Art Galleries in Liverpool

Creative Tourist

Liverpool isn’t short of great galleries, from Tate Liverpool, with its blockbuster programme, to dedicated photography gallery Open Eye. The city comes alive every two years with the festival of contemporary art that is Liverpool Biennial; the festival occupies the Liverpool’s traditional gallery spaces, but also unconventional spots from the derelict ABC Cinema to Toxteth Reservoir. With our guide, however, you’ll find Liverpool an ideal spot for discovering art all year round.

Here are our picks

  • 1. Tate Liverpool

    Tate Liverpool from across the docks
    Image courtesy of Tate Liverpool.

    Albert Dock, Liverpool Waterfront, Liverpool, Merseyside, L3 4BB, L3 4BB - Visit now

    This northern outpost of arguably Britain’s most important arts institution opened at Liverpool’s Albert Dock in 1988. Tate Liverpool is housed inside a Grade I-listed former warehouse, a redbrick beauty designed by Jesse Hartley in 1840 that was once an integral part of Liverpool’s gargantuan port industry. The warehouse was converted into a gallery by architect James Stirling; it now has four floors dedicated to modern and contemporary visual art, with previous blockbuster exhibitions including Jackson Pollock, Francis Bacon and Andy Warhol.

    – Susie Stubbs

  • 2. The Bluecoat

    Image courtesy of The Bluecoat

    Bluecoat Chambers, School Lane, Liverpool, L1 3BX, L1 3BX - Visit now

    The oldest building in the city centre, the Bluecoat was once a school, and is now one of the city’s liveliest arts hubs, an art gallery showing work by major national and international artists that also stages regular performances, readings and more. Clustered around its front courtyard are independent craft and design shops, while at the back you’ll find the highly-rated Bluecoat Display Centre.

    – Susie Stubbs

  • 3. Open Eye Gallery

    Open Eye Gallery. Image by Mark McNulty.

    19 Mann Island, Liverpool Waterfront, Liverpool, Merseyside, L3 1BP, L3 1BP - Visit now

    Open Eye is one of the UK’s best-such galleries, an independent photography space and archive in Liverpool with a 35 year-plus history. As well as a regular programme of changing exhibitions, featuring both national and international photographers, Open Eye also runs courses, workshops and talks for serious photographers.

    – Susie Stubbs

  • 4. FACT

    Image courtesy of Visit Britain

    88 Wood Street, Liverpool, Merseyside, L1 4DQ, L1 4DQ - Visit now

    Since opening in 2003, Liverpool’s FACT (AKA the Foundation for Art and Creative Technology) has supported artists working with new media, commissioned countless (and occasionally seminal) artworks and dedicated itself to digital media. Three arthouse cinemas screen both popular and cult films, two galleries show new work, and other spaces within the building are regularly used for digital and new media events. It also has an excellent ground-floor cafe with a vegan/veggie vibe – operated by the super-cool folk behind nearby Bold Street’s LEAF – and a first-floor bar.

    – Alex Saint

  • 5. Walker Art Gallery

    Image courtesy of Visit Britain

    William Brown Street, Liverpool, Merseyside, L3 8EL, L3 8EL - Visit now

    The Walker Art Gallery is a small but perfectly formed traditional gallery; it houses an impressive collection of paintings, sculpture and decorative art from 13th century to present day. Its excellent Victorian collection (including some Pre-Raphaelite masterpieces) is bolstered by changing temporary exhibitions. Every two years it hosts the John Moores Painting Prize, one of the most prestigious art competitions in the UK – patron Peter Blake claims his win in 1961 remains one of his most proud achievements.

    – Susie Stubbs

Things to do right now

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Cinema 5 March–9 April 2017, from £8.00

Vintage Sundays: Scorsese and De Niro at FACT

Exhibitions 4 February–23 April 2017, FREE

Public View at Bluecoat

Exhibitions 16 September 2016–3 September 2017, FREE

Tracey Emin and William Blake in Focus

Theatre 28 March–1 April 2017, from £10.00

Matthew Bourne’s Early Adventures

Cinema 24–30 March 2017, from £5.00

New Release: Aquarius at HOME