Manchester and Its Artistic Heritage

MANCHESTER ART SHOW was the North’s largest art fair, and last took place in October 2005 at the stunning MICC-GMEX in central Manchester and brought together the work of hundreds of artists from across the UK and beyond.

First time buyers and seasoned collectors came along and enjoyed the relaxed setting and informal atmosphere that made Manchester Art Show a must for all art lovers!

A new feature in 2005 were the Art Info stands where numerous arts organisations, galleries and publishers from across the UK and beyond brought visitors ll the latest information on events and exhibitions across the art world today.

Arts organisations, galleries and publishers from accross the UK and beyond bring you the latest information on events and exhibitions across the art world today.


Ever since Manchester hosted its famous Art Treasures of Great Britain in 1857, it has proven to be a great attraction for a whole host of different international cultures and arts traditions.

As a consequence, Manchester has developed a rich arts scene and has evolved a fine tradition as a city renowned for its superb museums and art galleries.

There are many fine institutions each offering something special and distinctly different. Here are a few of them.

Manchester Art Gallery

The Manchester Art Gallery is owned by the public situated on Manchester’s Moseley Street in the city centre. It is open daily Sunday to Saturday and contains many art treasures of international and local significance.

Originally built in 1823, the museum has 3 connected buildings, 1 of which was designed as part of an architectural development contest sponsored by the Royal Institute of British Architects. The museum has over 25,000 exhibits and around half a million people visit the museum every year.

Museum of Science & Industry In Manchester

Museum of Science and IndustryAlso known by the acronyms MOSI or MSI, this museum as its name suggests is dedicated to the scientific heritage of Manchester and focuses on technology, science and industry.

An extensive array of exhibits reveal all manner of subjects from power, transport, utilities infrastructure, textiles and the development and evolution of modern communications.

Coincidentally, the site is located on the world’s first railway station serving the Liverpool and railway in 1830.

Science Inspires the Humble Water Cooler

water coolers Interestingly this tradition of technology continues today and drawing inspiration from the region’s technological heritage, a humble mineral water bottling and distribution company are using specially developed CNC cleaning equipment combined with scrupulous manual inspection and remedial work.

This enables a company called Waterboy to deliver the freshest, healthiest spring mineral water in the most hygienic water coolers Manchester businesses can obtain anywhere in the UK. And all because of the inspiration provided to a young boy and his grandfather!

The Lowry

Manchester’s most famous artist LS Lowry renowned for his “stick people” paintings of Manchester life had this contemporary development named after him.

The Lowry is a dual purpose facility comprising an art gallery and theatre located on a dock in Salford Quays and built as part of a “brownfield” regeneration project.

The Lowry gallery has 2000 square metres of exhibition space and is the home of the Lowry collection by the famous artist himself.

In addition, there is a drama studio and 2 theatres, The Quays and The Lyric which hosted the Royal variety Performance in 2011.

National Football Museum

It might seem odd to include a museum um about football when talking about the arts.

However, I’m sure that well over half the population of Manchester are more than happy to consider either Man United or Man City to full of artistic players!

Naturally enough, for a city so steeped in footballing tradition, the National Football Museum is located in the Urbis building right in the heart of the city of Manchester.

This facility conserves, preserves and presents important collections of football memorabilia.

Salford Museum & Art Gallery

Situated in Peel Park Salford, the Salford Museum and Art Gallery opened in 1850 as the first “free use” public lending library in the UK.

Lark Hill Place, Salford Museum and Art Gallery

Since its conversion to a fully fledged museum, it is now devoted to Victorian architecture and art plus the history of Salford.

Imperial War Museum North

Otherwise referred to as IWM North, this museum is one of 5 different sites within the National War Museum collection.

Overlooking the Manchester Ship Canal, it’s brief is to explore the impact of war and conflict on society in general and people in particular.

Being a key industrial area, this part of Manchester was bombed quite heavily in the second World War.

Quality Management In Museums

As service orientated organisations, museums enable public access to information and materials within their collections to facilitate education and promote cultural heritage.

The introduction of a quality management ethos in museums especially with regard to customer service usually leads to a more cost effective utilisation of resources and visitor experience process improvements.

Indeed one famous UK museum introduced an Investors in People programme with front line customer service personnel to improve service provision as well as building teamwork and employee morale. The museum in question utilised quality circles to identify customer service improvements which could be implemented by museum personnel.

The quality circles were under the control of individual managers who were empowered to utilise their own budgets and adopt the quality improvement suggestions recommended by their team.

iso 9001 consultants for museumsHowever, a trend within museum environments toward the adoption of quality management system (QMS) standards established by the International Standards Organisations i.e. the ISO 9001 standard has been emerging recently. ISO 9001 is a set of globally recognised standards to manage quality and to drive improved quality in processes for all types of organisation from manufacturing to service industries. In the North West, ISO 9001 consultants Manchester museums can rely on for intuitive support are coming more and more to the fore.

Within the 9001 standard, The ISO defines a process for quality management system registration. Within museum environments, ISO 9001 is used for museum evaluation and process improvement.

Before the implementation of ISO 9001 standards, a museum may have already been operating a whole host of quality related activities which were not formally instituted within a QMS. That is why many museums find the transition from an informal quality management system to one complying with the requirements of 9001 a fairly easy transition.

Whitworth Art Gallery

The Whitworth, Photo Alan Williams

In contrast to the Manchester Art Gallery, the Whitworth holds over twice as many exhibits among their collections.

The museum is an integral part of the University of Manchester located in Whitworth Park just to the south of the university’s Oxford Road campus. The year 1889, saw the foundation of this gallery from a donation from Sir Joseph Whitworth.

People’s History Museum

Formerly known as the National Museum of Labour History up till 2001, this facility is the UK’s centre for the study, collection, interpretation and conservation of historic material relating to working people. Interestingly, the museum is located in a former hydraulic pumping station.

http://www.e-architect.co.uk/images/jpgs/manchester/peoples_history_museum_a090310_il2.jpg

The People’s History Museum as its name suggests, presents the story of working life and democracy in the United Kingdom covering not just life at work but in the home and at leisure too.

The museum contains many physical objects, print works, and photographic images and video productions depicting life of ordinary people. Among topics covered include: the suffragette movement, trade unions, dock workers, football, the cooperative movement and the 1945 General Election.

video production manchesterVideo Production in Manchester

It is particularly interesting that Manchester has a fine filmmaking and video history. Of particular note is a video production Manchester residents often cite called aptly “The History of Manchester”.

It is an artful production which recollects the events and characters that have helped shape Manchester’s particular identity and its heritage.

The video film captures the city’s evolution from ancient days right up to the present and is well worth viewing.

This fascinating film follows Manchester’s evolution from prehistoric times up to modern day and recalls the people and events that have shaped the city’s rich heritage and shaped its own unique identity.


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