Manchester Art Gallery

Collections development policy

This Collection Development Policy guides Manchester City Council’s acquisition and disposal activity over the period 2011-14. A more up to date policy will be available shortly. This policy covers two main areas of activity; acquisitions and disposals.

Disposals Policy

From time to time, Manchester City Galleries may recommend items for disposal. This policy sets out the way the disposal of objects will be managed.

Current Activity

Furniture Review

Manchester City Galleries is reviewing its Furniture Collection. This is a two year project which commenced in May 2011. The furniture collection consists of approximately 500 items which have been accessioned into the collection through gift, bequest or purchase. The collection also includes items found at Manchester City Galleries sites with no or minimal documentation to confirm their status. Loans in to the gallery are not included in this review.

The aims and objectives of the review are to:

• Ensure that Manchester City Galleries has the furniture collections it requires to fulfil its longer term strategic objectives as outlined in the Collection Development Policy.
dispose of those items which Manchester City Galleries no longer requires, openly and responsibly, in a manner which does not jeopardise the strategic aims and overall mission of Manchester City Galleries.
• Ensure public benefit will increase as a result of any disposals.


• Items selected for the review will be assessed against a retention criterion which will be drafted and agreed by the Furniture Review Group. The retention criteria will have a points system to assist in assessing whether the case for disposal should be made. A curatorial panel will take the decision whether to dispose.
• Following the galleries disposals procedures, which are based on Museums Association guidelines for disposal ensuring that third party interests are taken into account, other considerations will be taken into account when deciding whether to dispose of any item. Condition will not be part of the assessment criteria.
• Any decision will not be motivated by financial gain and will be in accordance with the Museums Association Guidelines and the Greater Manchester Act 1981, section 149 as outlined in Collection Development Policy.


We will aim to respond to your enquiry within 5 working days.