The University of Manchester
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0161 275 2648
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0161 275 2630
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0161 275 2676
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
Easter Holiday Activities: Nature Discovery
- 6 — 19 April 2015 *on now
Explore, discover and make stories at Manchester Museum this Easter. Don’t miss a visit to our newly renovated Nature Discovery gallery for under 5s and their families.
Create sock puppet animals in our Discovery Centre and take them with you as you explore the museum galleries and see what, and how many other animals you can find. Drop in, free, all ages
- 5 May 2015 1-2:30pm
Drop-in, free, adults
Free English conversation classes using the Museum’s collection as inspiration for discussion.
- 28 April 2015
- 12 May 2015
- 26 May 2015
10.30-11.15am, 11.30am-12.15pm & 1-1.45pm.
Book on 0161 275 2648 (Bookings will be taken a week in advance from 2pm), free
Sensory play and interactive story sessions for babies who aren't walking yet. Every other Tuesday (except half term school holidays when there are drop-in sensory play sessions 11am-2.30pm).
Rock Drop: Geology Identification Sessions
- 23 April 2015 2-3pm
- 21 May 2015 2-3pm
Our Curator of Earth Sciences, David Gelsthorpe, will be available once a month to answer your questions and identify your rocks and fossils.
- 24 April 2015 10:30am-1:45pm
- 29 May 2015
Fri 24 Apr, 10.30-11.30am & 11.30am-12.30pm
Book on 0161 275 2648 (from a week before from 2pm), free, under 5s and their families/carers
Story making and activity sessions. For toddlers up to 5yrs and their families/carers (Young babies welcome with older siblings).
Big Saturday: Nature & Us
- 25 April 2015 11am-4pm
Drop in, free, all ages
Discover more about nature around us, and how it affects our everyday lives. Explore and delve into our Nature Discovery gallery on Floor 1. Meet Museum curators and find out more about the Museum’s collections. Join students from The University of Manchester and find out about their research, as they uncover the stories behind objects in the Museum’s animal, fossil and plant collections. Enjoy hands-on activities for all the family and lots more….
Early Opening for Early Birds
- 25 April 2015 9-10am
- 23 May 2015
Drop-in, free, families with children under 5 and their older siblings
Are you and your young children up with the Larks and excited to get out and about and exploring? Come along to Manchester Museum's Living Worlds and Nature Discovery galleries for our early opening for early birds. Enjoy self-led tours, object handling and craft activities. (Just the Living Worlds and Nature Discovery galleries will be open at 9am - you can explore the rest of the Museum from 10am).
- 14 May 2015 6-9pm
Brighter Sound brings together musicians Jason Singh and Giuliano Modarelli in an event inspired by India’s Warli artists and the animation of the Museum’s collections.
A Fine Line has worked in partnership with Brighter Sound to explore the potential of artists' interdisciplinary collaborations with Traditional Indian arts practise.
Jason Singh – a composer and sound artist and Giuliano Modarelli a virtuosic guitarist, spent an exhilarating three weeks working in the context of Warli painters who are themselves exploring and experimenting beyond the boarders of tradition.
Against a backdrop of Warli canvasses and images, Jason and Giuliano will perform an sonic account of their journey.
Part of Museums at Night. One Night. City Wide. Free Events.
Big Saturday: Statues from Easter Island
- 23 May 2015 11am-4pm
Come along to Manchester Museum and find out more about the monumental stone statues (or ‘moai’) of Rapa Nui (named Easter Island by European explorers). Discover the role the statues played in the lives of the islanders, how they were quarried and transported across the island, and what they mean. Learn some archaeology skills, meet experts, enjoy hands-on craft activities, and explore our Making Monuments on Rapa Nui exhibition. All this and more…
Building the great monuments of Rapa Nui (Easter Island)
- 24 May 2015 2-3pm
Based on fieldwork on the island by Professor Colin Richards, an archaeologist at The University of Manchester, this talk will explore the social significance of the range of volcanic materials that are used in the construction of the ceremonial platforms (ahu), including the statues (moai) and topknots (pukao). The recent excavations and discoveries of the Rapa Nui: Landscapes of construction Project will also be presented as will an alternative interpretation of the prehistoric Rapa Nui social world.
Book online at mcrmuseum.eventbrite.com or phone 0161 275 2648, free, adults
- Not suitable for children
Half term: Rapu Nui statues
- 25 — 29 May 2015
Visit the Museum’s Making Monuments on Rapa Nui exhibition, and find out more about the monumental stone statues (or ‘moai’) of Rapa Nui (named Easter Island by European explorers). Discover the role they played in the lives of the islanders, how they were quarried and transported across the island, and what they mean.
Create statues of your own inspired by objects in the exhibition, including Moai Hava, a statue collected from Rapa Nui in 1868, on loan from the British Museum.
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