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Still as important and relevant to Liverpool as ever, here we explore why once you’ve visited the Walker, you’ll never be the same again…
Established in 1877, the Walker Art Gallery features paintings, sculpture and decorative art from the 13th century to the present day. Such a wide range of artists have had work on display since its opening, from Rembrandt to David Hockney to Banksy. In 1986, the gallery achieved national status, as part of the National Museums and Galleries on Merseyside which became National Museums Liverpool in 2003. The group also includes World Museum, Merseyside Maritime Museum, International Slavery Museum, Museum of Liverpool and Wirral’s Lady Lever Art Gallery.
Find out about National Museums Liverpool HERE.
The gallery was designed by local architects Cornelius Sherlock and H. H. Vale.
In 1948, it presented William Roscoe’s collection of art and other works. Liverpudlian Roscoe was a respected historian and art collector, poet, writer, botanist and one of England’s first abolitionists.
The Walker is named after its founding benefactor, the former mayor of Liverpool Sir Andrew Barclay Walker. Although not born here – Walker was Scottish – he expanded his brewery business into England and made Gateacre his home.
Here’s what’s on at the Walker
The Walker has a long history of giving back to the local community.
In 1908 the it held a Historical Exhibition of Liverpool Art, featuring works from the 18th and 19th century, marking the start of its study and support of local artists.
During the Second World War, the building itself was used for the administration and distribution of ration books.
A detailed history can be found here
Admission to the Walker is free, except for special exhibitions. The gallery is open Tuesday – Sunday each week and . even open on Bank Holidays too. The cafe is also open 10am-3pm on weekdays and 10am-4pm on weekends.
With the gallery’s Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque displays – Room 1 to 4 – closed until spring 2021 due to refurbishment and the Big Art for Little Artists shut temporarily, children are still very welcome to visit but there is lots on the website to fire up young imaginations even further. Films and virtual tours of the Titanic, a Victorian merchant’s house, Greek myths and more can be found online.
William Brown Street, built in 1860, is the only street in the UK to consist of nothing other than museums, galleries and libraries. The High Victorian neo-classical buildings earned it the label Liverpool’s ‘Cultural Quarter’. The surrounding area includes Liverpool Central Library, the William Brown Library, World Museum, St. George’s Hall, and Wellington’s Column. Directions and opening hours
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