The Art Sheds

Drawing of a row of sheds with building and clock tower behind

after Ernest Coffin
The ‘Art Sheds’, University College, Liverpool early 1900s
Postcard view printed in 1920

Liverpool’s enterprising new School of Architecture and Applied Art opened in 1895 and provided formal architectural training for the first time in Liverpool. That training was linked to the applied arts with classes in modelling, sculpture, drawing, painting, design, woodcarving and ironwork.

McNair’s remit was decorative design, and he proved an inspirational teacher. Macdonald taught embroidery and enamelling.

Surviving accounts record a lively and productive period, punctuated by fancy dress parties, exhibitions, tableaux and pageants.

Largely due to poor leadership, the School was wound up in 1905 and McNair subsequently taught briefly at the Sandon Studios.