at Manchester Art Gallery Mosley Street Manchester M2 3JL Tel: 0161 235 8888, Manchester, M2 3JL United Kingdom
Manchester Art Gallery, formerly Manchester City Art Gallery is a publicly-owned art museum on Mosley Street in Manchester city centre. The main gallery premises were built for a learned society in 1823 and today its collection occupies three connected buildings, two of which were designed by Sir Charles Barry. Both Barry's buildings are listed. The building that links them was designed by Hopkins Architects. It opened in 2002 following a major renovation and expansion project undertaken by the art gallery.Manchester Art Gallery is free to enter and open seven days a week. It houses many works of local and international significance and has a collection of more than 25,000 objects. More than half a million people visited the museum in the period of a year, according to figures released in April 2014.HistoryRoyal Manchester InstitutionThe Royal Manchester Institution was a scholarly society formed in 1823. It was housed what is now the art gallery's main gallery building on Mosley Street. The first object acquired for its collection, James Northcote's A Moor (a portrait of the celebrated black actor Ira Aldridge), was bought in 1827.The Royal Manchester Institution opened its galleries to the public ten years after its formation and subsequently held regular art exhibitions, collected works of fine art and promoted the arts from the 1820s until 1882 when its premises and collections were transferred under Act of Parliament to Manchester Corporation, becoming Manchester Art Gallery. The institution was handed over on condition that £2000 per annum would be spent on art for the next 20 years. The Art Gallery Committee bought enthusiastically and by the end of the 19th century had accrued an impressive collection of fine art, added to by gifts and bequests from wealthy Mancunian industrialists.
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