Manchester Art Museum

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103 High Street, Manchester, United Kingdom
0161 834 3330

Manchester Art Museum Reviews

sarahelaine sarahela…
651 reviews
Manchester Art Museum Mar 19, 2010
The Manchester Art Museum is much bigger than it looks, and is free. There is a perfectly nice Gormley statue in the roof, some pleasant Lowrys and Vallettes, and some contemporary stuff that can be interesting in passing.

Unfortunately, the museum suffers from poor curation and bad acoustics. The downstairs galleries in particular are overcrowded with poorly explained displays, jostling for attention in a space about a third the size of the gift shop. Whilst the idea of having a space dedicated to the atmosphere of Manchester is a good one, it leads to a tiny Nevinson being sandwiched opposite an enormous tramp by an unknown local and a huge cartoon of some cats getting drunk in Oxford Road. Each one is quite intersting, but the effect of all of them together is just messy.

In addition, the acoustics are dreadful. This might seem like a strange comment about a museum of visual art, but it really matters. For a start, where attempts have been made at auditory installations, they drown each other out. A woman singing folk songs on one video shouts across atmospheric music from another piece and it just clashes. The other problem is that even very, very well behaved school parties echo about the place, making it sound like a public swimming pool.

This museum might be worth a look if you were at a loose end for an hour or two, but really, I wouldn't go out of my way for it.
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matthew matthew
41 reviews
Manchester Art Museum Mar 18, 2009
I must admit I found this largely disappointing. Now I'm not a huge art fan, but I do like to see skill well beyond what I can do.

The main show pieces are from Manchester's most recognised artist: L.S. Lowry, everyone else is just a local artist trying to make it in an already saturated artistic world - maybe consider a job guys?? Ok, I'll retract that, but you surely can see my point about the quality on show here?

The saving grace of the museum is that it is free, I would have been bitterly disappoint if I had paid any entrance fees, but you can contribute a donation if you wish to. Needless to say, I did not.

The museum does from time to time hold more worthy exhibitions and at the time of visiting they had a da Vinci exhibition, which contained ten basic scetches from Queeny's personal colletion. From all the outside advertising, I believed I would see the Mona Lisa or the Last Supper or some equivalent, but sadly I saw what was effectively a bored doodle. My best guess says most exhibitions here are of a similar quality.

If you are a lover of art, unfortunately Manchester is not a great city to see. Maybe try the Tate Liverpool or some of the London Museums instead. They are also free and contain many more familar pieces from internationally recognised artists.

I award it two stars (not recommended) as it can pass an hour or two if you are desparate. I would instead recommend hunting out a Burger King/Bar/internet cafe or basically anything else...
sarahelaine says:
Some of the exhibitions haven't been bad, but it's badly curated as a rule. The Whitworth is a bit better, but I'd agree art's not Manchester's strong suit.
Posted on: Sep 08, 2012
RJ82 says:
a burger king bar? thats an interesting idea!
Posted on: Aug 12, 2009
esterrene says:
That is so sad! :(
Posted on: Jul 11, 2009

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