Trading Station: How Hot Drinks Shape Our Lives

14 December 2019  – 31  January 2025

Hot drinks, once expensive luxuries for the few, have enriched our lives, promoted the exchange of ideas and influenced the design of our homes. Trading Station traces , revealing their global histories, connections to slavery and colonisation and contemporary ethical issues. Spanning four centuries and ranging from silver, porcelain, glass, fashion, lighting, prints and painting, this showcase of exquisite and utilitarian objects asks probing questions and uncovers hidden histories.

At the heart of Trading Station is a gathering space for visitors and groups to use freely. The space is designed to host making workshops, talks and performances to encourage new debate, thinking and action on how better to live together today. The gathering space has been shaped and co-designed by a group of 24 people from groups who regularly use the gallery, working with Manchester-based design studio Standard Practice to realise ideas. The space is open for all to gather and participate in, either in a programmed event or as a space to stop, reflect and take stock.


Further information
  • Opening times: open 10am–5pm, Wednesday–Sunday
  • Location Manchester Art Gallery, Mosley Street, Manchester M2 3JL
  • How to get there: By Metrolink – St Peter’s Square or Market Street stations are the nearest Metrolink stations-both are on the Altrincham and Eccles lines; By Bus – Nearest bus stops are in Piccadilly Gardens or on Princess Street; By Train – to Manchester Piccadilly, Manchester Oxford Road or Manchester Victoria stations – take the Metrolink from Victoria or Piccadilly (Altrincham or Eccles direction) to Market Street or St Peter’s Square; By Car – parking is available at the NCP car parks on Chepstow Street, Faulkner Street or Sackville Street – all are within five minutes of the gallery
  • Further information 0161 235 8888