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Pop-art gift to the Walker!

15 July 2014 by Laura

People and painting

Senior NML staff welcome painting into collection. From L-R Sandra Penketh, Ann Bukantas John Entwistle, Ros McAlister, Phil Redmond and David Fleming

‘The Dinner Party’ by Sam Walsh has been on loan to the Walker for some time but we’re delighted to announce it has been formally gifted to us under the Cultural Gifts Scheme and is now part of our permanent collection.

The painting has been gifted to the nation by John Entwistle, a former Trustee of National Museums Liverpool and founder-Chairman of its Development Trust. The Entwistle family were the principal benefactors of the Walker’s European sculpture gallery.

John Entwistle and Ros McAlister, Sam’s partner and one of the subjects in the painting, came to the gallery today to see the painting in situ. It joins the Walker’s renowned collection of contemporary British painting.

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey, said: “This is another wonderful donation under the Cultural Gifts Scheme, which thanks to the generosity of the donor will be returning home to the city where it was created.”

John Entwistle said: “I am delighted that the new Cultural Gifts Scheme has enabled me to gift this painting to the Walker in Liverpool during my lifetime rather than on death. The Walker is absolutely the right place for it to be seen by the public as Walsh was an important Liverpool artist and the painting depicts several of the leading poets and artists working in Liverpool in the 1970s, including the artist – twice.”

The painting depicts (left hand side, from the front):
1.    Ray Hudson, artist’s neighbour;
2.    David Berry, artist’s solicitor;
3.    Nish (Christine) Ridpath;
4.    Arthur Ballard, ex-boxer and painter;
5.    Lesley Walsh, artist’s ex-wife;
6.    Joe Martingdale;
7.    Artist himself;
8.    Mike Carran, artist’s bank manager;
9.    Stanley Haddon, Liverpool Philharmonic clarinettist;
10.    Luke Walsh,artist’s son;
11.    Don Craig, ex-teacher and Liverpool Councillor.

(right hand side, from the front):
12.    Susannah Lash, artist’s friend;
13.    Billy Wellings, artist’s friend;
14.    Adrian Henri, poet and painter;
15.    Ros McAlister, with whom artist was living;
16.    Roger McGough, poet;
17.    Artist himself;
18.    Maurice Cockrill, painter;
19.    Jim Weston, sculptor;
20.    Don McKinlay, painter;
21.    McKinlay’s partner Jani;
22.    Sheena McKinlay, Don’s daughter;
23.    Spud Nolan, artist’s friend.


The Cultural Gifts Scheme was launched by the Department for Culture, Media & Sport in March 2013 as an important element of its expanding programme to encourage philanthropy for the arts. The Acceptance in Lieu Panel advises Ministers on all objects offered under the Cultural Gifts Scheme. The Scheme is administered by Arts Council England and enables UK taxpayers to donate important objects to the nation during their lifetime. Items accepted under the Scheme are allocated to public collections and are available for all. In return, donors will receive a reduction in their income tax, capital gains tax or corporation tax liability, based on a set percentage of the value of the object they are donating: 30 per cent for individuals and 20 per cent for companies.

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