Gallery Oldham has three large exhibition spaces plus a community gallery.

We take an innovative and unique approach to exhibition programming, bringing together what were once separate museum and gallery services.

Our programming incorporates Oldham’s extensive art, social and natural history collections alongside touring work, newly commissioned and contemporary art, international art and work produced with local communities.

In addition we have permanent displays around the building.

Current Exhibitions

Gallery 1 – Oldham StoriesAmerican Eagle Owl

This gallery permanently houses both:

Oldham Stories exhibition, featuring selected objects from our extensive collections to tell and show the stories of Oldham and its local communities. From birds and shells to a recreation of an Edwardian chemist’s shop, every object has a fascinating tale to tell. The display features local figures such as suffragette Annie Kenny, the pioneering natural history collector James Nield and the popular artist Helen Bradley.

The Community Gallery, which has a wide range of exhibitions by groups and individuals from the Borough of Oldham.


Gallery 2 – DIS/rupt

2 December – 24 February 

The Textile Study Group (TSG) is a group of nationally and internationally recognised textile artists and tutors, well known for innovative and challenging approaches to art practice and contemporary teaching.
In their latest show, the group explore the concept of disruption in its widest sense.

DIS/rupt is the result of a series of workshops and discussions between the members of TSG with curators and artists. Curator Dr. Melanie Miller says: “We live in an uncertain world. The only certainty now seems to be uncertainty. It can seem as if life was more predictable during our parents and grandparents time, where jobs were ‘for life’, banks could be depended on and politicians could be trusted. Disruption, on a personal, political, local and global levels is part of life.”

Join us on Saturday 2 December, 2pm when Dr Melanie Miller and selected artists will be speaking at the opening event.


Gallery 3 – River of Tea: From Bengal to Britain

Photographs by Tim Smith

16 September – 6 January

Tea enjoys a special place in British culture and the industry has played a key role in building links between Britain, India and Bangladesh. Behind Britain’s cup of choice is a fascinating story that is rarely told.

Over 500,000 British-Bangladeshis now live in Britain. Over 90% are of Sylheti origin, from a district in northern Bangladesh that was once part of Assam, the first tea growing region in British India. This exhibition reveals the extraordinary story of how the British love of tea led to Sylhetis first coming to Britain.

Tim Smith is a photographer and film maker based in Bradford. For over 35 years he has travelled widely, working with communities in Britain and overseas to explore stories of migration and identity. For this new exhibition he has collaborated with British Bangladeshis in Oldham, Rochdale and other parts of Britain to explore the story of tea.

The exhibition is supported with funding from Arts Council England.


Coming soon…

Family Matters
13 January – 10 March 

This exhibition looks at families in its widest sense using our extensive collections of social history, natural history, art and archives.

Natural: History (a fable of progress)
10 March – 2 June

Beginning with the story of Percival Farrington, a nineteenth century naturalist from Oldham, artists Richard Dawson and Jacqui Symons present a series of works exploring climate change, the Era of the Anthropocene and humankind’s relationship to the natural world.

On Paper
17 March – 13 May
From collage to sculpture, corrugated card to blotting paper, this Arts Council Collecting Touring Exhibition features a huge range of approaches. The show features works on paper by artists such as Roger Ackling, Cornelia Parker, Time Davies and Simon Periton.