The collection holds an interesting selection of British landscape paintings and watercolours, with works by local artist Philip WiIson Steer. The emphasis of the contemporary collection has similarly been on local artists, including selected commissions and purchases from the Wirral Spring Exhibition and the annual Open Exhibition held at the Gallery.
The decorative arts collection includes highlights of Liverpool Porcelain and Birkenhead’s own contribution to the Arts and Crafts movement, Della Robbia Pottery, alongside textiles from the area displayed in the Arthur H Lee Tapestry Works collection.
Guest editor’s note:
The Williamson was the venue for my first ‘proper’ art exhibition, aged twelve, and more impressionably, my first sale! I remember it being a strange mishmash of porcelain, Victorian painting, watercolours and models of boats.
Alongside this ran an ever-changing collage of temporary exhibitions, work by local schools and colleges, retrospectives of obscure British artistic figures and local artists.
Visiting again recently I was struck by the importance of the gallery’s slow, relentless and unquestioning commitment to showcasing all this cultural production.
Reviewed by: James Island