Manchester Art Gallery

Manchester Art Gallery
Mosley Street
Greater Manchester
M2 3JL




Information desk

0161 235 8888


0161 235 8893


0161 235 8899

0161 235 8805

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Manchester Art Gallery
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Here you'll find everything from fine art to a Levi jeans chair. Manchester Art Gallery's world class collection spans six centuries and contains over 25,000 items.

Winner of Large Visitor Attraction of the Year 2008 in the Manchester Tourism Awards and shortlisted for the Guardian Family Friendly Award, Manchester Art Gallery has something for everyone.

Regularly changing exhibitions, an award winning cafe and a gallery shop mean that you can pop in for 10 minutes, or spend a whole day there. You don't have to like everything inside. And you don't need to be an expert to enjoy a visit.

Manchester Art Gallery. Enjoy. Discover. Relax.

This gallery has a Designated Collection of national importance.

Venue Type:


Opening hours

Monday - Sunday and Bank Holiday Mondays, 10am - 5pm.

Late night opening on Thursday's till 9pm.

Closed Monday (except Bank Holidays),Good Friday, 24-26 December, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.

From 1 June 2012, Manchester Art Gallery and the Gallery of Costume will be opening their doors to the public seven days a week. For the first time, Manchester Art Gallery will also remain open until 9pm on Thursdays.

Admission charges


Part of a Designated Collection of Fine and Decorative Art, which you can also see at Wythenshawe Hall and Heaton Hall, is on display here. Please contact Manchester Art Gallery for more information if you wish to see a specific item.

Manchester Art Gallery is renowned for its collections of fine and decorative art, including internationally famous Pre-Raphaelite paintings and significant holdings of English ceramics. The Art Gallery re-opened in 2002 after a £35 million expansion which doubled the amount of display space available.

Famous for its impressive collection of Pre-Raphaelite paintings, the gallery houses works by Hunt, Rosetti, Madox Brown and Burne-Jones among others. However, all periods are covered, including what’s happening now.

Collection details

Fine Art, Decorative and Applied Art, Archaeology

Key artists and exhibits

  • Designated Collection
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.

A Highland Romance: Victorian Views of Scottishness

  • 20 September 2013 — 1 September 2014 *on now

Desolate snowscapes. Dramatic stag hunts. Castle ruins. Tartan cloth. Highland cattle.

Are these Victorian stereotypes of Scotland enduring and were they ever a fair representation of the nation?

To coincide with the run-up to the Scottish referendum, we present some of our most popular 19th century paintings and works on paper by Scottish artists. These are on show alongside depictions of Scotland by artists from England, which together will be used to explore how ideas of Scotland and Scottishness have changed over the last two centuries.

Dating from about 1830 to 1904, the works range from classical castle ruins to romanticised portrayals of Highland cattle. Highlights include A Spate in the Highlands by Peter Graham, which returns to display by popular demand, a couple of rarely-seen watercolours by JMW Turner and Portrait of Sir Alexander Keith by Sir David Wilkie.




Sculptural Forms: A Century of Experiment

  • 15 February — 7 September 2014 *on now

During the last century sculpture has become more difficult to define than any other art form. The concept of sculpture as static and three-dimensional has been challenged and the boundaries between sculpture, craft and design have become less distinct.

This exhibition explores some of the imaginative ways in which the sculptural form has been re-invented from just before World War One to the present day. It does so by combining sculpture with two-dimensional works of art and designed objects to create some unexpected but visually stunning juxtapositions.

Sculptural Forms is mainly drawn from the gallery’s own collection and those of two of our partners: Whitworth Art Gallery and the Arts Council Collection. It's an opportunity to see major pieces from the Whitworth while it's closed for refurbishment, including works by Barbara Hepworth and Eduardo Paolozzi. We will also be showing two new acquisitions: Rocking Chair No 4 by Henry Moore, 1950, and Ridged Vessel by Claire Malet, 2014.

The exhibition is arranged in three sections - the Human Condition, Abstraction and Transformation.

Suitable for

  • Any age


Radical Figures: Post-war British Figurative Painting

  • 16 March — 28 September 2014 *on now

This display explores the pioneering role that painters such as Francis Bacon, Lucien Freud and David Hockney played in the reinvention of figurative art in the second half of the 20th century.

In Post-war British art radical work tended towards various styles influenced by the modern art of Paris and New York such as Surrealism, abstraction and Pop Art. Alongside these parallel movements there existed another kind of art pioneered by a group of loosely associated artists later labelled The School of London. What they had in common was a firm belief that they could find new ways to create realist paintings and reinvent the representation of the human figure to make it relevant in a world traumatised by the Second World War.

Many of this group of figurative painters were to be found drawing in the National Gallery, London when not in their studios. They studied the art of the Renaissance and of Impressionism with a passion, seeing the pioneers before modern art as their teachers. Their work also had origins in pre-War British art: in the painting of Walter Sickert, David Bomberg and the realists of the Euston Road School.

Through the 1970s and 1980s their work gradually began to be recognised as amongst the most important British art of its time. Who could be considered part of this undeclared group has always varied but Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, Frank Auerbach, Michael Andrews, Leon Kossoff, Euan Uglow and the more Pop Art-associated David Hockney are regarded as the key artists. Between them they found new ways of looking intensely at the world around them; to combine in paint what they saw, with what they felt.

The display includes works by Bacon, Freud and Hockney from the collections of Manchester Art Gallery and The Whitworth Art Gallery alongside works from the Arts Council Collection, London.

Suitable for

  • Any age


Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.

Family Art Club

Play games, be creative and get messy at Manchester Art Gallery's free family art club. Workshops are designed for you to play, create and enjoy as a family. Workshops are suitable for children aged 6-11 years and their families. The workshops run for two hours to give you the chance to relax and enjoy some quality creative time with your children.

How to obtain

Sessions are free and there's no need to book but places are limited so turn up early.

Family Art Club - Under 5s

Make friends. Make noise. Make a mess! Activities for children aged 0-5 years from 13.00 to 15.00. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

How to obtain

Under 5s Family Art Club sessions are free but places are limited, so arrive early to avoid disappointment.

KS2 Interactive: Ford Madox Brown's Work

This Flash online interactive uses the famous painting Work to bring Victorian social history to life. Characters come alive, a series of clues encourage children to investigate the painting closely, and a series of different objects are used to explore the different responses people have to objects and their meanings, encouraging pupils to empathise with different characters. The interactive ends with a quiz to assess what has been learnt, and there's also a handy teacher's guide.

Mini Family Art Club

Make friends. Make noise. Make a mess! Activities for children aged 5 and under. Come along on Fridays 10.30-11.30 with your little ones and spend some quality fun time in a safe environment. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

How to obtain

Activities are free and there is no need to book but places are limited so arrive early to avoid disappointment.

Stepping Inside a 1910 painting with Tony Ross

Acclaimed children's author and illustrator Tony Ross responds to a 1910 painting called Old Cab at All Saints, Manchester by Adolphe Valette, producing a witty comment on the original. Good worksheets to help you try it yourself.


  • This resource was produced as part of the MLA-funded My Learning project.