About the collection

Manchester Art Gallery and The Gallery of Costume are home to the city’s world-class art collection. We hold over 25,000 objects of fine art, decorative art and costume, developed over 200 years and still growing.

Fine Art

Albert Square (detail) by Adolphe Valette, 1910
Nearly 13,000 items including painting, sculpture, drawings, watercolours, prints, posters and photographs. Best known for our world-famous Pre-Raphaelite paintings, the collection also includes British and European art from the 17th century right up to the present day.

Decorative Art

Charles II commemorative slipware charger (detail) by Thomas Toft, about 1660

Over 13,000 objects of craft and design from ceramics, glass and furniture to metalwork, wallpaper and dolls houses. Highlights include early English slipware, 17th century silver, and our growing collection of contemporary furniture and lighting design.


Printed velvet hat (detail) by Cristobal Balenciaga, 1952

The Gallery of Costume at Platt Hall holds over 21,000 items of clothing and accessories, covering all aspects of the history of dress from 1600 to the present day. 18th century fashion and 19th century women and children's dress are particular highlights.

Want to know more?

For more detailed information about the background to Manchester’s art collections go to History of the Collections. To view a selection of highlights including favourites selected by visitors and staff, or to find out about specific items, search the collection.

Print shop

Sappho, Charles-August Mengin
Browse our range of high quality Giclee prints in our print store.

Search the Collection

Collections search screen
Want to know more about specific works? Search our online collections database.

Manchester Art Gallery on flickr