Encounter Manchester Museum’s assortment of treasures from the natural world and the many cultures it is home to. Visitor favourites include dinosaurs, mummies and live amphibians and reptiles.
24-26 Dec, 1 Jan: closed
Manchester Museum’s collection is made up of 4.5 million items from the natural world and human cultures.
The natural environments collections include Zoology (animals and birds), Vivarium (live amphibians and reptiles), Botany (plants), Entomology (insects), Palaeontology (pre-historic life including fossils and dinosaurs), Geology (the Earth’s materials such as rocks) and Mineralogy (minerals). The human cultures collections include Archaeology (Mediterranean, European and Western Asiatic), Egyptology, Anthropology (people and cultures), Numismatics (money) and Archery.
Made up of a series of impressive Gothic style buildings at the heart of The University of Manchester, the Museum was designed by Alfred Waterhouse in 1885.
The museum’s entire collection is a Designated Collection of national importance.
You can search the Museum's collection via their website - http://emu.man.ac.uk/mmcustom/narratives/ or research objects in the Museum's Collections Study Centre - http://www.museum.manchester.ac.uk/aboutus/services/collectionsstudycentre/
World Cultures, Weapons and War, Social History, Religion, Natural Sciences, Medicine, Decorative and Applied Art, Costume and Textiles, Coins and Medals, Archives, Archaeology
Key artists and exhibits
- Spider Crab
- Vivarium with live snakes, frogs and other reptiles
- Ancient Egypt
- Designated Collection
Romuald Hazoumè: Dance of the Butterflies
- 14 February — 31 December 2015 *on now
Dance of the Butterflies is a stunning new art work by one of Africa’s foremost contemporary artists Romuald Hazoumè. It features swarms of multicoloured ‘butterflies’ which will take over the Museum’s Living Worlds gallery, interacting with the Museum’s own collections. Hazoumè, whose work was featured in We Face Forward, the Manchester-wide celebration of West African art and culture in 2012, will return to create this work for Manchester Museum. The hundreds of butterflies are made from off-cuts of vibrant African wax-print fabrics from the artist’s home country of Benin. Dance of the Butterflies represents a very African take on politics, exploitation and the ‘butterfly effect’- the way in which tiny impulses within chaotic systems can lead to unexpectedly serious effects. The display opens to coincide with the reopening of the Whitworth, following a £15million redevelopment.
Making Monuments on Rapa Nui: Statues from Easter Island
- 1 April — 6 September 2015 *on now
Making Monuments on Rapa Nui
The Statues from Easter Island
1 April-6 September 2015
The monumental stone statues of Rapa Nui (named Easter Island by European explorers) in the Pacific are some of the most widely recognised archaeological objects in the world. Based on fieldwork on the island by Professor Colin Richards, an archaeologist at The University of Manchester, the exhibition will take a fresh look at these impressive statues, or ‘moai’. Making Monuments will look at how the statues were made, the role they played in the lives of the islanders, how they were quarried and transported across the island, and what they mean. It will also deconstruct some of the myths about the island, and discuss current theories about the decline of this astonishing culture. As part of the exhibition, Manchester Museum will show one of the statues, Moai Hava, which was collected from Rapa Nui in 1868, and is on loan from the British Museum.
- Any age
Summer Holidays: Treasure
- 20 July — 30 August 2015 *on now
Mon 20 July - Sun 30 Aug, Discover something new this summer at Manchester Museum. Collect a map as you explore the Museum's collections, visit our object handling tables and create some treasure of your very own.
- Family friendly
- 1 — 31 August 2015 *on now
Drop-in, free, all ages.
Throughout the week visit one of our handling tables and get hands-on with objects from the collection, such as an Alexander the Great coin, an urban fox and an ancient Egyptian scarab beetle.
- Any age
Nature Discovery activities: Paper cut Christmas cards and New Years calendars
- 20 December 2015
Be inspired by the Museum’s collections and create paper cut Christmas & Thank you cards or New Year’s calendars.
- Family friendly
Once a month The Manchester Museum bursts into life for a Big Saturday with art and craft activities, object handling, performance, talks and tours. They run from 11.00-16.00. Big Saturdays also include activities for adults and interested older children.
How to obtain
Most Big Saturday activities are free and drop-in. Some activities may need to be booked on the day and may cost up to £1.50
Drop in to the Discovery Centre for drawing and art activities inspired by The Manchester Museum's collection. Open 11.00-16.00 every Sunday, most Saturdays and during the holidays.
How to obtain
Activities at the Discover Centre are free, drop-in and there is no need to book. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
On the last Friday of the month, 10.30-11.30am & 11.30am-12.30pm, Magic Carpet introduces Manchester Museum's collection to under 5s with storytelling, art and craft.
How to obtain
Book on 0161 275 2648 a week before the event, free
The University of Manchester
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0161 275 2648
Education Booking Line
0161 275 2630
General Office Fax
0161 275 2676