Walker Art Gallery

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Walker Art Gallery is located on William Brown Street in Liverpool. It is close to William Brown Library, World Museum Liverpool, St. George’s Hall or Lime Street Station. It is often referred to as “the National Gallery of the North” because it houses one of the largest art collections in England outside of the capital city.

Walker Art Gallery was named after its founding benefactor Sir Andrew Barclay Walker. He was a major of Liverpool and he wanted to commemorate this by donating a gallery, although he was not a collector of art himself. On 28 September 1873 Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, laid the foundation stone. The neo-Classical building was designed by local architects Cornelius Sherlock and H. H. Vale. The gallery was opened on 6 September 1877 by the 15th Earl of Derby.

After the opening, the gallery was very successful and it had to be extended already in 1884. The paintings were being sold quite well (for example 'Dante's Dream' by Rossetti was bought for £1,575). In the first half of the 20th century many paintings were donated and the gallery had to be extended again, in 1931. The gallery was closed during the World War Second and reopened in1951. It has become very successful, for example a Van Gogh exhibition in 1955 was such successes that people were queuing all the way down William Brown Street. Over the next few years the Walker Art Gallery became one of the first galleries to have a regular conservation programme. In 1986 the gallery received national status as part of the National Museums and Galleries on Merseyside.

The painting it holds are from Italy and the Netherlands (1350 – 1550), European art (1550 – 1900), 18th and 19th British art, works of some 20th century artists and major sculpture collection. There is a John Moores painting exhibition every year with temporary exhibitions (the first one was held in 1957). The gallery takes part in the Liverpool Biennial as well.
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