Manchester Art Gallery
Manchester Art Gallery
0161 235 8888
0161 235 8893
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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.
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.
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.
Fine Art, Decorative and Applied Art, Archaeology
Key artists and exhibits
- Designated Collection
Radical Figures: Post-war British Figurative Painting
- 16 March 2013 — 16 March 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.
- Any age
Home, Land and Sea: Art in the Netherlands 1600-1800
- 24 May 2013 — 23 May 2014 *on now
Home, Land and Sea Art in the Netherlands 1600-1800 is a new exhibition which brings together over 50 paintings from Manchester City Galleries’ exceptional 17th and 18th century Dutch and Flemish collection, one of the most important in the country.
It includes exquisite paintings of everyday life, portraiture, landscapes, seascapes, and still lifes by Pieter de Hooch, Gerard ter Borch, Jacob van Ruisdael and many more. Some of these paintings have not been on display for tens of years, while others have benefited from recent conservation treatment.
For the first time these paintings will be juxtaposed with works by major contemporary artists such as Mat Collishaw’s Last Meal on Death Row, Texas series, sculptures of gnawed apples by Gavin Turk, and Rob and Nick Carter’s homage to Ambrosius Bosschaert: Transforming Still Life Painting.
Art for All: Thomas Horsfall’s Gift to Manchester
- 7 June 2013 — 8 June 2014 *on now
This display explores a selection of nature-themed artworks and objects from the city’s little-known Thomas Horsfall collection. It is co-curated by local school children from St Augustine’s CE Primary School in Harpurhey, Manchester.
Thomas Coglan Horsfall (1844-1932) was a remarkable philanthropist and pioneer of art gallery education from Manchester. He collected over 1700 objects and artworks for his groundbreaking Manchester Art Museum, which he set up in 1884.*
The 60 artworks chosen from Horsfall’s art collection include birds, botanical and garden drawings and watercolours.
- Any age
Christian Dior: Designer in focus
- 12 June 2013 — 12 January 2014 *on now
Christian Dior's brief but supremely influential career began with his iconic 'New Look' in 1947. He reigned supreme in Parisian fashion for ten years until his untimely death in 1957.
This unique exhibition features Paris and London couture, many outfits recently acquired by the Gallery of Costume. Stunning displays include day, cocktail and evening wear, and represent many of Dior's seminal collections.
Display highlights include a ‘New Look’ outfit from Dior’s first celebrated ‘Corolle’ collection (spring/summer 1947) and a 1949 black ribbed silk cocktail dress, commissioned by the Duchess of Windsor, Wallis Simpson.
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.
All That Is Solid Melts Into Air
- 12 October 2013 — 19 January 2014 *on now
Jeremy Deller explores the roots of working class musical culture, from 19th century industrial folk to glam and heavy rock music in the 70s and 80s.
The exhibition combines contemporary works with a vast range of objects and images, from historical paintings depicting factories and forges to oppositional broadsheets, political tracts, poems and popular ballads against exploitation, including works by William Blake and William Morris.
Accompanied by an integrated programme of events, performances, discussions, talks and screenings, Deller approaches this wealth of material like a social cartographer tracing neglected ley lines of cultural history.
- Any age
Grayson Perry: The Vanity of Small Differences
- 24 October 2013 — 2 February 2014 *on now
The artist's inspiration for the series was Hogarth's A Rake's Progress, the tale of a young man who squanders his inherited fortune and dies in a madhouse. The six tapestries chart the 'class journey' made by young Tim Rakewell and include many of the characters, incidents and objects Grayson Perry encountered on journeys through Sunderland, Tunbridge Wells and The Cotswolds for the television series 'All in the Best Possible Taste with Grayson Perry'.
He said of the works: 'The tapestries tell the story of class mobility, for I think nothing has as strong an influence on our aesthetic taste as the social class in which we grow up. I am interested in the politics of consumerism and the history of popular design, but for this project I focus on the emotional investment we make in the things we choose to live with, wear, eat, read or drive. Class and taste run deep in our character – we care. This emotional charge is what draws me to a subject.'
This major work, gifted to the Arts Council Collection and the British Council by the artist and Victoria Miro Gallery, London, and its UK tour is supported by Channel 4 Television, the Art Fund, Sfumato Foundation and AlixPartners. After the initial UK tour in 2013-14, the tapestries will be available as a loan to museums and galleries in the UK.
Closed 1 Jan, 29 Mar, 24 – 26 and 31 Dec.
The Vanity of Small Differences
- 24 October 2013 — 2 February 2014 *on now
The Vanity of Small Differences is a series of six tapestries, measuring 2m x 4m each, by the Turner Prize-winning artist Grayson Perry. These tapestries tell the story of class mobility and the influence social class has on our aesthetic taste.
Inspired by William Hogarth’s A Rake’s Progress, the six tapestries chart the “class journey” made by young Tim Rakewell and include many of the characters, incidents and objects that Grayson Perry encountered on journeys through Sunderland, Tunbridge Wells and The Cotswolds for the television series ‘All in the Best Possible Taste with Grayson Perry’.
The television programmes were first aired on Channel 4 in June 2012. In the series Perry goes “on a safari amongst the taste tribes of Britain”, to gather inspiration for his artwork, literally weaving the characters he meets into a narrative, with an attention to the minutiae of contemporary taste every bit as acute as that in Hogarth’s 18th century paintings.
Manchester Art Gallery is only the second gallery outside London to be showing Grayson Perry's The Vanity of Small Differences.
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.