Review: the new Whitworth Art Gallery

Review: the new whitworth art gallery
Sarah Lucas at the Whitworth Art Gallery // Photograph © David Levene

“The existing provincial art gallery is the most unsatisfactory of earthly institutions,” scoffed the Manchester Guardian in July 1890, when the body of work that would form the core of the Whitworth Art Gallery’s permanent collection first went on display. “Such galleries are governed by committees of businessmen whose knowledge of art is, from any serious point of view, either nil or that of a respectable amateur.”

The article concluded that the Manchester gallery would likely fall foul of being “choked with rubbish”, describing the collection of casts as “almost ludicrously bad”, and the overall effect as affording “little or no ground for hope” for the future of the institution. In keeping with critical tradition, the author seems little concerned that among the local worthies guiding the gallery were none other than the Guardian’s then editor, CP Scott, and its owner, John Edward Taylor.

Visiting the same site this weekend, when it reopens after a £15m remodelling, the Victorian critic would be in for a shock. The Whitworth has since built a weighty reputation, acquiring the first Picasso of any public collection in 1922 and being described as the “Tate of the north” in the 1960s. Since 2006, it has been propelled by the energetic leadership of Maria Balshaw to become a dynamic international centre of contemporary art, seeing visitor numbers double to 190,000. ….

Aline Chahine
Aline is an international licensed architect currently practicing in Canada, she is the reason you are reading this right now, Aline founded the platform back in 2008 shaping the very foundation of Architecture Lab, her exemplary content curation process that defines the online magazine today.
Aline Chahine
Aline Chahine
Aline is an international licensed architect currently practicing in Canada, she is the reason you are reading this right now, Aline founded the platform back in 2008 shaping the very foundation of Architecture Lab, her exemplary content curation process that defines the online magazine today. Highlights Aline founded Architecture Lab in 2008 Lead editor of dan | dailyarchnews since 2019 Founded and Creative Director of DesignRaid Licensed architect with creative sales and marketing experience Experience As full-fledged architect, Aline's background involved a great deal of research that lead to the creation of Architecture Lab as an online database of exemplary design. Her experience snowballed into founding two architecture platforms, Architecture Lab and DesignRaid. Education Aline received USEK’s Master of Architecture in 2004 and BA in English from the University of Toronto
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About Architecture Lab Architecture Lab is a MKR.S Media brand, a website devoted to extraordinary design and aesthetics aiming to promote exceptional aesthetic values and sustainable design in all it's shapes and sizes. Learn more about us and our editorial process and feel free to contact us if you would like to see something in particular on the website, our certified experts will get back to you with the most trustworthy advice as soon as possible. Read all articles by Aline | Follow her on LinkedIn

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