Tate Liverpool, Albert Dock, Liverpool Waterfront, Liverpool, L3 4BB – Visit Now
From too cool for school kids’ books to sculpture of the city, the Superlambanana, Tate Liverpool knows a thing or two about art and design shopping.
Gallery shops can be patchy. From the brilliant to the mundane, via own-brand stationery and the ubiquitous key ring, many such shops suffer from inconsistency. Too reliant on exhibition spin offs (catalogues, postcards, posters, tea towels) which in turn are only as good as the show they promote, the average shopper can never be too sure that this season’s stock will be as good (or bad) as the last.
Not so Tate Liverpool. Never one to shy away from exhibition merchandise, its shop also maintains a healthy stock of what those in the trade like to call Other Stuff. Good other stuff, too, from limited edition artist-made gubbins (Grayson Perry pendants, Tatty Devine jewellery, Ally Capellino bags) to a clever selection of children’s books. If you happen to have kids and are still at that buy-them-cool-stuff phase (you know, before they throw over the Moomins for Angry Birds: The Star Wars Edit, which is approximately two minutes after they start answering you back), then this is the shop to head for: vintage reprints such as Roy Lichenstein’s ABC rub alongside books illustrated by cult Swedish designer, Tove Jansson, while craft kits, cute tees and melamine cups and plates make fodder for harassed relatives looking for gift ideas.
It features exhibition merchandise, sure, but also what those in the trade like to call Other Stuff
Being part of the global Tate machine must help when it comes to maintaining that aforementioned healthy stock; the Ally Capellino bags are, for example, Tate exclusives, while the range of artist postcards and posters (mostly drawn from the Tate collection) run into the hundreds. There are art books and magazines, some of them hard to find elsewhere in the city – we spotted an edition of street art mag, Very Nearly Almost on our last visit. But there are local goods here, too, such as an illustrated Liverpool alphabet created by artist Andy Tuohy, and the ubiquitous ceramic Superlambanana, a tabletop take on that strange, half lamb, half bright yellow banana sculpture created for a Liverpool art festival in 1998 by Japanese artist, Taro Chiezo. And while it might not have the range of, say, Colours May Vary, or the Northern Quarter cool of Fig & Sparrow, Tate Liverpool’s careful balance of local and international, exhibition-related and seasonal makes it one of our favourite, and most consistent, gallery shops.
Services and FacilitiesCafe, gallery, shop
AccessibilityFull disabled access
Commercial and hire servicesAvailable for private hire