Housing an absolute wealth of works, the Walker displays a fraction of its entire collection: paintings by the Dutch School and 18th-century British artists including Gainsborough, Reynolds and George Stubbs. There is also a significant holding of Pre-Raphaelite works including examples from the Liverpool School.
The contemporary collection includes important works by David Hockney and Bridget Riley. A selection of contemporary paintings can be found in the John Moores Gallery. The John Moores Gallery exhibits winning works from the John Moores painting prize. The prize was established in 1957 and has become renowned for its support of contemporary painting.
Since 1980, the Walker has purchased the first prize-winning work for its collection. Works on show in the gallery include paintings by Michael Raedecker and Dan Hays. The craft and design gallery shows an inspiring collection with a particularly extensive group of tea and coffee pots from the 1700s to the present and a small selection of Minton art nouveau ware.
The Walker programmes a series of temporary exhibitions throughout the year in conjunction with the display of its permanent collection.
The grand building of the Walker houses a treasure trove of traditionally decorated rooms, presenting an outstanding collection of historic, modern and contemporary works. The John Moores Gallery shows a selection of painting that charts changes in practice from the 1950s to the present, for example Peter Doig’s Blotter (1993). The comparisons between the historic, modern and contemporary are a visual treat.