1 EAGLETON NOTES: Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool

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Monday, 12 July 2010

Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool

CJ and I went to the Walker Art Gallery last Friday.  I was involved professionally with the Gallery many many years ago but it had probably been about 20 years since my last visit.  So far as I can recall much had changed but much remained the same.  One of the big changes was the general ambience.  It is much more relaxed now than it used to be.  For one thing non-flash photography is allowed so long as it’s not of ‘special’ exhibitions (where, presumably, artist copyright still persists).  For me that made it so much more interesting.  Unlike, I understand, most people I do not easily carry images in my memory (I remember things by word) and therefore it is wonderful to have those images available.

Walker Top Left: Liverpool Central Library  Top Right: Crown Court (St Gorges Hall)

Bottom Left: Walker Art Gallery  Bottom Right: Originally the North British Hotel

Taken from the same spot (the Waterloo Monument or Wellington’s Column is adjacent too)

Walker1 Inside the Walker Art Gallery

DSC01494 Although not accurate in fact this detail from Benjamin West’s Death of Nelson has always been a favourite of mine because of my fascination with Nelson and his era of naval warfare.

StubbsThe eyes of the lion in this Stubbs (who is probably Liverpool’s most famous artist) didn’t just spook the horse.  They spooked me too.  I though the lion had an almost human look about it.  What a terrible thing to say about such a noble beast.

DSC01507 This door opened onto another interesting subject for me because the exhibition behind it included at John Moores Exhibition Number 6 Peter Getting out of Nick’s Pool the painting by David Hockney.  I had been at the opening of that exhibition in 1967 and the painting could not be described as one which I liked.  However I discovered on Friday that there were only two others being exhibited that I liked better than it.

DSC01519 One painting which caught my eye was Two Windows/Two People by Maurice Cockrill.  Although Professor Dr Maurice Cockrill is a renowned artist and poet with long connections to Liverpool his art is not generally to my taste at all but this example absolutely fascinated me.

DSC01511-1

DSC01517 Perhaps the most amazing of all the modern exhibits was this huge and detailed painting by Ben Johnson entitled Liverpool Cityscape which can be viewed interactively on the Walker Art Gallery’s website here.

CJ and I were only able to spend a relatively small part of the day at he gallery because there were many more things we wanted to see in the city of our birth: a city I have seen very little of over the last few years and with which I now have absolutely no connections save for the past.

6 comments:

  1. I'm afraid that top right doesn't look like the crown court or St George's Hall to me, but I may be wrong.

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  2. Such grandeur in those buildings, it's a wonder you don't laugh out loud when I declare something "old". I agree with you about that lion's eyes, he sees dinner for sure.

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  3. Helen: You are correct in that I'd forgotten that Liverpool has new courts since 'my day'. Then the courts were in St Georges Hall (this is the end of that building) and that was the Judges Entrance where, in the days when Judges were swept along in their limos with a police escort the limos used to pull up and disgorge their contents.

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  4. Thanks GB. How odd that I've never noticed that round bit on the end of St Georges Hall!

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  5. That lion IS creepy (and, I agree, a bit too "human-looking" for comfort). Seems to me the eyes are a bit too big and too round and too close together, for a lion...?

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  6. What are the odds?! I was on my first museum tour in three years this past weekend and I thought of you! I'll have to post the picture that prompted the blog-connection.

    Lovely post!

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