Manchester Art Gallery

Manchester Art Gallery

The Pre-Raphaelite Experiment: Re-interpreting the Pre-Raphaelites for 21st Century Manchester

Manchester Art Gallery has an important collection of Pre-Raphaelite paintings that were bought on behalf of Manchester’s citizens by the Gallery’s Victorian predecessors. The exhibition was a year-long project called the Pre-Raphaelite Experiment to find out what these paintings mean to today’s Mancunians.

Gallery 6 was transformed into a practical space to display the paintings, present visitor information and deliver discussions events, workshops and performances. The project concentrated on four particular paintings in detail – The Hireling Shepherd by William Hung, Answering the Emigrant’s Letter by James Collinson, The Bower Meadow by Dante Rossetti and Autumn Leaves by John Everett Millais.

Envisage were commissioned to fabricate and install metal backdrops to the paintings, as well as produce fifty frames for material that formed the displays.

The project aimed to engage new audiences for the Pre-Raphaelite Collection, and record their interaction with the paintings. During the twelve months the space was also used to stage a number of workshops as well as acting as a gallery for viewing the artworks.