Manchester Art Gallery has an impressive historic and modern collection. The latter is particularly strong in early 20th-century British art acquired through a bequest from Charles Rutherston. It includes works by LS Lowry, Liam Spencer and ‘Manchester Impressionist’ Adolphe Valette, alongside works by Wyndham Lewis and Henry Moore. The contemporary collection holds works by Richard Deacon, Mona Hatoum, Juan Munoz, Michael Craig Martin, Cornelia Parker and Antony Gormley.
Highlights include a collection of contemporary furniture and lighting by internationally renowned designers Tord Boontje, Ron Arad and Thomas Heatherwick. The contemporary gallery has an exhibition space dedicated to showcasing the work of locally based artists and designers, with the exhibits changing every six months.
Manchester Art Gallery was refurbished in recent years with the intention of rationalising the spaces and creating a more contemporary feel. The entrance is still a little dark but the café is lovely and the access areas to the galleries are easy to navigate. The gallery spaces themselves are impressive and are rull of treasures — it is clearly a struggle to ensure that as much of the collection as possible is seen. This is just the tip of the iceberg of this vast collection.