Works on paper

Works on paper

The Walker Art Gallery has an important collection of over 8,000 works on paper. This term encompasses any work of art with paper as the main support. Our collection includes watercolours, drawings, prints and photographs, ranging from the Medieval period to the present day. 

About the collection

The works on paper collection is wide ranging and varied. It includes such items as Italian Renaissance drawings, Pre-Raphaelite sketches and contemporary prints. There is work by artists as significant as Elisabetta Sirani (1638-1665), Guercino (1591-1666), JMW Turner (1775-1851), James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903), Walter Sickert (1860-1942), Helen Chadwick (1953-1996), Paula Rego (born 1935) and Lubaina Himid (born 1954). We continue to make new acquisitions as funding permits.  

The collection shows the full range and richness of works on paper as a genre. There are sketches and studies for finished paintings in the Walker, watercolours of landscapes from all over the world, prints using multiple techniques, and innovative photography from people including Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908-2004) and Linda McCartney (1941-1998). 

We are currently working on a project to digitise all our works on paper for access via National Museums Liverpool’s Online Collections. This will open up the collection for our audiences to explore it more freely, and new groups of works will be added as the project progresses. Currently available to view are most of our watercolours and drawings by British artists.  

For works that are still in copyright, we have sought to identify and contact rights holders so that we can publish images of the artworks online. In some cases, we have not been able to identify the rights holder, despite exhaustive due diligence checks. However, we have decided to reproduce these artworks with an online image. If you are the rights holder of an artwork reproduced here and you have not been consulted, please contact us at