Standardisation and Deviation: The Whitworth Story

6 Jul 2021-22 Oct 2023

The Whitworth
Manchester M15 6ER


Founded in 1889 through Sir Joseph Whitworth’s legacy, the Whitworth was established to honour one of Britain’s greatest mechanical engineers. A proponent of standardisation, Sir Joseph revolutionised precision engineering through his development of interchangeable parts in machinery.

With new displays from summer 2022, Standardisation continues to be a theme that is woven throughout this exhibition, telling the history of the gallery and the development of its diverse and internationally significant collections. Alongside this, the exhibition demonstrates how the gallery has often deviated from standard models of practice, from its early collecting policies to its new vision; one that promotes the idea of the ‘Useful Museum’ and art as a tool for social change and education.


Selected works