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High culture and tall chimneysArt institutions and urban society in Lancashire, 1780-1914$
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James Moore

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781784991470

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781784991470.001.0001

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The art of philanthropy? The formation and development of the Walker Art Gallery

The art of philanthropy? The formation and development of the Walker Art Gallery

(p.166) 6 The art of philanthropy? The formation and development of the Walker Art Gallery
High culture and tall chimneys

James Moore

Manchester University Press

The opening of Liverpool’s Walker Art Gallery provided the city with one of the country’s most modern art galleries, complementing the impressive neoclassical architecture that had emerged around the famous St. George’s Hall. Yet a gallery aimed at promoting popular art education was decidedly unpopular with many of Liverpool’s population. The partisan nature of the gift by well-known brewer and Conservative A.B. Walker was flavoured with corruption and revealed the difficulties that municipal art institutions faced when accepting financial support from controversial local donors. It also revealed that although municipalisation promised a more democratic age, financial limitations on local authorities meant that elite influence in the local art world remained strong.

Keywords:   patronage, corruption, political influence, partisanship, Walker, Picton, Liberalism, Conservatism, Liverpool

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