the Whitworth

About Us

Part of the University of Manchester, the Whitworth is a gallery that is a place of research and academic collaboration, and whose education and learning teams have generated new approaches to working with non-traditional arts audiences.

The Whitworth was established in 1889 for the perpetual gratification of the people of Manchester and became part of The University of Manchester in 1958.  This mission is still at the heart of what we do today. During 2014 the Whitworth underwent the largest physical transformation in its 125-year history with a £15 million capital project, reopening in February 2015.  Since then, we have welcomed over 1.5 million visitors.

In early 2018, the Whitworth welcomed a new Director, Alistair Hudson who is committed to the concept of the ‘Useful Museum’; moving forward with a civic agenda to promote art as a tool for impacting on the world around us. We want the gallery to play a key role in addressing current urgencies within politics, economics and culture. Our current programme encompasses topics such as homelessness, migration, racial inequality and healthcare.

Volunteering at the Whitworth

Volunteers are at the heart of the Whitworth. We engage over 250 a year in around 12 different roles from conversation to family workshops and gardening to wellbeing events.

We have volunteers who contribute across the whole of the gallery. From supporting artists, textile care, gardening, digitising our collection, cataloguing our library, assisting in the delivery of workshops to large-scale events and much more.

  • “Volunteering at the Whitworth has made me a lot happier, given me purpose. I feel like a part of society once more, and making a positive difference in other people’s lives”

    GROW Volunteer • the Whitworth Volunteer