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Last chance to see hit Turner exhibition

Posted on Tuesday 27th May 2014
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Turner exhibition © National Museums Liverpool

Turner exhibition smashes visitor target

The Lady Lever Art Gallery’s stunning exhibition 'Turner: travels, light and landscape', has broken its own visitor target, with almost 10,000 more visitors than expected a week before it closes (1 June).

More than 48,000 people have flocked to catch the exquisite works by one of Britain’s most popular artists. Reaching a daily average of around 500 visitors, the exhibition contributed to the gallery achieving its busiest ever March this year, when it had more than 23,000 people through the door.

This success comes at a significant point for the gallery. Director of Art Galleries, Sandra Penketh explains: “We are thrilled by the success of Turner: travels, light and landscape. This exhibition has been on during an important moment in Lady Lever’s history, as we celebrated the centenary of its foundation stone (25 March) but also look towards an exciting future.

“This month we put our final submission to HLF for a major £2.8m improvement to the South End rooms. The runaway success of this exhibition is a strong recommendation that we’re leading the gallery in the right direction and giving our visitors the experience they want.”

'Turner: travels, light and landscape' comprises some 30 watercolours, paintings and prints, the exhibition is drawn from National Museums Liverpool’s own Turner collection, one of the most outstanding in the country.

Themed chronologically the exhibition explores Turner’s endeavours to challenge the widely-held assumption that landscape was inferior to historical painting. It was in doing this that he produced some of the most thrilling, evocative paintings ever known.

Curator of British Art, Charlotte Keenan said: “Turner strove to invigorate landscape painting with a new sense of relevance and vitality. The works we have on display reveal how Turner used landscapes to depict the changes emerging in British society.”

Heritage Lottery Fund

Following initial support* from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), National Museums Liverpool is hoping to make £2.8m improvements, which will see 500 square metres of gallery space transformed and returned to its original architectural splendour.

The scheme, which promises a revamp of more than a quarter of the venue, would also see more than 1,700 items of fine and decorative art redisplayed and new educational resources developed for local schools and groups.

Sandra Penketh said: “The redevelopment will restore the South End galleries to their former glory and breathe new life into the world-class exhibits.

“As we work on fundraising for the project and developing our plans we are keeping Lord Lever’s original aims for the gallery at the forefront, ensuring the gallery continues to inspire future generations for another 100 years.”

For more information on the project and how you can support it visit our website:
www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/leverplans

Artist biography

Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775 – 1851) is regarded as one of the greatest British artists of all time. He helped transform British art and raise landscape painting from ‘superior wallpaper’ (Carl Gustav Carus) to the defining genre of the period.

His long artistic career began at the Royal Academy Schools, London when he enrolled there in 1789. Throughout his life he was preoccupied with travel, light and landscape. He spent almost every summer touring throughout Europe, and the winter transforming his sketches into masterpieces of colour and light.

Turner lived through a period of great change in Britain and Europe; the French Revolution (1789-1799) and Napoleonic Wars (1799 – 1815), the ascension of Queen Victoria to the British throne in 1837 and the Industrial Revolution of the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

Notes to editors

About the Heritage Lottery Fund

Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) aims to make a lasting difference for heritage, people and communities across the UK and help build a resilient heritage economy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage. HLF has supported almost 35,000 projects with more than £5.5bn across the UK. www.hlf.org.uk.
Laura Bates, HLF press office, 020 7591 6027 lbates@hlf.org.uk

*First-round pass Heritage Grants* applications are assessed in two rounds. A first-round pass is given when HLF has endorsed outline proposals and earmarked funding. A first-round pass may also include an immediate award to fund the development of the project. Detailed proposals are then considered by HLF at second-round and as long as plans have progressed satisfactorily and according to the original proposal, an award for the project is confirmed.

About National Museums Liverpool

National Museums Liverpool comprises eight venues, including some of the most visited museums in England outside of London. Our collections are among the most important and varied in Europe and contain everything from Impressionist paintings and rare beetles to a lifejacket from the Titanic.

We attract more than 3 million visitors every year. Our venues are the Museum of Liverpool, World Museum, the Walker Art Gallery, Merseyside Maritime Museum, International Slavery Museum, Border Force National Museum, Sudley House and the Lady Lever Art Gallery.

The Lady Lever Art Gallery houses one of the UK’s finest collections of fine and decorative art. It has the best collection of Wedgwood jasperware anywhere in the world and its collection of Pre-Raphaelite paintings is internationally renowned.

Lady Lever Art Gallery Port Sunlight Village, Wirral L62 5EQ Admission FREE
Open 10am-5pm every day Information 0151 478 4136
Website www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk

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