Collecting for Manchester
This new display explores the different ways artworks enter the collection and showcases many new works which haven’t yet been on show. In our 200th anniversary year, we are reflecting on how the collection has been formed, how we can best use it and how it might grow in the future.
Our collection development policy outlines our current collecting priorities and is regularly updated. These are:
- to collect artwork which relates to Manchester or our existing collections
- to focus on artists under-represented in our collection including women, LGBTQIA+ and Black and Asian artists.
The display explores how the gallery works with patrons, collectors, artists and their estates and funding bodies to build the city’s collection of art. We benefit from the generosity of gifts and bequests to the collection. When we purchase artworks, we don’t use public money but raise funding through the Friends and Patrons of Manchester Art Gallery, trusts and foundations like the Art Fund. We also take part in specific acquisition schemes with the Contemporary Art Society and the Manchester Contemporary Art Fund. We also once mounted a crowdfunding campaign.
The collection is formed through a mixture of intention and opportunity and we want to make the collecting process, something which has happened behind closed doors, more transparent.