Who or what is John Moores?

John Moores (1896 -1993) was the founder of Littlewoods, a Liverpool-based company. A man of fierce local pride and a keen amateur painter he was concerned at London's increasing domination of the national arts scene.  He established the event as a competition open to anyone and sponsored the prizes. Today, the John Moores Liverpool Exhibition Trust works in partnership with National Museums and Galleries on Merseyside (operating as National Museums Liverpool (NML) to present the John Moores Painting Prize at the Walker Art Gallery every two years.

The Prize is an open competition for artists working with paint, which culminates in an exhibition at the Walker Art Gallery. The exhibition is open to all artists 18 years or over, residing or professionally based in the UK. It showcases the best new painting produced in the UK today and attracts a broad spectrum of artists. Named after its founder, the first John Moores exhibition was intended as a one-off, but its great success led to it becoming a biennial event. By the early sixties, the exhibition was regarded as the UK’s leading showcase for avant-garde painting. Many of the prize-winning works were purchased by John Moores and presented to the Walker Art Gallery for its permanent collection. Since John Moores 23, the first prize is no longer a purchase prize, and the work may be purchased by the Walker separately.

Is the John Moores Painting Prize part of the Biennial? 

John Moores 2014 forms a key strand of Liverpool Biennial’s 7th International festival which launches on 5 July 2014. The festival is a collaborative event delivered every two years by the Liverpool Biennial company in partnership with the region’s long-established visual arts organisations. These include National Museums Liverpool, Tate Liverpool, the Bluecoat, Open Eye Gallery, and FACT, as well as a number of smaller galleries and independent venues. You can find more information by visiting the biennial website. 

What is the submission procedure?

There are three stages:

Registration and payment

When registering, the artist will receive an entry number once the payment fee has cleared. Once this is received the artist can submit an image(s) of their work.

Stage one

The jury view and discuss all entries. This process is anonymous: jurors are not given the names of the artists but have access to information such as title, size and medium. As a result of this process, the jury shortlists the paintings that are to progress through to stage two.

Stage two

Shortlisted artists will be asked to transport their shortlisted painting (this must be the same painting as the image submitted) to one of the six depots around the UK. The paintings are then brought to Liverpool for judging. Working together, the jury view and discuss each painting individually and anonymously to select the works for the final exhibition. They also decide the prize-winners.

How do I register?

You can enter online at www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/johnmoores 

or by post to:
John Moores Project Manager,
Walker Art Gallery,
William Brown St ,
L3 8EL 

or by collecting an entry form from the Walker Art Gallery information desk. 

Payment can be made by cheque. Please do not send cash. 

Payment must be received by 25 October 2013.

Where can I view the full conditions of entry?

The full terms and condition of entry can be found on our conditions page here.

How many works may I enter? 

One painting.

How much does it cost to enter?

£30 inclusive of VAT (non-refundable).

When is the registration deadline? 

 25 October 2013 

If I post my image(s) via CD, will I be able to receive them back at the end of the judging? 

 All images submitted are non-returnable.

Do I have to frame my paintings?

 No. You may send in unframed work. 

What if I miss the deadline?

No late submissions will be accepted.

Who can enter?

Anyone over 18 years old on the day of registration.

Do you have an upper age limit to enter?


Can I enter if I am not a trained artist?


Can I enter if I live abroad?

No. You must live or be professionally based (for example by having a studio) in the UK.

Can my work be a collaboration?

Yes, but please note that an artist or collaborative artists may only submit a maximum of one work in total. 

Can I enter diptychs/triptychs as one work?

Yes, but the overall size must not exceed 3m by 3.75m.

How recent does the work need to be?

The painting must be a new or recent work, preferably within the last 12 months.

What is meant by painting?

The painting must be wholly or partly executed in any painted medium and designed to hang on a wall. 

Am I eligible if my work is video based?


What are the prizes? 

First prize of £25,000, four prizes of £2,500 and one Visitors’ Choice prize of £2,014. 

The Visitors' Choice prize is voted for by gallery visitors and awarded towards the end of the exhibition period.

Can I enter using an alternative exhibiting name?

Artists can use a pseudonym or exhibiting name, but must use the same name throughout the registration and competition process. 

What happens if I change my address over the summer?

Please inform the John Moores Office of any updates to your contact details by emailing: jm2014@liverpoolmuseums.org.uk and quoting your artist entry number or by post to: 

John Moores Project Manager, 
Walker Art Gallery,
William Brown St,
L3 8EL

Does my work need to be for sale?


When will I find out if I have been selected for stage two?

All entrants will be contacted by post or email the week beginning 3 February 2014 to let them know whether they have successfully progressed to stage two. Successful entrants will also receive their stage two application pack at this time. As with registration and stage one you can complete this process online or alternatively on a stage two entry form.

What will happen to my work after stage two judging?

If your work is selected for exhibition we will retain it until the exhibition ends. If you have not been successful at stage two your work will be returned to the regional depot it was collected from and you will be expected to collect it within a time frame to be specified.

When is sending in week?

Sending in week for works chosen to be viewed at stage two is the week commencing 3 March 2014. Dates and opening times may vary according to the regional depots. You will be informed of these dates and times in your stage two entry pack.

Where are the six depots?

There are six depots situated around the UK. These will be confirmed in the stage two entry pack and on the John Moores 2014 web page. An alternative depot can be used for the return of works if preferred but this must be clearly stated on the stage two entry form.

If my work is accepted, when is the private view for exhibitors?

Details regarding any event will be printed on your notification letter.

Who are the jury and who selects them?

The jury changes each year. The jurors are appointed by the John Moores Liverpool Exhibition Trust and National Museums Liverpool. In the past have included artists, writers, critics and leaders from the international contemporary art world. This year the jury includes Zeng Fanzhi, Chantal Joffe, Time Marlow and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye. You can find out more about the jury here.

When can I collect my work if it is accepted and hung in the exhibition?

The exhibition closes on 30 November. Your work will be available collection shortly after that date, depending on which depot you have selected. The John Moores office will notify you of your collection dates.

What will happen to my work if I don’t come to collect it? Will I have to pay a storage charge?

Once the collection period has ended a storage charge will be applied by the depots concerned. It is in your best interests to collect your work within the timeframe specified. 

Will there be an illustrated catalogue for the 2014 exhibition?

Yes. The exhibition will be accompanied by a full colour catalogue featuring images of all the paintings in the exhibition. It will be available from the Walker Art Gallery shop and from the online shop.

Are there any catalogues left from previous John Moores exhibitions? 

Copies of some past John Moores catalogues are available from the online shop.

When will the John Moores exhibition be open 2014 open to the public?

Saturday 5 July - Sunday 30 November 2014.

Is there an admission fee to the exhibition?

No.  Admission to the venue and exhibition is free. 

How do I contact the John Moores office?

Please email: jm2014@liverpoolmuseums.org.uk

or write to:

John Moores Project Manager
Walker Art Gallery,
William Brown Street,
L3 8EL