Come and look behind the scenes of Manchester’s publicly owned sculpture collection. Part exhibition, part research space, Out of the Crate delves into the un-tapped history of the collection. This is an opportunity to investigate sculpture through access to stored collections and archival material. Find out what’s in store and how we look after it, help unlock hidden stories about works we know very little about and explore how artworks might encourage conversation.
We have about 400 sculptures from antiquity to the present day and, until recently, less than 5% were on display. As well as modern and contemporary works, there are 19th-century sculptures and works from earlier periods that have rarely been seen this century and are under-researched.
On display are a large range of materials including marble, bronze, wood, glass, ceramic and paper, a variety of sizes and shapes and different techniques of making. From bronze medals decorated with reliefs to large-scale free-standing 3D works, you can now see around 30% of the sculpture collection here. In terms of representation, we should also consider who has and hasn’t been included in the collection.