would not have happened without Norman’s generous support and confidence I will be forever grateful. When I told Bob, my husband, the news of Norman’s death we recalled an abiding memory of both Norman and Marjorie on the receiving days of the Academy Open exhibition, Marjorie with a rug over her arthritic knees and a flask of hot water to make lunch time brews of tea in a very precisely thought out manor, and of course just as they started to eat their lunch people would arrive to deliver work that needed Norman’s adjudication and interrupt their food. Norman, generous as always, would break off from his sandwich to make a ‘ruling’ and Marjorie would complain that all their meal times were interrupted by Academy business. I hope it is of some comfort to you and Norman’s family to know that he was highly respected and held in great affection by members of the Manchester Academy of Fine Arts.”
It seems that Norman was a highly respected man and artist, and I am so glad that we now have one of his beautiful prints in the National Football Museum’s collection, for everyone to enjoy. It will be on display in Spring 2019, in the art exhibition at the National Football Museum, which will celebrate the artworks acquired during The Art of Football Project. If anyone has any more information or even an image of Norman I would love to see it – please do get in touch!
As ever, our thanks go to the Heritage Lottery Fund for allowing this acquisition project to happen.