Rethinking the collection

2023 marks our 200th anniversary year and the start of a programme of building repairs. Improvements will be made to our three sites Manchester Art Gallery, Platt Hall and our conservation studios which will lead to better storage and physical access to safeguard the collection for the next 200 years.  

This provides a unique opportunity to undertake a review and research process to explore the rich potential of the city’s collection and how it is used. We are learning from different perspectives by collaborating with people and city-wide partners. Rethinking the collection has already led to some changes in the galleries and it will enable more in future. It is exciting to imagine what we don’t yet know, what stories might emerge and what might change.  

What’s New? 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.

What is Manchester Art Gallery?

The significance of a public collection is more than the accumulation of individual objects. Its core purpose is to encourage curiosity in everyone and inspire creativity in all aspects of life. Using the collection helps us better understand ourselves and others. The Gallery is part of the collective cultural soul of our city and it holds Manchester’s cultural wealth in trust for future generations.

Rethinking the Grand Tour

For 200 years the Grand Tour set the standard for western culture. Two decades after this gallery was installed, the Grand Tour is being reassessed. Four contemporary artists have selected works from Manchester Art Gallery’s collection. They have responded to the legacy of the Grand Tour through the theme of migration.

Uncertain Futures

Uncertain Futures is a project that seeks to address the inequalities facing Manchester women over 50 relating to work and worklessness. We want to understand how interconnected issues of gender, age, labour, class, migration status, disability and race impact women’s paid and unpaid work.