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Victorian Gallery

Relax amidst the splendour of our Victorian Gallery and admire the paintings, decorative art and fine art. The gallery is hung to replicate the galleries of the Victorian era, packed with paintings, sculpture and objects from the museum collection.

All of our oil paintings can be viewed online on the BBC Your Paintings website.

Find out more about the history of the Victorian Gallery →

Pilkington’s Ceramic Collection

A selection of the museum’s Pilkington Ceramic collection is on permanent display in the North Gallery.

In the early 20th century, a local firm, Pilkington’s, based at Clifton Junction near Swinton. Salford was one of the most important international suppliers of high quality decorative tiles and art pottery. Their products were stylish, desirable and expensive, perfect for furnishing fashionable middle-class homes. Pilkington’s success was due to superior design combined with technical expertise and good publicity.

Pilkington’s Tile and Pottery Company Ltd was formed by four Pilkington brothers who were colliery owners. They employed as manager the dynamic William Burton, previously the chemist at Josiah Wedgwood and Sons. The company began tile making with local clay in 1893, in a spacious purpose-built and ultra-modern factory.

In 1904, when pottery production in the Art Nouveau style began, Pilkington’s started to rival known ceramic names like Minton, Bernard Moore, Doulton and Maw & Co.

Salford Museum’s Pilkington collection is the largest in the UK. It contains examples of almost every artist and most types of ware produced by the factory between 1900-1958 and the 1970s. When the company closed in June 2010 Salford Museum acquired the Pilkington company archive containing pattern books, notebooks and company documents.

By Hand Gallery

Launched in 2013, By Hand was established to showcase the work of talented local designer-makers. The ground floor shop area features work by selected craftspeople and includes jewellery, ceramics and textiles. Works are available to purchase and take away on the day.

Our first floor By Hand print and card shop showcases work by local independent makers. Works are affordable, high-quality and contemporary.

With work refreshed every six months, there is a changing range of items available from a selection of makers.

If you are a local designer, or know someone who would be interested in selling their work through By Hand you can complete an application form at the top of this page. Artists are selected on a six-monthly basis.

View our temporary exhibitions in our other galleries

“The Victorian Gallery was magical. I has such a good time and would highly recommend going.”