Williamson Art Gallery and Wirral Museums

photograph of exterior of williamson art gallery
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Located outside the centre of Birkenhead, the Williamson Art Gallery & Museum was purpose-built and was opened in December 1928.

The building is named after John and Patrick Williamson, father and son, who each bequeathed a substantial sum of money to Birkenhead Borough Council.

The Williamson has built a strong regional reputation for the quality and variety of its exhibitions and houses the vast majority of Birkenhead's collection of art and history collections, some of which are displayed in a series of varied and well proportioned galleries.

Always on show is the largest single display of ship models in the area, focusing on Cammell Laird shipbuilders and their contribution to marine history, the Mersey Ferries and the variety of vessels that used the River Mersey when it was at its busiest.

Venue Type:

Museum, Gallery

Opening hours

Wednesday to Sunday 10-5pm

Admission charges

Free

Collection details

Archaeology, Archives, Decorative and Applied Art, World Cultures, Fine Art, Natural Sciences, Weapons and War, Science and Technology, Social History, Land Transport, Maritime

Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.

Alumni

  • 5 March — 28 June 2015 *on now

The results of photography workshops facilitated by Suzanne Bowen of VidA at Pilgrim Street Arts Centre, Gallery 11 of the Williamson Art Gallery and Wirral Museum.

Website

http://www.williamsonartgallery.org

Albert Richards exhibition

  • 5 March — 5 July 2015 *on now

Albert Richards (19 December 1919 - 5 March 1945) was born in Liverpool but moved to Wallasey as a small boy and attended Wallasey School of Art 1935-39 when he won a scholarship to the Royal College of Art. After only 3 months, he was called up into the army where he served in the Royal Engineers before transferring to a Parachute Brigade and in 1944, he was appointed an Official War Artist. He was the youngest of the three British official war artists killed during the conflict. On March 5th 1945 he drove his jeep into a minefield and was killed, aged only 25. This is a small selection of work by Richards, both from student days and during the Second World War.

Website

http://www.williamsonartgallery.org

Searchlight Battery by Albert Richards

Albert Richards exhibition

  • 5 March — 5 July 2015 *on now

Albert Richards (19 December 1919 - 5 March 1945) was born in Liverpool but moved to Wallasey as a small boy and attended Wallasey School of Art 1935-39 when he won a scholarship to the Royal College of Art. After only 3 months, he was called up into the army where he served in the Royal Engineers before transferring to a Parachute Brigade and in 1944, he was appointed an Official War Artist. He was the youngest of the three British official war artists killed during the conflict. On March 5th 1945 he drove his jeep into a minefield and was killed, aged only 25. This is a small selection of work by Richards, both from student days and during the Second World War.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Waterloo Lives: The Story Behind the Painting

  • 13 May — 7 June 2015 *on now

To commemorate the bicentenary of Waterloo, the National Army Museum have partnered with The Williamson Art Gallery and Museum on a temporary exhibition which looks at how the Battle was fought and won. Rarely seen objects from NAM will feature alongside The Williamson's permanent collections to tell the stories of the regiments, the soldiers, their families and the legacy they left behind.

Website

http://www.williamsonartgallery.org

The Two Rivers Art Group

  • 13 May — 7 June 2015 *on now

The Two Rivers Art Group is a collection of professional artists who occasionally exhibit together

Website

http://www.williamsonartgallery.org

Wirral Art School Degree Show

  • 23 May — 7 June 2015 *on now

Wirral Metropolitan BA (Hons) Fine Art and BA Illustration with Animation will once again be exhibiting their final year shows at the Williamson Art Gallery. This annual celebration of creativity and visual culture is a fantastic opportunity for students to showcase their artistic and professional skills in such an important local venue.

Website

http://www.williamsonartgallery.org

James Bowman

Wirral Art School Degree Show

  • 23 May — 7 June 2015 *on now

This annual celebration of creativity and visual culture is a fantastic opportunity for students to showcase their artistic and professional skills in such an important local venue.

The strength of both courses is the diversity of artistic endeavour on offer. This year’s degree show will feature paintings, sculpture, installation and animation.

Suitable for

  • Any age
Waterloo

Waterloo Lives

  • 6 June — 25 October 2015

To commemorate the bicentenary of Waterloo, the National Army Museum have partnered with The Williamson Art Gallery and Museum on a temporary exhibition which looks at how the Battle was fought and won. Rarely seen objects from NAM will feature alongside The Williamson's permanent collections to tell the stories of the regiments, the soldiers, their families and the legacy they left behind.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Wirral Open Studio Tour

  • 10 — 14 June 2015

Wirral based professional and semi-professional artists take part in the tour, with many studios and creative spaces opening to the public. The Williamson will be participating with several artists and craftspeople taking up residency within the gallery and working with inspiration from the collections. Exhibitors are George Evans -photgrapher, Janine Pinion - painter, David Jones - model maker and painter, Li Wei Chen - artist and Alison Bailey Smith - craftsperson.

Website

http://www.williamsonartgallery.org

Sylvia Hikins: Cold Coastlines – Iceland, Norway, Viking Wirral Exhibition

  • 20 June — 19 July 2015

Sylvia Hikins is a poet, painter, author and music maker. She first visited Iceland in 2009 and was blown over (once quite literally) by the cold, empty, dangerous and extra-ordinary landscape. Drawn back many times since, part of the fascination is the tangible link with Viking Wirral, a shared common heritage where we all once spoke Old Norse, the same language as the Icelanders

Website

http://www.williamsonartgallery.org

East Fjords, Iceland 2014

Sylvia Hikins: Cold Coastlines – Iceland, Norway, Viking Wirral Exhibition.

  • 20 June — 19 July 2015

Her exhibition, Cold Coastlines...Iceland, Norway, Viking Wirral combines nearly sixty paintings, many created especially for this event, plus poetry and a short DVD she made after flying over the erupting volcano Eyjafjallajokull in a tiny Cessna airplane. Sylvia Hikins is a poet, painter, author and music maker. She first visited Iceland in 2009 and was blown over (once quite literally) by the cold, empty, dangerous and extra-ordinary landscape. Drawn back many times since, part of the fascination is the tangible link with Viking Wirral, a shared common heritage where we all once spoke Old Norse, the same language as the Icelanders. Sylvia writes: ‘Painting, writing, poetry is one way I respond to the world around me. Listen. Look. Feel. Nature is at the heart of all abstraction. When I stare out into the Mersey Estuary I can still see those wild expanses of ice, fire, mountain, sea, and a sky full of dancing Northern Lights.’

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://www.williamsonartgallery.org

Peter Philip Retrospective Exhibition

  • 27 June — 30 August 2015

Born in Liverpool, Peter Philip began his working life as a Lithographic Artist, while studying part time at Liverpool College of Art, eventually returning, full-time to formal art studies, graduating with an honours degree in Fine Art from Liverpool John Moores University. He now regularly exhibits his work around the North West of England.

Website

http://www.williamsonartgallery.org

Peter Philip - Carousel ll

Peter Philip Retrospective Exhibition

  • 27 June — 30 August 2015

Born in Liverpool, Peter Philip began his working life as a Lithographic Artist, while studying part time at Liverpool College of Art, eventually returning, full-time to formal art studies, graduating with an honours degree in Fine Art from Liverpool John Moores University. He now regularly exhibits his work around the North West of England.

He is a representational painter working mainly in oils depicting subjects that are part of everyday life. Inspired by traditional classical paintings he paints contemporary subjects firmly establishing his compositions in the present day. An adept draughtsman preliminary studies forming an important element in the execution of his paintings, he also makes bold and articulate finished drawings.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://www.williamsonartgallery.org

Thomas Burke exhibition

  • 15 July — 27 September 2015

Thomas Burke was born in 1906 in Liverpool. During the 1920s and 30s he studied art at Liverpool College of Art and the Royal College of Art, London. Whilst imprisoned in WW2, he produced many drawings and watercolours. These included images of camp life, portraits and set designs for theatrical productions.

Website

http://www.williamsonartgallery.org

Thomas Burke

Thomas Burke exhibition

  • 15 July — 27 September 2015

Thomas Burke was born in 1906 in Liverpool. During the 1920s and 30s he studied art at Liverpool College of Art and the Royal College of Art, London.

In 1941 he joined the Merchant Navy as 3rd Radio Officer on the ship the Dalesman. In May that year, the Dalesman was bombed and sunk by enemy aircraft off the coast of Crete. Burke, along with other Merchant Navy personnel, was transferred to Milag (Marine Internierten Lager, or Marine Internment Camp) at Westertimke, north west Germany. Whilst imprisoned, he produced many drawings and watercolours. These included images of camp life, portraits and set designs for theatrical productions.

In 1945, Burke was repatriated to Britain. He died the same year, probably of blackwater fever which he had contracted in the camps.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://www.williamsonartgallery.org

Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.

Williamson Talks: Timelines: John Curry: ‘Guardians of the Dawn’

  • 30 May 2015 11:30am-12:30pm

Guardians of the Dawn’, a talk about Liverpool and Birkenhead pilots, promises to thrill the audience with fascinating sailor’s yarns.

Admission

Free but donations welcomed
Booking can be made by emailing friendswilliamson@gmail.com but not absolutely necessary

Website

http://www.williamsonartgallery.org

Williamson Talks: Timelines: John Curry: ‘Guardians of the Dawn’

Williamson Talks

  • 30 May 2015 11:30am-12:30pm

John Curry, retired Authorised Liverpool Pilot, lifeboat man, writer and French medievalist will speak about his rich experience gained in a lifetime of working on the waters of the River Mersey and its approaches. His autobiography, East a Half South, traces his course from the Sixth Form of Wallasey Grammar School to the other side of the world and back, in a life filled with adventures, danger and success.

‘Guardians of the Dawn’, a talk about Liverpool and Birkenhead pilots, promises to thrill the audience with fascinating sailor’s yarns. John’s talk, and, undoubtedly, his presence, will remind us, as did Horatio Clare’s opening Timelines talk in April, of Birkenhead’s proud shipping heritage.

John will bring along a few copies of his book East a Half South - for those of us who haven’t yet had the chance to read it and wish to set sail from the comfort of their armchairs.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://www.williamsonartgallery.org

Williamson Talks: Timelines: Alf Plant: ‘Birkenhead Priory: Conservation and Repair’

  • 6 June 2015 11:30am-12:30pm

Alf Plant is Director of Ainsley Gommon Architects Ltd, the firm which carried out the recent restoration of St Mary’s church spire and medieval ruins at Birkenhead Priory.

Admission

Free but donations welcomed
Booking can be made by emailing friendswilliamson@gmail.com but not absolutely necessary

Website

http://www.williamsonartgallery.org

Birkenhead Priory

Williamson Talks

  • 6 June 2015 11:30am-12:30pm

Alf Plant is Director of Ainsley Gommon Architects Ltd, the firm which carried out the recent restoration of St Mary’s church spire and medieval ruins at Birkenhead Priory.

A Royal Institute of British Architects chartered member and Conservation Registrant, Alf has over thirty years’ experience in conservation and regeneration. He is the project architect for the ongoing works at Birkenhead Priory, the oldest standing building in Merseyside. The site is a scheduled Ancient Monument which contains remnants of the priory dating back to 1150. The site also contains the remains of an early nineteenth century Thomas Rickman Cast Iron Church (St Mary’s, built in 1821). The site, owned by Wirral Borough Council, has been on the Heritage at Risk register and many of the buildings were in need of urgent repair.

Rather than concentrating on the detailed history of the site, Alf will guide us through the meticulous – and fascinating – process which led to the building being restored not only as a past glory, but also as a landmark on Birkenhead’s cultural and touristic map.

Please note that there will be a dedicated website for Birkenhead Priory coming very soon.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://www.williamsonartgallery.org

Wirral Open Studio Tour 2015

Wirral Open Studio Tour

  • 13 — 14 June 2015 10am-5pm

Wirral based professional and semi-professional artists take part in the tour, with many studios and creative spaces opening to the public. The Williamson will be participating with several artists and craftspeople taking up residency within the gallery and working with inspiration from the collections. Exhibitors are George Evans -photgrapher, Janine Pinion - painter, David Jones - model maker and painter, Li Wei Chen - artist and Alison Bailey Smith - craftsperson.
The artists will be working on site in the gallery from the 10th of June.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://www.wirralart.com/

Williamson Art Gallery and Wirral Museums
Slatey Road
Birkenhead, Wirral
Merseyside
CH43 4UE
England

Website

www.williamsonartgallery.org

E-mail

arts@williamsonartgallery.org

Telephone

0151 652 4177

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
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