A message from Alistair Hudson, Director of Manchester Art Gallery
“The pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have given us much pause for thought. The last year has particularly revealed inequalities across all aspects of society and prompted us to ask how we best respond to the fissures that have opened up in health, education, economics and culture. And that is culture in the broadest sense, as in who has a right to a fully expressed life and what kind of culture do we make together? Whilst these are not new issues and questions, they are ever more pertinent and urgent.
As we approach our 200 year anniversary it gives us a moment to reflect upon the founders and founding principles of our institution, created by the artists, merchants and industrialists who were then building Manchester as a the new global capital, in full knowledge that if you were to build a city anew, it was imperative that its residents had access to a full creative education, places in which to commune together with the arts and sciences, and in doing so create the conditions for all to develop with a healthy mind, body and spirit.