The Whitworth

Creative Tourist
The Whitworth
The Whitworth, Photo: Alan Williams

Tucked off Oxford Road and sitting flush against Whitworth Park, The Whitworth is one of Manchester’s leading art galleries, and now, under the direction of Sook-Kyung Lee (of London’s Tate Modern fame), it’s looking towards wider global appeal.

The gallery was founded in 1889 as the first English gallery in a park in memory of the industrialist Sir Joseph Whitworth, “for the perpetual gratification of the people of Manchester”. In recent years its contemporary exhibitions programme and international collections have catapulted The Whitworth towards the international art world orbit. Sook-Kyung Lee aims to continue this trajectory, while developing the gallery’s “artistic rigour and social impacts”.

This widespread renown reflects the gallery’s founding ambitions, dating back to when it first opened in 1908 with two of the world’s great collections: British watercolours and drawings, and world textiles.

Notable features include an art garden designed by Sarah Price, a sculpture terrace and orchard garden, alongside beautifully-designed spaces that embrace the park, such as the landscape gallery and the café in the trees. Together, the attractions make The Whitworth both a tranquil place to visit yet welcoming to families.

This is partly thanks to The Whitworth’s 2015 £15 million development, which doubled the gallery in size and created new spaces that embrace the surroundings of Whitworth Park. Indeed, shortly after that transformation project, the gallery won Visit England’s gold prize for Large Visitor Attraction of the Year and the Art Fund’s Museum of the Year.

With an inspiring new director at the helm, all eyes are on the bright future of The Whitworth.

For more information about the upcoming exhibitions, visit the gallery’s website at the link below.

The University of Manchester, Oxford RoadManchesterM15 6ER View map
Telephone: 0161 275 7450 Visit Now


Entrances, ramps, lifts, wheelchairs, spoken tours, guide dogs welcome, large print guides

Admission Charges


Children and Families

Baby changing facilities, buggy parking, free family activities, park next door

Commercial and Hire Services

Rooms for hire, private events, weddings

Services and Facilities

Cafe, Shop, lockers, bike stands

Opening Hours

  • Wednesday11:00am - 4:00pm
  • Thursday11:00am - 4:00pm
  • Friday11:00am - 4:00pm
  • Saturday11:00am - 4:00pm
  • Sunday11:00am - 4:00pm

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

What's on at The Whitworth

Traces of Displacement

See ‘Traces of Displacement’, the Whitworth’s major new exhibition which uses the gallery’s collection to explore the issue of forced displacement.

free entry
(Un)Defining Queer at The Whitworth

Through a fantastic collection of classical and contemporary artists’ work, ‘(Un)Defining Queer’ examines the use of language, histories and narratives to explore what ‘queer’ really means today. free entry

Outdoor Art Club at The Whitworth

Enjoy fun and creative activities designed to encourage your little ones to play freely in the fresh air, while exploring nature and the outdoors with family and friends.

free entry
Whitworth Art Gallery Tours

Running daily from 2pm, take a closer look at some of the Whitworth Art Gallery’s collection while gaining a better understanding of the context in which the pieces were created.

free entry

Culture Guides


There's no rest for the art lover - this month brings outdoor sculpture, musings on water, political drawings and Liverpool Biennial 2023!


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