Exciting developments and opportunities to support us
In 2014, the Lady Lever Art Gallery will mark the centenary of the laying of the foundation stone of the gallery. National Museums Liverpool is keen to mark this important anniversary with an extensive programme of restoration and conservation for the Lady Lever’s south end galleries.
The galleries, covering more than 500sqm, will be brought back to their original architectural design. Environmental conditions will be improved, and more than 1,700 items of fine and decorative art of international quality will be re-displayed, together with new interpretation which will bring the gallery to life for all of our visitors. Better access will enhance the visitor experience and their understanding of these important collections. The project will also enable us to continue to build on our successful education programme.
This project will enable us to deliver an even better and more cohesive visitor and cultural experience for the area: a real gem in Wirral’s heritage offer. The refurbishment of the south end galleries will allow us to display the significant collections in a way that reflects their regional, national and international significance in keeping with Lever’s original aspirations and is attractive to 21st century visitors.
The project will cost £2.8m in total and will take up to 18 months to deliver. We hope to begin works in autumn 2014.
South end galleries
Built by William Hesketh Lever (1851 - 1925) to house the best of his personal collection, the Lady Lever Art Gallery is now regarded as one of the best galleries in Europe.
This project will deliver more than 500sqm of refurbished rooms within the Gallery. The beautiful South end galleries will display 1,700 of the Lady Lever’s most important objects, including the best collection of Wedgwood jasperware in the world, one of the best collections of Chinese porcelain in Europe, outstanding 18th century paintings and furniture, and some of the most significant 19th century sculpture in a British collection.
The project will allow us to create world class displays befitting world renowned collections and create new interpretation that will engage and be enjoyed by UK and overseas visitors with interests in Wedgwood jasperware, Chinese ceramics and sculpture. By doing this we aim to attract a broader audience that would be interested to learn more about the collections and the local heritage.
The 500sqm of refurbished space encompasses the following galleries and public spaces:
- Eighteenth century room - displaying some of the best English 18th century furniture
- Sculpture gallery - located in the south dome
- Wedgwood rooms - includes two interlinked rooms displaying the best collection of Wedgwood jasperware in the world
- Greek vases room - explains the classical inspiration taken up by Josiah Wedgwood
- Napoleon room - one of five ‘period’ rooms featured at the gallery
- Chinese porcelain rooms - three interlinked rooms that display the importance of Chinese ceramics when collected in the 18th century
- South vestibule - we will connect the gallery with the heritage of the Port Sunlight Village through an interpretative display in this area.
- South portico
The successful delivery of the project will also allow us to develop new educational resources for our local schools and community. This will encompass a flexible learning space, which will include a school lunch room, workshop space, and storytelling and activity areas. An improved learning area will also allow us to expand our learning offer, enabling us to more than double our maximum learning capacity creating a permanent learning offer for our visitors.
"This project will transform the gallery and breathe new life into the collections. It will also mean improved accessibility for our visitors and greater educational resources for local schools and the community." - Sandra Penketh, Director of Art Galleries.
We'd be delighted if you could help us. Find out more about how you can support the development of the south end galleries.
This project is supported by:
- The DCMS/Wolfson Museums and Galleries Improvement Fund
- Lord Leverhulme's Charitable Trust
- The Headley Trust