Art Treasures in Manchester: 150 years on

The Manchester Madonna by Michelangelo Buonarroti

Family events

All Free, please just drop in.

Victorian fun and games
Tues 23 – Fri 26 Oct
1 – 3pm
Create your own Victorian costume accessories, then join in with parlour games in the 'Art Treasures' exhibition.

Victorians come to life
Fri 26 Oct
12 – 12.30pm, 1 – 1.30pm, 2 – 2.30pm, 3 – 3.30pm
Meet live characters from Ford Madox Brown’s painting Work, as they explore the exhibition.

The Greatest Day on Earth
Sun 18 Nov
1 – 4pm
Join us for a day of all things Victorian, to celebrate the Art Treasures exhibition. There’ll be music from the Hallé Youth Choir, a chance to meet some Victorian characters, dress up in period costume and make a memento to take home.

Illustrated talks

All talks are free, but please book

Manchester 1857
Sun 21 Oct
2 – 3pm
An illustrated talk by Professor Alan Kidd exploring what 1857 Manchester was like as a city to live and work in.

Art Treasures and Charles Hallé
Sun 2 Dec
2 - 3pm
Discover more about the links between the Art Treasures exhibition and the formation of the Hallé orchestra. An illustrated talk by music journalist and historian, Robert Beale.

Modern Masters
Sun 20 Jan
2 - 3pm
Find out more about how the Art Treasures celebrated and championed British Art. Why was it so important that earlier British artists, from Hogarth to Turner, and the latest in contemporary British art - including the Pre-Raphaelites - were shown in parallel with the European old masters? Curator, Andrew Loukes explores the ground-breaking promotion of British art in 1857 in this illustrated lecture.

Treasured Thursdays
Every Thursday lunchtime throughout the exhibition you’ll find there’s something special to see or do. All events are free, just drop in

Treasures revealed
Thurs 18 Oct, 8, 15 & 29 Nov, 10 & 17 Jan
1 – 1.30pm
Find out more about two key works in the exhibition with a curator.

Art Treasures mini debates
Thurs 1 Nov : Is art good for you?
Thurs 22 Nov: Civic pride: do we still have it?
1 – 1.30
What do you think? Two lunchtime mini debates, exploring what the Victorians thought and what we think today. Come and have your say.

Victorian Lines : A performance by David Gaffney
Thurs 11 Oct
1 – 1.45pm
Short story writer, David Gaffney responds to the Art Treasures exhibition.

Musical treasures

Listen to live music in the exhibition space.

Sun 2 Dec 3.30 - 4.30pm
Tues 22 Jan 1 - 2pm
Musicians from the Hallé perform in the exhibition.

Hallé Youth ensembles
Thurs 25 Oct 1 - 1.45pm
Sat 17 Nov 4 – 4.45pm
Young people from the Hallé Youth Orchestra perform in the exhibition.

Hallé Youth Choir
Sun 18 Nov as part of The Greatest Day on Earth
2.30 – 3pm, 3.30 – 4pm
Young people from Hallé Youth Choir perform in the atrium.

Manchester ballads
Thurs 6 Dec 1 - 2pm
Discover some of the popular songs that Mancunians listened to in 1857 with musicians Mark Dowding and Chris Pollington.

Piano recital
Sun 20 Jan 3.30 – 4.30pm
Pianists Jonathan and Tom Scott performs works from the time, including the Manchester Art Treasures waltz, in the atrium. This event is supported by Forsyths Music Shop.


Exhibition tours
Saturdays 3 – 3.45pm
Take a guided tour of the exhibition with a trained guide from the Friends of Manchester City Galleries. Every Saturday except 3 Nov, 1 and 22 Dec.
Free, no need to book

Exhibition tour for hearing-impaired visitors
Sun 18 Nov, Sun 13 Jan
3 – 4pm
Jennifer Little gives a tour of the exhibition in British Sign Language and Sign Supported English
Free, no need to book

Audio Described tour
Thurs 6 Dec
10.30 – 12noon
Anne Hornsby brings the exhibition to life for visually impaired visitors.
Free, no need to book

City Tours: Manchester in the 1850s
Sat 3 Nov, Sat 19 Jan
11 – 1pm, 2 – 4pm
Take a tour around the city streets with historian Jonathan Schofield and find out more about the buildings and the social history of Manchester in the 1850s.
Free, please book

Short courses

An introduction to drawing and painting the human figure
Sat 3 and Sun 4 Nov repeated on Sat 19 and Sun 20 Jan 08
Ever wanted to learn how to draw the human figure? This two day course with artist, Jill Harrison, will show you how. Inspired by the Art Treasures exhibition this course will cover a range of techniques and will be an opportunity to draw from a life model.
£30, £25 concessions, please book