Starting in 2023, Manchester Art Gallery is Taking Stock of the collection. This is a unique opportunity to explore the rich potential of the City’s collection and how it is used.
A programme of building repairs at Manchester Art Gallery, Platt Hall and our conservation studios in Queens Park will lead to better storage and physical access to our collections, as well as safeguarding their future. This work will transform how our collection is experienced by visitors and used by staff, volunteers, artists and communities.
The building work has been a catalyst for Taking Stock: a once in a lifetime opportunity for almost every object in our collection to pass through our hands and see the light of day. Over the coming years we’ll be focusing on reviewing and researching some of our lesser known collections, reengaging with objects that at one time or another over the last 200 years have been valued as integral to understanding or representing the city of Manchester through the arts.
As we begin the bicentenary year of the founding of our collection (1823-2023), Taking Stock is a moment to reflect on 200 years of art in the city, what that meant in the past, and what that means today. Taking Stock is about identity, care, shared responsibility and the creation of a sustainable future for Manchester Art Gallery. We’ll be guided by four key principles:
- Knowing who we are helps guide who we can be: The collection was created for the people of Manchester, we want to make sure that is still true today. We need to understand how our city has changed and what we need to do within the gallery to reflect Manchester’s current residents who are globally connected, creative and dynamic.
- We will do this work together: collaborating with our stakeholders to create a shared, transparent way of working that empowers, creates a sense of ownership for everyone working with our collections, and sparks creative joy.
- We can do this with care: for ourselves, our collections, our community.
- We will look to the future: nothing is certain. We want to give the gallery another 200 years, which means remaining relevant, sustainable and a cornerstone of life in Manchester.
Taking Stock is more than a collections review project. It is about rethinking what Manchester Art Gallery can be.