The Towards Modernity: Three Centuries of British Art exhibition tour, led by Bury Art Museum in partnership with the Greater Manchester Museums Group (GMMG), was the first of its kind conducted by a group of regional English museums. The tour provided an international showcase for the GMMG’s world class collections and over 80 works of art from 17 different organisations in North West England were loaned to China.
In 2012-13 the exhibition toured to:
- Beijing World Art Museum
- Liaoning Provincial Museum
- Jiangxi Provincial Museum
- Guangdong Museum of Art
- Henan Provincial Museum
- Hunan Provincial Museum (exhibition venue: Changsha City Museum)
The display period at each venue was approximately six to eight weeks, and the exhibition attracted over 3 million visitors, with extensive coverage in the Chinese media reaching over 90 million viewers.
The success of the exhibition, in partnership with the World Art Museum in Beijing, has highlighted the potential for future exhibitions. The collections of the GMMG contain significant artworks and objects that tell the story of the unique shared heritage in the North West, and this has proven to have mass international appeal.
“Organising this exhibition has been a remarkably challenging endeavour. Drawing artworks from seventeen UK regional museums to be transported more than ten thousand miles to be seen in six prestigious Chinese Museums, the teams of staff have achieved something seminal. Our thanks goes to the British Council for their help and support in London and Beijing and to the teams of curators again in Britain and China for their hard work in preparing the show for the Chinese public.”
Tony Trehy, Director, Bury Art Museum
To read more about the exhibition, and to download the exhibition book, please visit the GMMG website: http://www.gmmg.org.uk/international-touring/