1877 - ?

Walker Art Gallery was named in honour of its principal benefactor Sir Andrew Barclay Walker (1824-1893) a Liverpool brewer and opened in 1877. In 1933 a new extension made it the largest of the English regional art galleries, and it began to collect at first historic British art and later European art and the Gallery houses an eclectic collection ranging from Italian Renaissance, old master works, French impressionists, pre-Raphaelite works and the 20th Century is represented by British artists such as Lucian Freud, David Hockney and Gilbert and George as well as a major sculpture collection. The Walker Art Gallery staged the first John Moores Liverpool Exhibition in 1957, sponsored by Sir John Moores, the competition comprising contemporary paintings from across the UK has been held every two years and is the biggest painting prize in the UK and since 1980 the gallery has always purchased the winning entry. In 1978 it absorbed the Lady Lever Art Gallery, immensely rich in British paintings, sculpture and furniture, and in both English and Chinese ceramics. In 1986 the Walker Art Gallery became a national gallery, funded by central government.