Ancoats Art Museum is reborn

Internationally renowned Grizedale Arts are working with young people from Manchester based mental health charity 42nd Street to create Horsefalling; a model room for Ancoats.

The project is inspired by the little known history of Manchester Art Museum founded in the 1884 by Victorian philanthropist Thomas C Horsfall and visited by local communities until its closure in the 1950s. A friend and self-appointed disciple of Ruskin, Horsfall was committed to demonstrating that art and nature could stimulate the character, the morals and the skills of the working classes.

Horsefalling takes its inspiration from one aspect of the original museum; the Model Rooms. There were originally two of these; a parlour and children’s room, created in collaboration with William Morris as examples of how people could adapt their humble surroundings to make them both more beautiful and therefore more pleasant spaces.

Grizedale Arts have been working with local residents, Ancoats residents, some of whom recall attending the Museum themselves, to create a contemporary Model Room. The result is Horsefalling; a temporary space where local goods can be made and traded.

Horsefalling will offer a range of products to the public designed to be both beautiful and useful, all with a reference to local history, people and culture. These include homemade food produce such as jams and biscuits, textiles, knitted gifts and other items inspired by what remains of the Horsfall collection (currently on display at Manchester Art Gallery). The shop will also supply fresh produce to residents of a local housing scheme.

The project is sited in one of the only remaining small Victorian shops in the area and has a varied past as an early Victorian electricians, a fabric dealers and Italian ice cream wafer manufacturers. Artists have been working with young people from 42nd Street to bring it back to life, albeit temporarily, as a space which can act as a source of inspiration to others, just as Horsfall hoped his Art Museum would inspire the residents of Victorian Ancoats.

Horse Falling opened on March 21st 6pm at 87 Great Ancoats Street, Manchester, M4 5AG.

Opening hours
Fri 21 st March Private view 6-8pm
Sat 22nd / Sun 23rd/ Sat 29th 11-5pm
Mon 24th – Fri 28th 12-6pm**

**Late opening till 8pm Thursday 27th. This includes a talk on the history of The Art Museum.