Hello to Goodbye on Mersey

24 February 2011 by Laura

We held a press call for a new acquisition for the Walker Art Gallery yesterday.

Three men looking at the painting

Paper conservator Keith Oliver discusses painting with the press

‘Goodbye on the Mersey’ was bought with help from a 100% grant from the Art Fund, the UK’s national fundraising charity for works of art last December.

It is currently at the National Conservation Centre where it will be undergoing some conservation work before going on display at the Walker Art Gallery later this year.

The painting is a touching scene of a middle class family saying goodbye to relatives bound for America on a large transatlantic liner. The unusual vantage point is the deck of a tender or ferry, behind the central figures, helping the viewer feel close to the action. From here the 1880 Liverpool skyline is also captured beyond the ship. If you look closely you can spot what looks like the spire of St. Nick’s church.

‘Goodbye on the Mersey’ joins another painting by the artist in the Walker Art Gallery’s collection.

‘Portrait of Mrs Catherine Smith Gill and two of her children’ was commissioned by Chapple Gill, a senior partner in a Liverpool firm of cotton brokers. It is a tender image of Gill’s family in their house, Lower Lee in Woolton, Liverpool and features in our interactive Talking Heads gallery.

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