Manchester Art Gallery

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

Open Monday-Sunday 10am-5pm, including bank holiday Mondays.
Late night opening on Thursday until 9pm.
Closed Good Friday 3 April 2015

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.


  • 1 November 2014 — 1 November 2018 *on now

The wealth and opulence of the High Victorian era. Dramatic episodes from history, literature and mythology including work by William Powell Frith and Lord Frederic Leighton. The beauty of late Pre-raphaelite art by Edward Burne Jones and Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Romantic views of Scotland.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly



  • 1 November 2014 — 1 November 2018 *on now

Sumptuous colours, lavish patterns and tales of seduction, religion and mid-Victorian morals. Paintings by Ford Madox Brown, Holman Hunt and Millais, craft and design by William Burges and William de Morgan.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly


Early 19th Century

  • 1 November 2014 — 1 November 2018 *on now

A period which produced some of our best-loved artists – Turner, Constable and William Blake. The spread of the Industrial Revolution and its influence on artists and the growing art market.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly


18th Century

  • 1 November 2014 — 1 November 2018 *on now

Introducing the paintings of Joshua Reynolds, Thomas Gainsborough and their contemporaries. An age of aristocratic patronage, European travel and classical influence.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly


House Proud

  • 2 April 2015 — 2 April 2016 *on now

House Proud, our new exhibition of glass, metalwork and furniture is inspired by the Gallery's pioneering Industrial Art Collection. During the 1930s the Gallery was one of the first to collect mass-produced or limited-edition home furnishings with a very strong, contemporary design aesthetic and to display them in an art gallery setting. The exhibition illustrates some of the ways in which the boundaries between art and design for the home have been challenged since then.

Some manufacturers deliberately chose to employ contemporary artists in order to improve the design and cachet of their products: the exhibition includes items designed for industrial production by artists such as Dame Laura Knight, Eric Ravilious and John Piper. Many of the designers included in the show were influenced by contemporary art, particularly Neo-Romanticism, Abstraction, Surrealism, Op and Pop Art. Modern art opened up new ways of looking at objects which, combined with developments in science and technology, led to new forms for traditional functional objects and novel sources for decoration.

Suitable for


Absent Presence

  • 19 June 2015 — 3 January 2016 *on now

Manchester Art Gallery recently acquired Exposed Painting Green Lake, 2012, by contemporary artist Callum Innes. This new display of works from our collection takes its inspiration from this painting. It looks at how art captures a moment in time and asks how a subject can be present in an artwork, yet absent at the same time.

Innes created this Exposed Painting by a process of 'unpainting': brushing off the top layer of black paint to reveal the deep green colour underneath, leaving traces of brushstrokes behind. In this way, he both removes the image and leaves its presence visible.

The paintings in this exhibition all require a similar heightened level of looking, a searching for traces of the absent. The artists are often playing with the concept of time, adding presences from the past into scenes of the present.

When the subject is absent, we try to find the missing presence in what remains.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly


Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.

Thursday Late: Lost Gardens, Lanterns and Lights

  • 29 October 2015 6-8pm

Celebrating the autumn harvest, a season of great design and our fabulous Lost Gardens project with The National Trust, we invite you to get your own design head on and carve pumpkins fit for a dreamy outdoor gallery illumination.

Our Creative Consultants team will be your hosts for the night, helping you take inspiration from our fantastic display of Japanese design, artist Matthew Darbyshire's contemporary take on interiors, and other design elements hidden throughout the building.

There will also be an opportunity to sample some of the tasty delights that have been produced in the garden and on the gallery's roof with the help of the resident bees.

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.

Manchester Art Gallery
Mosley Street
Greater Manchester
M2 3JL



Information desk

0161 235 8888


0161 235 8893

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.