Bury Art Museum & Sculpture Centre

Bury Art Museum
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Housed in a distinctive Edwardian building, Bury Art Museum offers a welcoming, warm and friendly setting for visitors to enjoy art, (old and new), and discover the rich history of Bury and the surrounding area. Highlights from the art collection include 'Calais Sands' and 'Ehrenbreitstein' by JMW Turner; 'Spring Morning, Haverstock Hill' by Sir George Clausen; 'Different Horizons', blue neon light piece by Maurizio Nannucci; and 'Revolution of the 19th Century' and 'Essential Elements' by Pavel Büchler.

On the lower ground floor is a dedicated contemporary museum space which hosts a vibrant temporary exhibition programme based upon the museum's archaeology, ethnography, natural history, costume and social history collections.
This inspiring programme is supported by a wide range of family friendly activities and events which run throughout the year.

The Art Museum is also home to Bury Art Shop, which offers original artwork, jewellery and crafts at affordable prices, and Barney’s café which serves delicious coffee and homemade cakes.

Contemporary Art and International Touring Exhibitions

Committed to innovation, Bury Art Museum works with artists on a regular basis, and hosts the Text Festival which is an internationally recognised event investigating contemporary art practices including, poetry, text art, sound art and performance. Bury Art Museum also houses the Text Art Archive: the largest dedicated collection of original works of Language Art in the country. The Text Art Archive's aim is to stimulate critical thinking and writing in the field around the subject.

In addition, Bury has considerable experience in international practice and currently leads a consortium of North West museums in generating touring exhibitions from the region’s great art collections to send to galleries abroad. The consortium’s first exhibition, 'Toward Modernity: Three Centuries of British Art 'was launched in November 2012 and went on to tour six venues in China, including Beijing. The exhibition included prints, paintings, drawings and watercolours from across the region.

Venue Type:


Opening hours

Tuesday to Friday: 1000-1700
Saturday: 1000-1630
Sunday and Monday: Closed

Admission charges



Bury Art Museum was established in 1897, with a donation of over 200 oil paintings, watercolours, prints and ceramics collected by local paper manufacturer Thomas Wrigley. The Wrigley Gift represents some of the most successful and prominent artists of the industrialist’s day and include Edwin Henry Landseer's 'A Random Shot', John Constable's 'Hampstead Heath', George Clausen's 'Spring Morning, Haverstock Hill' and the star-piece, JMW Turner’s 'Calais Sands at Low Water: Poissards Collecting Bait'. Successive curators have added to Wrigley's legacy. There are twentieth-century paintings by artists such as Victor Pasmore and Edward Burra (watercolours), while the establishment of a picture purchase fund has allowed the collection to continue to develop into the twenty-first century. The current focus is on acquiring high-quality recent art, often commissioning work directly from the artist, rather than attempting to fill any perceived gaps in the existing collection.


The Museum opened as a cabinet of curiosities on the lower ground floor of the Art Gallery in October, 1907. The founding collections in the Museum consisted of non-local natural history, archaeology, geology and ethnography. This changed after 1974, when local government re-organisation created the Metropolitan Borough of Bury. The Museum collections developed to become an important local/social history resource representing all aspects of life in every part of the Borough. There are already around 60,000 objects in Bury’s Social History collections which are growing at a steady and fairly rapid rate.

Collection details

Decorative and Applied Art, Fine Art, Social History, Archaeology

Key artists and exhibits

  • JMW Turner
  • George Clausen
  • Edwin Henry Landseer
  • John Constable
  • Victor Pasmore
  • Edward Burra
  • Pavel Buchler
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
1916 Coalition sketch

Prestwich and the Great War

  • 8 December 2013 — 11 December 2015 *on now

An exhibition based at Bury Art Museum’s satellite Museum at Prestwich Library

This exhibition looks at how the First World War affected the lives of the young men of Prestwich. It explores the roles that local auxiliary hospitals played in caring for the wounded soldiers and how Heaton Park changed its focus from a public park into a place used for the billeting and training of thousands of young soldiers. The exhibition also explores life after the war and how the people of Prestwich commemorated the soldiers lost. One of the highlights of the exhibition is an autograph book which has in it signatures of wounded Belgium & British soldiers who were recouping in Prestwich as well as some beautiful drawings done by the soldiers.

Suitable for

  • 16-17
  • 18+
  • 14-15
  • 11-13


Prestwich Library and Adult Learning Centre
Longfield Centre
M25 1AY

The Late Great Planet Earth

  • 19 September 2015 — 23 January 2016 *on now

Bury Sculpture Centre is pleased to announce a solo show of new and existing work by Hilary Jack. Hilary has exhibited across the UK and Internationally and this will be the first solo show by a UK artist at Bury Sculpture Centre

Hilary Jack works across media in research-based projects involving the collection and re-use of found objects in site referential artworks and sculptural installations, commenting on the everyday, obsolescence and the politics of location.

In her solo exhibition The Late Great Planet Earth Jack considers elegiac narratives of a pre-digital world and acknowledges contemporary anxieties over geopolitics, environmental change and rare celestial occurrences.

The title of this exhibition is taken from 1970’s bestselling book, by Hal Lindsey, who links biblical prophecy and current events with End Time Theory. Through the manipulation of found images and objects Jack playfully envisions what the future holds for our planet in this year of The Blood Moon Prophecy.

Suitable for

  • Any age



Colour Collect

  • 9 October 2015 — 27 February 2016 *on now

Responding to Bury Museum’s collections, artist Liz West has created a unique exhibition to coincide with Bury Light Night 2015.

Liz West creates vivid environments that mix luminous colour and radiant light. Working across a variety of different media, West aims to provoke a heightened sensory awareness in the viewer through her works. She is interested in exploring how sensory phenomena can invoke psychological and physical responses that tap into our own deeply entrenched relationships to colour. West’s investigation into the relationship between colour and light is often realised through an engagement between materiality and a given site. The exhibition ‘Colour Collect’ responds not only to the Museum’s contemporary display space but also to a variety of museum objects.

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.

Loan boxes

We have 3 education loans boxes that cover the topics of Home Front WW2, Victorian Kitchen and Toys. The loans boxes are free and can be borrowed for a maximum period of two weeks. Loans boxes must be booked in advance, telephone 0161 253 5878 to book a loans box.

How to obtain

Loans boxes must be booked in advance, telephone 0161 253 5878 to book a loans box.

Familiarisation tours

We also offer one-to-one familiarisation sessions which can be booked in advance to help you find out more information about the artworks and objects on display. These sessions may be particular if you are planning a self-guided visit.

How to obtain

Drop into the museum or ring 0161 253 5878.

Museum staff led sessions

These cover a range of subjects including Portraits, Gallery Explorers, World War II and the Victorians. Some sessions are free and others carry a small fee. These sessions can be booked on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday 10.00 to 12.00 and 13.00 to 15.00. Please note that these are the usual slots for a workshop but other times may be negotiable.
The sessions are normally 1 hour 30 minutes, but this can be altered to suit requirements.

How to obtain

Please ring 0161 253 5878.

Self-Guided tours

You are welcome to bring a group for a self-guided visit at anytime. However, we ask that you always ring in advance to let us know when you are planning to visit and inform us of the size of your group so that we can help you make the most of your visit and inform you of the most suitable times.

How to obtain

Please ring 0161 253 5878.

Bury Art Museum & Sculpture Centre
Moss Street





0161 253 5878

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.