Epstein's Genesis on display in the entrance of Selfridges

Whitworth puts artworks in shop window

Simon Stephens, 16.01.2014
Gallery showcases collection in Selfridges during revamp
Works from the Whitworth Art Gallery are on display in the windows and on the shop floor of Manchester's Selfridges department store as part of an initiative to show the collection while the gallery is closed for a £15m redevelopment.

The Whitworth and Selfridges started working together during last year's Manchester International Festival when the department store created a special window display featuring the work of Indian artist Nikhil Chopra, who was performing at the art gallery for the event.

Works by British artists Lucian Freud, Jacob Epstein and Peter Blake are on show alongside drawings and prints by four female artists, Tracey Emin, Cornelia Parker, Paula Rego and Rachel Whiteread.

There are also four historic artworks by Albrecht Durer, JMW Turner, John Ruskin and Pablo Picasso. The items will be on display in the store until 16 February.

“Selfridges has a massive footfall of people that might not be aware that the Whitworth is even in Manchester – it is fantastic exposure for our collections,” said Maria Balshaw, the director of Manchester City Galleries and the Whitworth.

“It has not been easy, there have been big hoops to jump through," she added referring to security and environmental control issues. “But I think it raises some really interesting questions about why we don't do this more."

The display of the works is part of Selfridges' five-week Festival of Imagination, which also includes talks, workshops and lunchtime events related to the positive impact of imagination. Artists Richard Wentworth and Jeremy Deller are among the speakers.

Selfridges has worked with arts organisations before, including the Museum of Everything, which showcased the work of self-taught artists with learning and other disabilities at the store in London in 2011.