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Unveiling the Rich History of Manchester Museum through an Extraordinary Artistic Collaboration

The Sculpts, a lifestyle and decorative homeware brand hailing from Manchester, proudly announces the successful completion of a remarkable collaboration with Manchester Museum. This extraordinary partnership involved the creation of a unique series of illustrations, capturing the essence of the museum’s extensive collection.

In close collaboration with the Museum’s curatorial team, The Sculpts dedicated an entire year to delve into the depths of each individual collection, resulting in the creation of an exclusive MANCHESTER ceramic tile series. Each tile concept revolves around a different letter and showcases The Sculpts’ distinctive and imaginative pen and ink illustrations, characterized by intricate details and clever wit. These captivating vignettes not only depict the artifacts but also bring forth the stories that surround them.

Throughout the series, various themes have been explored, reflecting the museum’s commitment to sustainability, biodiversity, and inclusivity. Each tile becomes a compelling narrative in its own right, encompassing the museum’s values. The inaugural tile, “M,” pays homage to Manchester Museum itself, while the first “E” tells the tale of Maharajah, a 150-year-old elephant who embarked on a remarkable journey from Glasgow to Manchester. Furthermore, the series acknowledges the city’s historical connections with China and Southeast Asia, showcases extraordinary prehistoric artifacts, and highlights the museum’s efforts in preserving biodiversity in the Rainforests of Panama and Costa Rica. As a complement to the tile series, a standalone tile celebrates the symbolic significance of bees throughout history and accompanying illustrations have been designed for use on greetings cards.

Coinciding with the renovation of the museum’s Oxford Road site, this project holds special significance. Esme Ward, the Museum Director and a key figure in leading this collaboration, shared her thoughts:

“The development of this collaboration with The Sculpts has been a delightful journey, encapsulating the very essence of our recent transformation at Manchester Museum. From our dedication to biodiversity to our celebration of popular exhibits, local archaeology, and community relationships, each illustration weaves together artifacts, heritage, and culture. Art possesses the power to bring about change. This new range demonstrates the changes we are currently undergoing and reflects the ongoing narrative of evolution within our great city of Manchester.”

The Sculpts is a proudly Manchester-born brand that specializes in surreal yet heartfelt designs, paying tribute to the city’s industrial spirit and its surroundings. Richard Bennett, an illustrator and architect, leads the brand, breathing life into The Sculpts’ unique range of ceramics, prints, and textiles. Infused with the essence and heritage of Manchester, every design is meticulously crafted, telling a story through intricate details.

The collaboration with Manchester Museum is the latest in a series of prestigious projects involving prominent institutions in Manchester. Previous partners have included the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester Central Library, and the National Trust.

Richard Bennett, the Founder and Designer at The Sculpts, expressed his thoughts on the collaboration: “Collaboration lies at the core of our creative philosophy, and working alongside Manchester Museum has been an incredible opportunity to explore and celebrate the archives and culture of such a respected institution.”

To learn more about this extraordinary collaboration and explore The Sculpts’ collections, please visit our

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