History of the Lady Lever Art Gallery

Old photo of a large room in an art gallery with an arched ceiling with skylights and classical style columns

The Main Hall in the 1920s, when the pictures were hung against black painted walls and lit by individual electric lights.

"Art has always been to me a stimulating influence; it has always taught me without upbraiding me; elevated me without humbling me; and appealed to me because of the fact that only the best and truest in art survives... Art can be to everyone an inspiration. It is within the reach of all of us..."

Lever at the opening of the Lady Lever Art Gallery
16 December 1922

Lever the Collector

The Lady Lever Art Gallery was founded by William Hesketh Lever (1851-1925) and is dedicated to the memory of his wife Elizabeth. The gallery contains the best of his personal art collection.

A new permanent display open from 5 July 2008, the Lever the Collector gallery, introduces the man and his collections, telling the story of how he built the gallery. It includes the following themes:

Exterior view of the Lady Lever Art Gallery - a classical-style building in Portland stone with columns and a domed skylight