Drawing on the Whitworth’s extensive collection, this exhibition focuses on how imperial attitudes to people are reflected in wallpaper.

The wallpapers in this exhibition were designed in Western Europe (and a few in America) but inspiration for the patterns comes from across the globe.

The popularity of wallpaper grew through the 18th to 20th centuries, at the same time as the rapid expansion of the British Empire; the collection spans these three centuries.

On display is a mix of commercially available wallpapers as well as wallpapers made by artists.

The Whitworth

The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M15 6ER

0161 275 7450

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Opening times

Daily, 10am - 5pm (Thu until 9pm)

Closed 24, 25, 26 Dec and 1 Jan


Exhibitions at The Whitworth


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