‘Feeling Listless’ blogger, Stuart Ian Burns is an excellent writer. You have to read and enjoy his two recent reviews of NW Galleries,
The Atkinson in Southport
The permanent collection is at the back of the building, filling a stairwell and a room. In most galleries I’ve visited, the stairs are where the not so lovely paintings are placed, a preparation for the main event. But here, most of the canvases are really remarkable; items such as William Mouet Loudan’s The Yellow Jumper and A Rose by H. Schelsinger both sit halfway up the stairs and require some effort to see under the glass and the lighting and really deserve a better place to be seen. The former is quite a melancholy work in which an older woman seems to be lamenting a life led and the latter shows a girl in the first blooms of her life looking forward. Actually it is fairly striking how the collection seems to be mostly either images of women or local landscapes, reflecting the tastes of the collectors who gave their work….’
Williamson in Birkenhead
‘The entrance hall with its stone floor and high ceiling leads straight into gallery spaces which and oh yes, I’m going to use the cliché, makes it look like a Tardis. It’s large and light and airy but also cozy. I like that you can see many of the display spaces straight away, see some of the geography without looking at the guide map. It’s fun to have glimpses of the work before you can really see it, like trailers for a movie.
What’s brilliant about the museum is its pleasingly bonkers approach to displays. There are seven permanent display rooms and it’s clear that rather than even attempting to compete with other museums and trying to create a exhibit which covers everything, they’ve taken the decision to go with the strengths of the collection….’