Regularly punching above its weight, Williamson Art Gallery and Museum is a perfectly formed gem of a town museum in Birkenhead.
Within its neo-Grecian interior hides a warren of rooms replete with Birkenhead’s exceedingly collectible Della Robbia ceramics (flowery Arts and Crafts-inspired pieces), ornate Jacobean furniture, ships’ models and a fair amount of Old Masters, including works by Albert Moore and Philip Steer.
The gallery’s collection grew as wealthy Wirralites departed their mortal coil in the early 20th Century. As a result, Birkenhead being populated with merchants, the collection is cosmopolitan and somewhat patchwork. Oriental ceramics, West African woodcarvings, Irish glass, Cretan antiquities all figure in the collections.
An impressive programme of visiting contemporary art and sculpture makes Williamson Art Gallery worth a trip, if you’re in the area (and its regular art fairs are a good place to buy locally made arts and crafts from the vibrant Oxton art scene).
Williamson Art Gallery puts itself squarely at the heart of the community. There are adult art classes (ever fancied life drawing or enamelling?), regular talks on the works within and weekly creative writing classes for children and drop-in workshops for families.
There’s an excellent gift shop for gifts (if you’re lucky you might get your hands on some of the honey made on-site) and lovely, inexpensive cafe. And if you like the look of the gallery you can even get married there…
Williamson Art GalleryWilliamson Art Gallery & Museum