The Walker Art Gallery in central Liverpool is sometimes called “the National Gallery of the North.” This is because its collection goes beyond that of a local or regional museum and includes a wide range of primarily European art including quality works by major artists.
To commemorate his term as mayor, in 1873, Sir Andrew Barclay Walker offered to finance the creation of a public art gallery for Liverpool. The following year, Queen Victoria's son, Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, laid the foundation stone for the gallery building. The building opened in 1877 and was immediately popular.
At first, the gallery's collection grew by making acquisitions. However, in 1893, the Liverpool Royal Institution loaned its collections to the Gallery. Subsequent donations and acquisitions enabled the Gallery's collections to grow.
The original Neo-classical building was designed by Cornelius Sherlock and H.H. Vale. Extensions were made in 1884 and 1933. A major refurbishment was completed in 2002. The neighboring County Sessions Building, also a 19th century Neo-classical building, is used by the Gallery for offices to store collections. The Gallery's neighbors on its other side are the Central Library and the World Museum.
The original intent for the Gallery was to display the art of the day and the Gallery has an extensive collection of Victorian art including works by Turner and an extensive collection of Pre-Raphaelite paintings. However, the Gallery has not confined itself to the art of that period. Its works range from Gainsborough to Hockney and beyond. Nor is the collection exclusively British art. Rembrandt, Holbein, Rubens, Poussin, Monet, Degas and Cezanne are among the international artists represented. Furthermore, the collection has gone beyond paintings to include fashion objects, decorative arts, drawings and watercolors, and sculpture.
In addition to the permanent collection, the Gallery has temporary exhibitions. Every two years, it hosts the John Moores Contemporary Painting Prize Exhibition.
To introduce children eight and under to art, the Walker has a program called “Big Art for Little Artists.
The Gallery also has a shop and a cafe.
For information about visiting, see the Walker' Art Gallery's website.
Above: The Walker Art Gallery.
Below: An exhibition gallery at the Walker.
For more places to see art in England:
Click here for our places to see art index
Click here for our profile of Tate Liverpool
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Click here for our England home page
Click here for our Liverpool home page
Places to see art - - Liverpool, England - - Walker Art Gallery