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What’s on at the Walker during May?

1 May 2018 by Felicity

‘Kaleidoscope’ at the Walker

There’s so much happening at the Walker this month, we thought we’d put it all in one place for you – and a suggest a few highlights that you won’t want to miss! We always recommend checking our website before making a special trip to the Gallery, just in case of any cancellations.

Free tours

Did you know that we hold free lunchtime talks at 1pm on Tuesdays? We’ll have a different talk each week this month. On 8 May, we’ll hear from students at Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) School of Art and Design. On 15 May, project curator Bethan Lewis will talk visitors through our latest exhibition, Kaleidoscope: Colour and Sequence in 1960s British Art.

We also hold introductory tours to the Gallery every Wednesday at 3pm. Read more…

What’s on at the Walker over the next 12 months?

21 March 2018 by Felicity

Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh, The May Queen, 1900. © CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection

We’ve just announced our upcoming exhibition programme for the next 12 months. Highlights for early 2019 include a major showcase of work by Charles Rennie Mackintosh as well as a display of drawings by Leonardo da Vinci from the Royal Collection Trust.

The John Moores Painting Prize will take centre stage in summer 2018, celebrating 60 years of the Prize. It opens in line with an exhibition of early works by Sean Scully, who is a former John Moores prize winner. The exhibitions run from 14 July, coinciding with the opening of Liverpool Biennial 2018.

We’ll continue to work with contemporary artists as part of the Arts Council Collection’s National Partners Programme and will present works selected by Leo Fitzmaurice from our own collection as well as the Arts Council Collection in a new display opening on 29 September 2018. Read more…

Kim Cattrall at the Walker Art Gallery

16 January 2018 by Felicity

Image of Kim Cattrall following a recent in-conversation event hosted by the Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse theatres

Kim Cattrall at a recent in-conversation event hosted by the Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse theatres

We’re incredibly excited to be able to reveal that a very special painting will soon be joining our collection at the Walker Art Gallery!

The winner of this year’s Sky Portrait Artist of the Year will receive a £10,000 commission to paint the actress Kim Cattrall, with the painting set to hang here at the gallery.

The series, presented by Joan Bakewell and Frank Skinner, airs on Sky Arts tonight. We can’t wait to see which talented artists have been selected to compete for the commission.

We’re particularly thrilled that the painting will be of Kim, who was born in Liverpool’s Mossley Hill. She moved to Canada at three months of age, before returning to stay with family at the age of 11. She moved back to Canada to finish high school when she was 16.

Kim has fond memories of visiting our museums and galleries as a child, and also of being inspired by watching theatre here in the city. She famously went on to play the role of Cleopatra in Antony and Cleopatra at Liverpool’s Playhouse theatre back in 2010. Kim is perhaps best known for playing the role of Samantha Jones in Sex and the City.

More than 1,000 artists from across the UK applied for the show this year. From small, delicate studies to large-scale, full-body canvases in oil, watercolour, pastels, charcoal, pencil and even collage – the series will see a whole host of different takes on the classic artistic challenge of portraiture.

The three chosen finalists will face the challenge of commissions to paint the eminent designer Kenneth Grange, iconic fashion designer Zandra Rhodes and bestselling author, international superstar and Spice Girl Geri Horner, with portraits to hang at the Design Museum, the Fashion and Textile Museum and the British Music Experience. The overall winner will receive the commission to paint Kim’s portrait.

We’ll be watching the series with great excitement and can’t wait to share more news about the portrait over the coming months!

Lubaina Himid wins the Turner Prize 2017!

6 December 2017 by Felicity

Lubaina Himid (far right) on a recent visit to the Walker, with Ann Bukantas (far left), Head of Fine Art, and Sandra Penketh (centre), Director of Art Galleries

Last night we heard the wonderful news that Lubaina Himid is the winner of the Turner Prize 2017. We were thrilled to hear of her well-deserved win, having worked closely with the artist over a number of years.

Visitors might remember Lubaina’s Jelly Mould Pavilions that were displayed at Sudley House back in 2010, or perhaps you’ve seen her work on show as part of our current display, Lubaina Himid: Meticulous Observations and Naming the Money. Read more…

Entry deadline for £25,000 JM Painting Prize extended

9 November 2017 by Felicity

The John Moores Painting Prize 2014 prizewinners, including first prizewinner Michael Simpson (far right).

The deadline for entries to the John Moores Painting Prize 2018 has been extended to 12 noon on Monday 20 November (enter here). We want to make sure that as many people as possible are able to apply for the Prize in 2018, its 60th year!

This year’s prize is an extra special one. As well as winning £25,000 and the chance to have your painting acquired by the Walker, the winner can look forward to a career-changing solo show at the Gallery and a three-month fellowship at Liverpool John Moores University, which will be bespoke to the individual. Read more…

Coming Out – closing celebrations

2 November 2017 by Felicity

Coming Out closes on Sunday 5 November

On Saturday 5 November we bid a fond farewell to Coming Out: Sexuality, Gender and Identity, our groundbreaking exhibition featuring artworks by David Hockney, Steve McQueen, Anya Gallaccio and Sarah Lucas among many others.

The artists represented have used their work to explore sexuality and gender identity since 1967, after the passing of the Sexual Offences Act, which marked the partial decriminalisation of male homosexual acts in England and Wales. Read more…

Last chance to see Alphonse Mucha’s iconic poster designs at the Walker

20 October 2017 by Felicity

Original poster designs featuring the actress Sarah Bernhardt are on show in the exhibition

Iconic illustrative posters by one of the most influential artists of the Art Nouveau movement can be seen for a limited time at the Walker Art Gallery. Read more…

Alphonse Mucha’s influence on 1960s counter-culture

3 July 2017 by Felicity

Norman with his Jugband poster at the opening of the Alphonse Mucha: In Quest of Beauty exhibition at the Walker

A familiar face for many regular Walker visitors, Norman Killon worked as part of our visitor services team for 24 years before he retired in April this year.

Norman is also a font of musical knowledge, having DJ’d at Liverpool’s legendary nightclub Eric’s in the 1970s, and a great collector of musical memorabilia.

You can see two posters from Norman’s personal collection in our Alphonse Mucha: In Quest of Beauty exhibition, showing how Mucha influenced a counter-culture in the 1960s. Norman tells us more in this post: Read more…

Inspired by George Bouverie Goddard

13 June 2017 by Felicity

The Struggle for Existence, by Goddard, at the Walker

It’s always fantastic to hear from visitors who have been inspired by paintings in our collection. In this blog post, Chris Woodward tells us how a painting by George Bouverie Goddard inspired him to write a play, soon to be performed here in Liverpool. Read more…

Coming Out: The Walker prepares to reveal concealed LGBT+ art histories

17 May 2017 by Felicity

Untitled, 1981, Linder © the artist and courtesy Stuart Shave I Modern Art, London

Today is the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphonbia (IDAHOT 2017); a worldwide celebration of sexual and gender diversities. We thought we’d mark this landmark day, now celebrated in more than 130 countries, by sharing details of our upcoming exhibition, Coming Out: Sexuality, Gender and Identity.

Coming Out, which will open at the Walker Art Gallery on 28 July, will reveal previously overlooked LGBT+ art histories and institutional blind spots, through a really exciting selection of artworks.

The opening will mark 50 years since the partial decriminalisation of male homosexual acts was passed in England and Wales (1967 Sexual Offences Act), on 27 July 1967. From David Hockney and Steve McQueen to Anya Gallaccio and Sarah Lucas, the artists represented have used their work to explore sexuality and gender identity since 1967, after the passing of the Act.  Read more…



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Welcome to the National Museums Liverpool blog! Written by our staff and volunteers, we’ll give you a peek behind the scenes of our museums and galleries.

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We try to ensure that the information provided on our blog is accurate and that appropriate permissions to use images have been sought. The opinions in each blog are very much those of the individuals writing.