National Museums Liverpool – 2008 Highlights

ben johnson image

Ben Johnson’s Liverpool Cityscape 2008
is one of the highlights at the Walker this year. He should be arriving in Liverpool later this month to complete the project as the public watch. You can see recent images of the work-in-progress on flickr.

Other exhibitions include ‘Art in the Age of Steam’, ‘The Beat Goes On’, ‘Masterpiece Watercolours and Drawings’ and the John Moores Painting Prize.

Art in the Age of Steam

Walker Art Gallery 18 April – 10 August 2008

Combining a number of themes such as issues of social class, Modernism, the aesthetics of the machine and environmental concerns, this exhibition captures the fear and excitement of early train travel as it explores the artist’s response to the advent of steam locomotion. Artists featured include Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro and Edward Hopper. Liverpool plays host to the only European showing of this international art exhibition which includes over 100 paintings, drawings, prints and photographs.

The exhibition is being organised in collaboration with the Nelson-Atkins Art Museum, Kansas City.

Supported by the Liverpool Culture Company and sponsored by Merseytravel.

The publication The Railway: Art in the Age of Steam accompanies the exhibition.

Walker Art Gallery, William Brown Street, Liverpool

Open daily 10am–5pm Admission is free 0151 478 4199


The Beat Goes On

World Museum Liverpool 12 July 2008 – 1 Nov 2009

Inspired by Liverpool’s significant contribution to popular music, The Beat Goes On showcases Merseyside’s vibrant music scenes that have played a major part in the city’s life over the past 60 years. From the Cavern to Creamfields, from Billy Fury to the Zutons, Liverpool has been home to a staggering range of venues, sounds, performers, fashions and followers. A product of Liverpool’s edginess, energy and creativity this exhibition explores and celebrates its musical identity, its success and its continuing evolution. The first exhibition of its kind, it draws together material from record companies, institutions and private collectors.

Supported by Liverpool Culture Company.

World Museum Liverpool, William Brown Street, Liverpool

Open daily 10am–5pm Admission is free 0151 478 4393


Ben Johnson’s Liverpool Cityscape 2008

Walker Art Gallery 24 May – 2 Nov 2008

Internationally-renowned artist Ben Johnson has been commissioned by National Museums Liverpool, with the Liverpool Culture Company and Professor Phil Redmond CBE and Alexis Redmond, to produce a huge architectural portrait of Liverpool to commemorate the city becoming European Capital of Culture in 2008. Johnson has produced other detailed cityscapes including Jerusalem, Zurich and Hong Kong but this will be his largest work so far, standing at 8ft x 16ft, an area of 128 ft in total. By the artist’s own admission it is the most ambitious of his panoramas to date and this is the first time the artist has worked directly with a public gallery to produce a commission on this scale. Johnson will take up residency at the Walker Art Gallery to finish the Liverpool Cityscape in front of a live audience from 28 Jan to 7 March 2008.

The exhibition Ben Johnson’s Liverpool Cityscape 2008 has been sponsored by the University of Liverpool

Others who have supported the commission include:

David M Robinson, Liverpool Vision, Northwest Regional Development Agency, Ethel Austin Properties Group, Barbara A McVey and Rensburg Sheppards.

Walker Art Gallery, William Brown Street, Liverpool

Open daily 10am–5pm Admission is free 0151 478 4199


Masterpiece Watercolours and Drawings

Lady Lever Art Gallery 28 June to 9 Nov 2008

An exhibition of around 35 drawings and watercolours from the Lady Lever Art Gallery’s own extensive collection. Including works by Turner, Rossetti, Cox, de Wint and Burne-Jones the exhibition is a rare opportunity to view exquisite works too delicate for permanent display.

The catalogue raisonne of the collection British drawings and watercolours in the Lady Lever Art Gallery will be published to coincide with the exhibition. Sponsored by Rathbones.

Lady Lever Art Gallery, Port Sunlight Village, Wirral Open daily 10am–5pm

Admission is free 0151 478 4136


John Moores Contemporary Painting Prize

Walker Art Gallery 20 September 2008 – 4 Jan 2009

Now in its 50th Year, the John Moores exhibition has a long history, beginning in 1957 when local Liverpool businessman and art enthusiast John Moores (founder of Littlewoods) first sponsored the competition to showcase contemporary painters of the day. It is now a major part of the Liverpool Biennial, a city-wide festival showcasing international contemporary art. Past winners include David Hockney, Peter Doig and Richard Hamilton. Past jurors have included Germaine Greer, Tracey Emin, Peter Blake and Jarvis Cocker.

This year’s competition promises to provoke debate and comment. The first prizewinner is awarded a prize of £25,000. Visitors will also be able to vote for their favourite painting in the exhibition with a Visitors’ Choice prize of £2008 awarded to the winning artist.

Supported by the John Moores Liverpool Exhibition Trust and A Foundation. Official Hotel Partner, Radisson SAS Hotel, Liverpool

Walker Art Gallery, William Brown Street, Liverpool

Open daily 10am–5pm Admission is free 0151 478 4199


Continuing from 2007…

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.

Organised in partnership with the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, USA.

Walker Art Gallery, William Brown Street, Liverpool

Open daily 10am–5pm Admission is free 0151 478 4199



SEIZED Revenue and Customs Uncovered

Merseyside Maritime Museum Spring 2008

A brand new gallery opens at the Merseyside Maritime Museum exploring the key roles of HM Revenue and Customs Department in helping to ensure that our way of life is fair, safe, civilised and protected. Themes such as tax and anti-smuggling will form the main stories, while also looking at fighting crime, patrolling frontiers, detective work, endangered species, crime scene investigation and sometimes a sneaking admiration for the bad guy! The gallery will relate to our own experiences, such as travelling abroad or paying taxes. Key exhibits include a 19th century model of Liverpool customs house, seized weapons from the postal depot and two confiscated Lear Macaws.

Merseyside Maritime Museum, Albert Dock, Liverpool

Open daily 10am–5pm Admission is free 0151 478 4499


Egypt Gallery

World Museum Liverpool Autumn 2008

The new Egypt Gallery will create a brand new setting for World Museum Liverpool’s exceptional collection of Egyptian material which ranks among the best in the UK and is internationally significant. In this new gallery visitors will discover, through looking, touching, smelling and listening, how this fascinating ancient civilisation flourished for thousands of years.

World Museum Liverpool, William Brown Street, Liverpool

Open daily 10am–5pm Admission is free 0151 478 4393


Museum of Liverpool

Opens 2010

The Museum of Liverpool, designed by Danish architect 3XN, will be one of the world’s leading city history museums reflecting Liverpool’s global significance through its unique geography, history and culture. It will draw on National Museums Liverpool’s vast collections and give access to over 10,000 objects, many of which have never been on public display. As a vital part of the legacy of 2008, when Liverpool becomes European Capital of Culture, it will express Liverpool’s confidence as a great 21st century European city.

Principal funders: Northwest Regional Development Agency, Merseyside Objective One programme, Garfield Weston Foundation and Heritage Lottery Fund.