I like to mooch round art galleries when I have some time to kill , and this one was particulary good. As well as some good modern stuff it had some Canaletto's which are always worth seeing , the odd Lowry and some William Blake's who I'm a really big fan of.
Recently had a major refurbishment costing 35 million pounds -- the gallery has an internationally renowned collection of 25,000 paintings with some 2,000 on display.
Open Tuesday-Sunday, 10am-5pm
The city's formest gallery reopened in May 2002 after a £35 million makeover; if its forebear was impressive, this one is spectacular. the gallery is divided into three distinct sections linked by a stunning new atrium. The first is the original gallery, designed by Charls Barry(The architect of the Houses of Parliment) in 1834. The impressive permanent collection on the 1st floor covers post 18-century art, with such notables as Gainsborough, Canaletto, Conatable, Turner, and Rodin represented. Other rooms contain one of the country's finest collection of Pre- Raphaelite art. The ground floor also contains a cafe`.resturant and the ubiquitous gift shop.
The new gallery has a permanent collection devoted to British art of 20th century , with painting by Lucien Freud, Francis Bacon, David Hockney & many more. There is also a separate room for visiting exhibitions, which will mainly show international contemporary art.
The third setion is housed within the A thenaeum, joined to the rest of the gallery via an atrium also desinged by Charles Barry, the Anthenaeum opened in 1837 as a gentlemen's club, and its main feature is the impressive former lecture hall. It is now a home to a new gallery of Craft & Design, which features an international collection of varied items including textiles, toys & dolls, houses dating from 1000 BC to the modern day. Also in Athenaeum is the collection of pre-17th-century art, with works predominately from the Dutch and early Renaissance master.( admission free; open 10am-5pm Tues-Sun)
Entry is free and there is plenty to see inside. On the ground floor aswell as the shop and restaurant is the CIS Manchester Gallery. On the second floor is the gallery of craft and design, which I found quite interesting, along with the quirky modern art section. On the first floor are more traditional painting spanning many different styles and centuries.
*Shut on Mondays except Bank Holidays*
This museum, with its classical Greco-Roman entrance and it's modern-day 21st century interior, is a pleasant surprise for people thinking that this was just another ordinary dull art museum.
Instead, the Manchester Art Gallery is alive and well with a new face and attitude. Extensive collections are included here of European and American artists, with big names like Gainsborough, Bacon, Lucien Freud, Rossetti and Henry Moore. Aside from paintings, there's also collections of contemporary photographs and old relics of the city's past, making this more than just an art museum, but also an exhibit to Manchester's past.
Just restored it is well known for its wonderful Pre-Raphaelites with masterpieces like Arthur Hughes's 'Ophelia' or William Holman Hunt's 'The Light of the World'. Beside that you'll find some modern art, installations and a excellent interactive gallery [fun not just for the kids ;-)]
More coming here - I can really recommend the Manchester Art Museum.
Open Tuesday - Sunday 10am - 5pm
Closed Mondays (except Bank Holidays), 1 January, Good Friday, 24-26, 31 December.
They had an excellent Raphalite exhibition when I was there and also of Ford Madox Brown. Local artists are well-displayed too. Here's a pic from the Indian art displays