#manchestermuseum #manchestercraftcentre #thewhitworthartgallery
After booking a stay in Manchester as a Christmas treat, in December, that unfortunately had to be cancelled because of illness, we decided to use the booking for a visit a couple of days ago. As our priorities had now changed, we decided to catch up on the local art scene.
Our first visit was to the Manchester Craft Centre, somewhere we had not been for several years. This has changed over the years and now specialises in jewellery and other crafts rather than having as many painters as it once had. Some superb work but quite pricey at times. After enjoying a drink and cake we decided to move on.
We had been meaning to visit the refurbished Manchester Museum and this was our chance. Fortunately, it wasn't busy so we entered the Golden Mummies of Egypt exhibition without having to book first. This type of exhibition is always interesting and in this case I was surprised when looking at some of the portraits at how well they had lasted and how by looking at their fashion and hairstyle they could estimate what era they were from. An interesting concept as already some of my portraits reflect that they were painted in the early 80's.
Many of the old favourites such as the hanging dinosaur skeleton and the display cases of animal taxidermy were still on show. Other major attractions were from China and Asia. The museum also run 'Museum Makes' which means getting hands on, including writing workshops, dance classes, arts and crafts activities and more.
An enjoyable visit and lots to see with the new extension.
Continuing our journey and adding to our step count, we walked on to the Whitworth art gallery. Here, there are always changes, as the walls are refreshed with work from their collection. In this case there was a strong influence of work from the minorities.
The most interesting thing to me, whilst admiring a sculpture by Jacob Epstein, was that we noticed a description about the work. Here it described how the work 'Genesis' caused great controversy in 1958 and was bought by Tussauds Waxworks to add to a sideshow on the horrors of modern art.
It was eventually rescued by the Whitworth and now stands proudly in the first gallery. I wonder what the organisers of this sideshow would think of some of the modern art nowadays?
Moving through to the next gallery, we visited the Althea McNish exhibition featuring stunning fabric designs. What was most interesting was how a simple sketch could then be turned into an impressive fabric design. The way the artist must have visualised the colour combinations that would work and then produced them is certainly a talent.
It was also good to see some of the old favourites now shown with the work from artists who had been displaced from their homes. Although, moving through to the next gallery, works such as the Warhol images had been replaced.
An enjoyable day and lots to see. Fortunately, the weather was kind and although there was a cold wind at times the sun was out, as were hundreds of students enjoying the day.