Old Trafford, Temporary Exhibition Hall

The Manchester Art Treasures Exhibition was held on a three-acre site in Old Trafford, south west of Manchester city center. Francis Fowke was commissioned to design a temporary iron-and-glass structure similar to the Crystal Palace, 200m long and 61m wide. The building included a large hall, with space for an orchestra and a large pipe organ, and two public refreshment rooms. After the exhibition, the building and its contents were auctioned. The South Kensington Museum bought some glass display cases. The building was entirely demolished by November 1858. White City Retail Park now stands on the site.


Latitude: 53.461458000000
Longitude: -2.284290900000

Timeline of Events Associated with Old Trafford, Temporary Exhibition Hall

Date Event Manage
5 May 1857 to 17 Oct 1857

Manchester Art Treasures Exhibition

From 5 May to 17 Oct 1857, the Manchester Art Treasures Exhibition occurred. This was an art exhibition in temporary buildings at Old Trafford, organized by leading Manchester figures and supported by Prince Albert. The exhibition was notable for focusing purely on fine art, for using information about works owned privately contained in Gustav Waagen’s Art Treasures of England (1843)—the organizing committee often solicited specific works from donors—and for hanging both Old and Modern Masters chronologically. It was attended by over 1.3 million visitors over 5 months and helped spur interest in making art accessible to a wider public.


Amy Woodson-Boulton, “The City Art Museum Movement and the Social Role of Art”