Liverpool Art Galleries
Liverpool is an internationally acclaimed centre for art, particularly Pre-Raphaelite art. One of only four Tate galleries in the UK is here in Liverpool on the Albert Dock, with exhibitions pulling on the outstanding national Tate contemporary art collection. It’s no accident that Liverpool is a centre for art – many of the collections originated from personal collections amassed by the city’s wealthy merchants and industrialists – George Holt at Sudley and William Hesketh Lever at the Lady Lever Gallery.
For both British and European art, the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool city centre is one of the North’s best, whilst Sudley House just south of the centre displays its fine collection of Gainsborough, Turner, Romney and others within its original setting – the Victorian Merchant House owned by George Holt, bequeathed by his daughter to the city.
Independent Galleries & Arts Space in Liverpool
Alongside Liverpool’s big four art galleries, the city boasts a fine selection of smaller independent galleries in the centre. Hidden gems include the Victoria Gallery & Museum at the University of Liverpool with collections featuring sculpture by Jacob Epstein and Elizabeth Frink. Don’t miss a visit to the independent not-for-profit Open Eye Gallery on Liverpool’s waterfront with cutting edge contemporary photography on display!
Tate Liverpool Albert Dock
Free to enter, Tate Liverpool on the Albert Dock is a mecca for contemporary art lovers. One of four Tate Galleries in England, and the only Tate in the North, the gallery’s changing exhibitions pull on the impressive national Tate collection.
Contemporary art spanning the 20th and 21st centuries is the focus at Tate Liverpool, with changing temporary exhibitions featuring an international programme. Expect big names in exhibitions here from Picasso and Pollock to Bacon and Rothko. Painting, sculpture, film and visual media and photography all feature and changing exhibitions often revolve around societal themes, pulling a cross-section of work together.
You’ll find plenty to amuse children here at Tate Liverpool with games, films, interactive crafts and storytelling all on the children’s menu here. A great cafe with dock views serving creative and delicious food and drink is also in-house alongside a shop with plenty of retro cool art gifts, art books, posters and postcards.
Walker Art Gallery
An award-winning gallery incredibly popular with Liverpudlians and visitors alike, The Walker Art Gallery in the heart of Liverpool city centre offers an outstanding collection of art and ranks as one of the North’s best art galleries. See both British and European art from the 13th century to the present here at the friendly Walker. Big names always usually on display include Degas, Rembrandt, Stubbs, Gainsborough and contemporary artists such as Freud, Moore and Hockney. With free entrance, free talks and an impressive programme of changing exhibitions often featuring pioneering painting and photography with rich social themes, The Walker is a gallery you won’t want to miss a visit to!
One of Liverpool’s great Victorian buildings in a neoclassical style, The Walker sits close to Lime Street Station and has been an art gallery in the city for well over a century. The gallery holds outstanding collections of Medieval and Renaissance art, 17th centuy Dutch and Flemish art including work by Rembrandt and extensive Pre-Raphaelite art including work by Madox Brown and various Liverpool Pre-Raphaelites. Superb collections of artwork from the Romantic era and Early 19th century are also here, featuring work by Turner, Constable and West.
Highlights are many, and include ‘ Self-portrait as a young man’ by Rembrandt, ‘Linglithgow Palace’ by Turner, Rosetti’s ‘Dante’s Dream’ and David Hockney’s ‘Peter getting out of Nick’s pool’. A shop and cafe with free WiFi are on-site
Sudley House Art Gallery
Many of Liverpool’s fine art collections originate from personal collections by entrepreneurs and merchants. The outstanding collection at Sudley House just south of Liverpool city centre is no exception. The unique edge to this collection is that it sits in its original setting – a Victorian Merchant’s home – that of merchant George Holt who began accumulating art in the late 19th century. Holt’s daughter Emma left the collection to the city in 1944.
Sudley House’s impressive collections include big name British artists like Turner, Gainsborough, Reynolds, Raeburn, Opie, Wilkie, George Romney and popular Victorian artists like Aberdeen born John Phillip. Works by Turner include ‘Rosenau’ and ‘The Wreck Buoy’ and by George Romney ‘Mrs Sargent’. Sudley House is just a 20 minute drive from the city centre via the riverside A5036 signposted ‘Wapping’. A ground floor cafe is on-site with a selection of postcards and books also on sale here.
Lady Lever Gallery, Port Sunlight
Renowned for its collection of fine and decorative arts, the Lady Lever Art Gallery sits just across the Mersey in Port Sunlight Village near Bebington. The eclectic mix of art on display here at Lady Lever is the personal collection of William Hesketh Lever, 1st Lord Leverhulme. His original inspiration for collecting art from the 1880s was the use of images for advertising his Port Sunlight soap. He soon went on to amass a huge art collection, buying complete collections from other distinguished collectors.
Lever founded the gallery in 1922 and highlights within include a superb collection of 18th and 19th century British painting alongside acclaimed collections of Wedgwood, Chinese porcelain and 18th century furniture. Must see highlights are many and include Rosetti’s ‘ The Blessed Damozel’ and Millais ‘the Black Brunswickers’
The Lady Lever Art Gallery in Port Sunlight on the Wirral is easily reached from Liverpool city centre via the Queensway tunnel – ample free parking is adjacent. Bebington/ Port Sunlight station is on the Wirral Line. Port Sunlight village is a real day out for culture vultures based in Liverpool city centre. A tailor-made Garden Village built for his workers by ‘Soap King’ William Hesketh Lever – take a tour of Port Sunlight’s beautiful architecture and don’t miss a visit to the Port Sunlight Museum with recreations, interactive displays, audio visual displays and a fantastic gift shop packed with Port Sunlight memorabilia from soap to posters and gifts.