Manchester Art Gallery transforms itself for Pre-Raphaelite-inspired summer fun

By Culture24 Reporter | 25 July 2011
a photo of a dad and two kids taking part in a workshop
The will be fun and games courtesy of Manchester Art Gallery's Pre-Raphaelites this summer.© Manchester Art Gallery

Workshop and Activities: Far, Far Away - a world of stories for families at Manchester Art Gallery, August 2 – 28 2011, Tuesdays–Sundays 1–3pm, Admission Free.

With the summer school holidays officially here, museums and galleries across the land are preparing themselves with a summer of workshops and family friendly activities designed to engage young minds and take the pressure off under pressure parents.  

In Manchester they are taking it one step further than usual by transforming its two top floor special exhibition galleries into a large-scale fantasy world of stories for families throughout August.

Everyone from toddlers to eleven year olds will be encouraged to use the gallery’s world-famous Pre-Raphaelite paintings to discover tales of enchantment, princesses, knights and…sheep!

Upstairs a team of artists will be waiting in Far, Far Away, an enormous purpose built story space, creating story-inspired art activities and inventing an imaginary world where tales might just come true.

Three tents inspired by the Pre-Raphaelite fantasy world of chivalry and dreamy medievalism will provide places where children can create character costumes, produce giant story flowers with plot instructions on them and make films of their stories to project onto the gallery walls.

There will also be special creative sensory play activities for babies and toddlers. Families will also be invited to add to a growing paper landscape that will spread to fill the 587 metre-square gallery space.

Councillor Mike Amesbury, Manchester City Council’s executive member for arts and leisure, said:  “This will not only enable Manchester’s residents and visitors to keep their children occupied for free over the summer holidays, it will introduce young people to the gallery’s stunning displays in a way that is fun and engaging.”

  • Manchester Art Gallery is embarking on a year-long project called the Pre-Raphaelite Experiment to find our what, if anything, these paintings mean to today's Mancunians.
  • The summer workshops will be followed by a major retrospective of the Pre-Raphaelite painter, Ford Maddox Brown September 24 2011 - January 29 2012.
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