art in liverpool


Heritage at the Heart of the City

National Museums Liverpool in 2007

In 2007 Liverpool will be 800 years old. Where better to celebrate this Year of Heritage than in Liverpool, a city that has more museums and galleries than any other regional city in Europe?

National Museums Liverpool has an exciting programme for 2007 which explores many aspects of Liverpool’s incredible history. Among the most significant of the events is the opening of the International Slavery Museum telling the story of the transatlantic slave trade, the reopening of the Sudley House featuring the only surviving Victorian merchant art collection in Britain still hanging in its original location and a major new exhibition, Magical History Tour, that charts the history of this unique city.

At the Walker Art Gallery Doves and Dreams tells the tragic story of two art nouveau artists working in Liverpool, in addition the gallery will host exhibitions by sons of Liverpool science fiction artist Josh Kirby and internationally renowned maker Peter Chang.

David Fleming, Director of National Museums Liverpool says:

'Liverpool has made a momentous contribution to global history over the last 800 years. Perhaps one of the most important chapters in the city's incredible story is its role in the transatlantic slave trade. In 2007, Liverpool's 800th birthday and the Bicentenary of the Abolition of the British Slave Trade, we will open the first phase of the £10m International Slavery Museum which will explore one of the most powerful economic forces in world trade and its lasting effects on the world.'

Highlights include:

Magical History Tour
Merseyside Maritime Museum, 20 July 2007 to 18 May 2008

A major exhibition documenting Liverpool’s history over the last 800 years, told through the lives of ordinary people, the famous and the infamous. It will explore how different parts of the cityscape have changed and evolved, and how the population of the city has grown and diversified as well as looking forward to the Liverpool of the future, reflecting people’s aspirations and ambitions for the city in the 21st century and beyond. The exhibition is being developed in collaboration with the Liverpool Culture Company and Liverpool University.

International Slavery Museum opening
23 August 2007

Following the success of the Transatlantic Slavery Gallery at the Merseyside Maritime Museum, National Museums Liverpool is developing the International Slavery Museum, a major new development project exploring this subject.
The £10 million museum will feature new dynamic and thought-provoking displays about the story of the transatlantic slave trade, in which Liverpool played such a prominent part. Crucially, it will include new displays about the legacy of transatlantic slavery and will address issues such as freedom, identity, human rights, reparations, racial discrimination and cultural change.
A new resource centre will include an events programme of performance, public lectures and debate. The museum will have a research focus and accommodation for visiting scholars to work and access National Museums Liverpool's archive collections. A digital archive of material related to the transatlantic slave trade will be available and it will be the base for our already popular schools programme, which will expand in its new home.
The displays in the new museum will be complete by 23 August 2007 to mark the Bicentenary of the abolition of the slave trade in Britain.

Slavery Remembrance Day
23 August 2007

National Museums Liverpool has hosted a Slavery Remembrance Day event since 1999 in recognition of the city’s role in the Transatlantic Slave Trade.
Strong local support, most notably from Liverpool's black community, has made this an ongoing project that aims to raise awareness of an issue that can never be forgotten. National Museums Liverpool’s role is to increase recognition of the day at a local, national and international level.

Sudley House reopens
Spring 2007

Sudley House, the former family home of the Liverpool merchant George Holt, has been undergoing a crucial redevelopment and will reopen in the Capital of Culture’s Year of Heritage. The house will be transformed with new displays, improved access and a temporary exhibition space.
Sudley House, Mossley Hill Road, Liverpool
Open daily 10am-5pm
Admission is free 0151 724 3245

The Cathedral That Never Was
Walker Art Gallery, 27 January to 22 April 2007

Following a programme of major conservation work at Liverpool’s National Conservation Centre, the stunning architect’s model of Lutyens' cathedral brings to life the story of an amazing and ambitious building proposed for Liverpool. The exhibition will help interpret the model and its construction as well as providing the context and background to Lutyens' architectural commission, of which only the crypt was ever built. Conservation work was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Doves and Dreams: The art of Frances Macdonald and J Herbert McNair
Walker Art Gallery, 27 January to 22 April 2007

This is the first major exhibition devoted to the avant-garde art of Frances and J Herbert McNair, exploring their life and work in both Glasgow and Liverpool, featuring more than 80 pieces including watercolours, graphics, furniture, metalwork, textiles and decorative art. The exhibition will spotlight the achievements of these two remarkable artists: McNair, the innovator and inspirational teacher and his wife, Francis Macdonald, sister-in-law to Charles Rennie Mackintosh, who produced some of the most remarkable symbolist watercolours of the early 20th century. Exhibition organised by the Hunterian Art Gallery, University of Glasgow, in partnership with the Walker Art Gallery.

Joseph Wright of Derby
Walker Art Gallery, 17 November 2007 to 24 February 2008

An exhibition of major works by Joseph Wright of Derby, one of the most significant British artists of the mid--eighteenth century and the first major artist to find success outside London. The exhibition will focus on the period 1768-1771 when Wright worked in Liverpool, a dynamic time in the City’s development as it aspired to be a centre of artistic excellence.

Animated Adventures
World Museum Liverpool, 10 February to 26 August 2007

Animated Adventures captures the full animation process from storyboards to set design. Find out how the world’s top animators create their on screen characters and discover the art of cel painting, stop frame and CGI technology. All the industry’s secrets are revealed through a fun and engaging mix of hands-on exhibits and multi-media pods that guarantee to get everyone animated!
Animated Adventures, has been developed by W5, Belfast and is one of three exhibitions produced by the ecsite-uk Travelling Exhibitions Consortium (eTEC).

The Art of Josh Kirby
Walker Art Gallery, 16 June to 30 September 2007

The first retrospective exhibition of science fiction artist Josh Kirby. Born in Liverpool in 1928 and trained at Liverpool School of Art he began his career producing film posters, moving to book and cover art for magazines. Some of his more famous work includes the first cover of Ian Fleming’s Moonraker and the poster for Monty Python’s Life of Brian and he is best known for his cover illustrations of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series. 

Peter Chang
Walker Art Gallery, 9 June to 30 September 2007

The first major UK exhibition showcasing the work of international artist Peter Chang, one of Britain’s leading contemporary jewellery artists whose work has received world-wide acclaim with shows in Europe, Canada, the USA, Australia and Korea. Now based in Glasgow, Peter Chang was born in 1944, grew up in Liverpool, trained in sculpture and graphic design at Liverpool College of Art and later taught in the City.

Merchant Palaces
Lady Lever Art Gallery, 16 February to 13 May 2007

To celebrate Year of Heritage, the lost interiors of Liverpool and Wirral’s Victorian houses are shown in this stunning photographic exhibition. Around thirty ‘through the keyhole’ views by Harry Bedford Lemere (1864-1944) give an rich insight into the interior design of the homes of Liverpool and Wirral merchants including the home of Lord Leverhulme himself, Thornton Manor.
The exhibition is organised in collaboration with English Heritage and the National Monuments Record.

Masquerade: the work of James Ensor (1860-1949)
Lady Lever Art gallery, 30 June to 22 September 2007 (dates tbc)

A special showing of the paintings, drawings and etchings of James Ensor (1860-1949) on loan from the Museum of Fine Arts, Ghent. Described as the most original Belgian artist of the 19th century, James Ensor painted around 1880-85 in a style fashionable amongst the modernists of the day.