Saturday 2 April – Sunday 8 May 2016

An open exhibition has been part of the local art scene for as long as most of us can remember. The exhibition has gone from strength to strength.

After Birkenhead opened its first Museum and Art Gallery in 1912, there were two Spring exhibitions but the First World War stopped them and the initiative was not picked up in the town afterwards.

The Borough of Wallasey, however, did take it up and from 1962, a Spring Exhibition was held each year at Earlston Library. Following the creation of Wirral Borough Council, the exhibition became open to all in Wirral but continued to be show in Wallasey until 1983 when the first Wirral Spring Exhibition was held at the Williamson.

In 1989, the exhibition was opened to photographers, with the support of Birkenhead Photographic Association who had until that time had almost exclusive rights to photography exhibitions in the gallery.

It has been a consistent factor that prize winners are purchased for the gallery collections. In this way, The Williamson has acquired some fantastic work to maintain its representation of local artists that stretches back over 200 years. Long may it continue.

Colin Simpson, Principal Museums Officer

open-1 open-2