The city of Manchester has a rich and long history of artistry. From L.S Lowry to Harry Kingsley, Wynford Dewhurst and Annie Swynnerton, Manchester has been the muse for many creative, and as such it should be no surprise that it in the present day there is a huge and diverse range of art on display.
Nowhere is this fact truer than in the Manchester Art Gallery. Situated on Mosely Street, a stone’s throw away from St Peter’s Square, this gallery honours the Mancunian artistic lineage, as well as proudly displaying on its walls a large and diverse collection of artworks.
While the gallery we know and love today is comprised of three connected buildings, the gallery originated as a single building, which we may now recognise as the entrance on Mosely Street. This building initially hosted the Royal Manchester Institution, a society of scholars formed in 1823 to counter rumours of Manchester being a city lacking in culture and education.
Since opening its doors to the public, the gallery has aimed to serve as an educational institute inspiring creativity, and imagination in the people of Manchester. For this reason, the building is completely free to enter and have a browse – great for days out on a budget.
The Manchester Art Gallery boasts a permanent collection of tens of thousands of pieces. Whether you’re a fan of fine, or contemporary art this gallery is sure to have something for you. That being said, one of the draws to this collection is the huge number of Victorian pieces. The gallery specialises in Victorian art and aims to exhibit the culture and history of industrial-revolution Manchester.
Another facet of the Manchester Art Gallery’s collection is the number of sculptural works and objects. Multiple spaces are curated around the celebration of ancient and contemporary sculptures, as well as everyday artefacts. One of the most interesting collections on display (at time of writing) is their tea exhibition – exploring how hot drinks play a part in our daily rituals.
Exhibitions & Events
Exhibitions and events are the life and soul of a gallery. They both diversify the artistic and curatorial talent by affording guest exhibiters a chance to display, as well as giving art lovers incentive to return time and time again.
For this reason, it should come as no surprise that The Manchester Art Gallery plays host to an ever-changing selection of exhibitions. While some detail a specific artist – such as the Louis Giovanelli, or Derek Jarman displays – they also feature exhibitions exploring broader themes, from specific periods, to works specific to different countries and cultures.
Events are also run on a regular basis. Performances, talks, and after hour workshops are a staple of the gallery, and all help to educate and inspire Manchester based art lovers. With a range of guided tours, and artist interviews on offer, the gallery is still committed to its original mission of educating and inspiring its visitors in any way possible.
So, whether it’s a spontaneous day out, or escape to the city, The Manchester Art Gallery is a great spot for anyone looking to learn more about the history and culture of the city, and further afield.