Manchester School of Art

Esther Routledge

Manchester School of Art is both a piece of the city’s history, and host to Design Manchester festival, open lectures, conferences, theatre and, of course, exhibitions. Opened just after the Royal Academy in London, the Manchester School of Art was established in 1838.

Visiting the school today, you’re best off entering on the Boundary Street West/Higher Ormond Street side for the main reception as the original building on Cavendish Street is where you’ll find The Holden Gallery. Visibly very different from the exquisite Victorian stone masonry of the gallery, the new building of glass and steel was opened in 2013 on the school’s 175th birthday and went on to win a RIBA award. The atrium offers glimpses of students’ work as you traverse the walkways and its ‘vertical gallery’ is open to the public.


Manchester School of Art, Manchester Metropolitan University, Cavendish StreetManchesterM15 6BR View map
Telephone: 0161 247 1751 Visit Now


Wheelchair accessible

Admission Charges


Services and Facilities


Opening Hours

  • Monday10:00am - 4:00pm
  • Tuesday10:00am - 4:00pm
  • Wednesday10:00am - 4:00pm
  • Thursday10:00am - 4:00pm
  • Friday10:00am - 4:00pm

Always double check opening hours with the venue before making a special visit.

What's on near Manchester School of Art

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Dead Man’s Shoes at HOME

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Where to go near Manchester School of Art

The Holden Gallery, Manchester School of Art
The Holden Gallery

Manchester School of Art’s Holden Gallery at Manchester Metropolitan University, offers an ongoing programme of exhibitions that are open free to the public.

Manchester Metropolitan University Brooks building, Birley Campus in Manchester
Event venue
MMU Birley Campus

Birley is Manchester Met’s world-class centre for Education and Health Professionals and the university’s flagship community campus.

The Salutation pub in Manchester
Bar or Pub
The Salutation

This traditional boozer, surrounded by imposing flats and university buildings, was taken over by Trof (of the Deaf Institute fame). The Sally, as the regulars call it, hosts an energetic, arty crowd – and its recently expanded outside area is another good reason to visit.

MMU Student Union

Manchester Metropolitan University Students’ Union building houses a bar and various other facilities for students and staff.

Catalog Bookshop

Find Peter and his Christiania cargo bike around All Saints Park, a hop, skip and a bunnyhop from Manchester Poetry Library.

exterior of Contact Theatre building
Contact Theatre

Following a major redevelopment, the iconic venue on Oxford Road will be reopening its doors to welcome the public back into the building this autumn. 

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