The Royal Manchester Institution for the Promotion of Literature, Science and the Arts, designed by Sir Charles Barry in 1824, became Manchester Art Gallery in 1882 when the building and its collections were handed over to the city.
Manchester Art Gallery has an impressive historic and modern collection. The latter is particularly strong in early 20th-century British art acquired through a bequest from Charles Rutherston. It includes works by LS Lowry, Liam Spencer and ‘Manchester Impressionist’ Adolphe Valette, alongside works by Wyndham Lewis and Henry Moore. The contemporary collection holds works by Richard Deacon, Mona Hatoum, Juan Munoz, Michael Craig Martin, Cornelia Parker and Antony Gormley. Highlights include a collection of contemporary furniture and lighting by internationally renowned designers Tord Boontje, Ron Arad and Thomas Heatherwick. The contemporary gallery has an exhibition space dedicated to showcasing the work of locally based artists and designers, with the exhibits changing every six months.