Getting to Know The Gallery

 some girls studying the collectiona group of students touring the gallery

Please note that this workshop will only be running until Fri 30th March 2012.

This interactive introduction to Manchester Art Gallery takes you on a journey through both the architecture of the gallery buildings and selected highlights from the gallery’s collections. We explore how the gallery has grown and developed, and at each artwork we engage in discussion, drawing or writing that will develop knowledge and understanding of both historical and contemporary art.

Aims (Skills, Knowledge, Activity, Result)

  • To learn how to approach and interpret a range of artworks with confidence. 
  • To gain a broad understanding of art history and related wider social issues through the works selected. 
  • To develop and document ideas generated through discussion and drawing techniques. 
  • To become familiar with the gallery as a valuable learning resource, more able to use it effectively as a research tool and more confident in engaging with and interpreting art.

What happens in a workshop

During the tour, we look at key exhibits from our permanent collections as well as the Victorian splendour of the restored original gallery building and the contemporary architecture of the beautiful new extension which houses the Twentieth century collection. We will engage with work from the Victorian pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood through to the present day, and at each work will open up a dialogue about the art and its context, both in terms of art history and broader social history. The artworks will provide starting points for drawing exercises or discussion, which aim to encourage students to become more confident about using the gallery independently as a source of information and inspiration. We also offer shorter 45 minute tours, which cover a similar breadth of content as the full tour but in less depth. Each full-length tour will end with an introduction to the Special Exhibition, this changes regularly. Find out what’s on during your planned visit. 

Prepare for your visit

  • Prior to the visit discuss the value of directly experiencing 'real' objects through a gallery visit, rather than reproductions. 
  • Explain the reasons for no touching or eating in the galleries, i.e. for the protection and conservation of artworks. 
  • Find out how to plan your visit, including booking information, parking, facilities and a downloadable risk assessment.

How to book

School boy in workshop
Find out how to plan your visit.