In terms of its architecture William Brown Street is one of the most magnificent streets in Liverpool and one that most Liverpool residents have walked up and down many times. In this article I seek to explain the wonderful and interesting history of this city centre street.The Walker Art GalleryThe Walker Art GalleryThe gallery, the gift to the city its founding benefactor being, Sir Andrew Barclay Walker (1824–1893), a former mayor of Liverpool and wealthy brewer born in Ayrshire who expanded the family business to England and moved to live in Gateacre. It was designed by Cornelius Sherlock and H.H Vale, was opened in 1877 and enlarged by the addition of nine rooms in 1882. A further large extension was made in 1933. The Gallery is in Corinthian style, the portico consisting of a broad flight of steps. On either side are large marble statues of Raphael and Michaelangelo. Thee portico is crowned by a figure representing the Arts. The most important part of the the collection consists of the Roscoe Collection of Italian and other early masters and art unrivalled collection of works by English painters. Among the latter are examples by eighteenth and early nineteenth century masters, such as Reynolds, Gainsborough (“Viscountess Folkestone”), Romney (“Mrs Sargent”), Raeburn (“Ann Stirling” and “A Girl sketching”) Turner (“Rosenau” and the “Wreck Buoy”), Richard Wilson (“Snowdon”) and Thomas Girtin: a good selection of the Liverpool school of painting, including Richard Wright (1733-1775), Richard Caddick (about 1750-1823), and William Huggins (1820-1884), a representation of the Pre-Raphaelite group Rossetti (“Dante’s Dream”), Millais (“Lorenzo and Isabella”) and Holman Hunt (“The Triumph of the Innocents”), and among modern British artists, examples by Orpen, Augustus John, Wilson Steer, W.R Sickert, Harold Gilman and Paul Nash. In 1893, the Liverpool Royal Institution placed its collection on long-term loan to the gallery and in 1948 presented William Roscoe's collection and other works. This occurred during post-war reconstruction when the gallery was closed, re-opening in 1951. During the Second World War the gallery was taken over by the Ministry of Food and the collection was dispersed for safety.Extensions to the gallery were opened in 1884 and 1933 (following a two-year closure) when the gallery re-opened with an exhibition including Picasso and Gauguin. In 2002 the gallery re-opened following a major refurbishment.
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