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

What's on near The Whitworth

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Tourist at Canvas

London-based songwriter Tourist brings his yearning, bittersweet electronica to Canvas in support of his new album, Memory Morning.

from £20.59
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Elephant Gym at Canvas

Elephant Gym bring their patchwork of jazz, contemporary math- and post-rock to Canvas this May in support of their new album, World.

from £17.75

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