A large proportion of the collection is made up of work by British artists of the 20th-century including Walter Sickert, David Bomberg, Paul Nash, Ben Nicholson and Barbara Hepworth. There is a small group of works by British Surrealist artists Edward Wadsworth, Roland Penrose, Edward Burra and Conroy Maddox.
The gallery has an active acquisitions programme with recent additions including works by Tacita Dean, Michael Landy, Toby Paterson, Rachel Whiteread and Jane and Louise Wilson. The Whitworth also has a renowned collection of textiles and wallpaper from the 3rd century ad to the present.
The gallery displays move to a selection of its collection at any one time. Exhibitions of the permanent collection rotate every twelve months, whereas the display of decorative art and works on paper rotates every six months.
The Whitworth has an exciting programme exhibiting both contemporary and historical works from its permanent collection in exhibitions often devised through collaboration between the gallery’s curators and academics from Manchester University.
The Whitworth is a place I would recommend anyone to visit for the diversity of its collection and exhibitions — from treasured textiles and wallpaper to contemporary acquisitions of film and video.