Manchester Art Gallery

About us

Manchester Art Gallery

Manchester Art Gallery is the original useful museum, initiated in 1823 by artists, as an educational institution to ensure that the city and all its people grow with creativity, imagination, health and productivity.

The gallery is free and open to all people as a place of civic thinking and public imagination, it promotes art as a means to achieve social change.

It has been at the centre of city life for nearly 200 years, created as the Royal Manchester Institution for the Promotion of Literature, Science and the Arts and has been proudly part of Manchester City Council since 1882.

The gallery is for and of the people of Manchester. Through its collections, displays and public programmes it works with all our constituents to ensure creativity, care and consideration infect all aspects of the way we live.

This is an art school for everybody and for life

Art is that in which the hand, the head, and the heart of man go together

John Ruskin Lecture II: The Unity of Art RMI Manchester 14th March 1859

Gallery of Costume, Platt Hall

The Gallery of Costume has showcased the best of our extensive costume collection, spanning six centuries of fashion, in the exquisite surroundings of Platt Hall. This lovely Georgian house – currently closed for renovation – is just two miles south of the city centre in Platt Fields Park, Rusholme.

Manchester City Galleries

Together, Manchester Art Gallery and the Gallery of Costume, Platt Hall, along with our conservation studios at Queens Park, make up Manchester City Galleries and we are part of Manchester City Council.

The Manchester Museums and Galleries Partnership

We are also part of an innovative and uniquely Mancunian partnership with Whitworth Art Gallery and Manchester Museum, both part of the University of Manchester. We share funding, staff and expertise and collaborate to make something greater than its individual parts – a brilliant gallery and museum service for our city.

Manchester Art Gallery Strategic Plan 2016 – 20

The focus of the strategy is on developing a gallery that feels open to all and inspires everyone who visits, where culture and innovation can flourish, and that reaches the widest possible audience, especially those people who might not normally think an art gallery is for them. The gallery’s world class collections and contemporary programme, delivered with a distinctly Mancunian spirit that combines a warm welcome for all and a strong social conscience, make Manchester Art Gallery one of the most exciting galleries in the country.

Cllr Luthfur Rahman