Art in Manchester

"One can scarcely realise the fact that, a hundred years ago [1780s] Manchester contained a population not exceeding twenty-five thousand souls... But although Manchester is thus a modern phenomenon, so to speak, and may be regarded by the cynical as a stone embodiment of the injunction 'Make money, and make it quickly,' it has never altogether lost touch with a simpler and more spiritually fervid time; and amidst the rattle of its looms and the hurrying to and fro of anxious feet, it shakes hands with the art, the learning, and the piety of the past..."

Manchester City Art Gallery contains one of the most important collections of Pre-Raphaelite art, along with much else Victorian. A little out of the centre, a second art gallery, the Whitworth Gallery, contains mostly watercolours and drawings.

Among most impressive Victorian buildings in Manchester are the Gothic Town Hall and the John Rylands Library. There are no other warehouses to match those in Manchester, many of the best being in the Whitworth Street-Oxford Street-Princess Street area. Buildings decorated with sculpture include the Coronor's Court, Police and Fire Station, the Free Trade Hall, and the now empty shell of the Manchester Wholesale Fish Market. The Victorian centre includes Cross Street and King Street.

Collections of statues are to be found by the Town Hall in Albert Square, with a good collection of mostly busts inside the Town Hall itself, and in Piccadilly Gardens, as well as a few inside the 15th Century Cathedral.

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