Members Only

Percival Lecture: University cultural engagement in the 21-st century- case studies from the Directors of the Whitworth and Manchester Museum

Alistair Hudson and Esme Ward
15th May 2019, 6:00pm

The 2019 Percival Lecture will ask: ‘what does University cultural engagement in 21st century look like?’ and will be jointly delivered by two of the University’s new Cultural Institution Directors.

Alistair Hudson became Director of both the Whitworth and the city council-run Manchester Art Gallery in February 2018. He succeeded Maria Balshaw, now leading Tate, who oversaw the Oxford Road gallery’s lauded £15 million transformation project. A champion of the ‘useful art’ movement – the idea that art should be a tool for social change and education, not merely an object of contemplation – Alistair was previously director of the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (mima) and sat on the 2015 jury for the prestigious Turner Prize. Down the road at Manchester Museum, Esme Ward became its first female Director in 125 years when she took up her post in April 2018. She was previously Head of Learning and Engagement at both the Museum and the Whitworth, where she led the growth of audiences and programmes, to include award-wining early-years, health, culture and age-friendly work. In their lecture, Alistair and Esme will present their vision of University cultural engagement as bold, community-focused and future-facing, where art galleries and museums share the same radical, rebellious and inclusive nature as Manchester itself. The message from Alistair and Esme in this lecture is clear: everyone’s invited.





We are delighted to invite our members to a private welcome reception before the lecture where drinks and canapés will be served.  After the lecture, members will be given a private tour of the gallery.


Places are very limited so tickets are only available to members (we regret that we cannot take bookings for guests for this event).  Please book early to avoid disappointment.



UPDATE 15/04/19 - This event was previously sold out, but we are delighted to advise that a limited number of additional tickets have become available.  You are advised to book your place as soon as possible.


UPDATE 09/05/19 - This event is now sold-out. Please contact the Office if you would like to be put on the waiting list, by email or by phone on 0161 833 4187.