The Whitworth began life as a teaching institution in 1897, full of reproductions and antique casts, but soon began to build two distinct collections of original work. The first strength was a fine survey of early English watercolours, including first-rate examples by Turner, Girtin, Cotman, Cozens and Blake. The second, appropriately for a town that made its fortune from the mills, was a textile collection to rank alongside that of the V&A. Both of these areas continue to be well represented in the gallery, as do more recent acquisitions, particularly of later-20th-century British painting, including excellent works by the St Ives painters Roger Hilton and Peter Lanyon.The result of this three-way mix is a gallery well worth visiting, whatever your taste.
Whitworth Art Gallery, Oxford Road, Manchester (0161-275 7450) RIReuse content