Art and culture
Experience the wonders of life and the universe at World Museum, where millions of years of the world’s history are revealed. Find out how humans have shaped the planet we inhabit, from Africa to the Americas, Asia and Europe and how human behaviour is impacting our world today. Immerse yourself in Sarah Howe’s magical poetry about survival and loss in the World Cultures Gallery and learn more about how National Museums Liverpool is reinterpreting collections. Visit the Ancient Egypt gallery, which houses one of the finest ancient Egyptian and Nubian collections in Europe. Go to the farthest reaches of our spectacular world, diving down into underwater life in the newly refurbished Aquarium and blasting you off into the skies in the Space Gallery and Planetarium.
The Walker Art Gallery houses an internationally renowned collection of paintings, sculpture and decorative art. It is one of Europe’s finest galleries, with a collection that ranges from outstanding modern and contemporary works to Medieval and Renaissance masterpieces. Some of the greatest British artists of the last century are represented in the modern and contemporary galleries, from Lucian Freud and David Hockney to Barbara Hepworth and Lubaina Himid, while its Pre-Raphaelite and Impressionist collections are not to be missed. The Gallery’s Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque displays (Rooms 1-4) are currently closed to facilitate a major redevelopment programme. The new galleries will showcase iconic works of art from the collection, as well as introducing some less familiar pieces.
The Liverpool Empire, part of The Ambassador Theatre Group, is the largest two-tiered auditorium in Britain and hosts some of the biggest shows straight off the West End.
Royal Court Liverpool produces eight long running plays every year, mostly comedies and musicals. The shows have a Liverpool theme with largely Liverpool cast and crew. Sets are built in the city, rehearsals take place here and 95% of all money spent by the theatre goes back into the local economy.
The Playhouse Theatre has been designated as a Grade II listed building for both its old 19th century auditorium and 20th century front of house extension. Seating 677 across three levels in a traditional proscenium arch setting, it is a surprisingly intimate theatre. As well as the main stage, the upstairs studio serves as a performance space and rehearsal room.
St George’s Hall is one of the finest examples of a neoclassical building in the world. It can rightly claim to be the emotional heart of the region; it has been the spontaneous gathering place for the people of Liverpool in times of celebration, vigils, and commemorations. Important moments happen here from commemorative city gatherings following the deaths of the Beatles, John Lennon and George Harrison, to historic homecomings for Liverpool FC and Everton FC following Cup Final victories. St George’s Hall also hosted the Peoples’ Opening of Liverpool’s European Capital of Culture celebrations in 2008, when Ringo Starr played from the roof of the building to over 50,000 people. St George’s Hall boasts many firsts: it is the world’s first commercially air-conditioned building and when built, had the largest barrel vaulted ceiling and the largest piped concert organ in the world. Behind the gold leaf and porticoes, the hall has one of the greatest brick arches in the world and also houses a priceless Minton mosaic floor of over 30,000 tiles.
Situated between World Museum and Walker Art Gallery, the Grade II Listed Central Library is a gem of the city. The magnificent old Victorian architecture is juxtaposed with a modern, renovated space. The collection holds tomes dating back 800 years, including some British gems such as handwritten letters by Queen Victoria, Prince Albert, and Florence Nightingale, and a childhood essay by Paul McCartney.