The Liverpool Academy and Other Exhibitions of Contemporary Art in Liverpool, 1774-1867: A History and Index of Artists and Works Exhibited
Liverpool was the first English provincial city in the eighteenth century to hold art exhibitions. Its mid-nineteenth-century exhibitions were notable for attracting Pre-Raphaelite and foreign artists who both had difficulty in showing their works in London. Their development and eventual collapse reveal the importance of municipal enterprise and official subsidy, of the free market and cash flow, of artistic feuds and the battle of styles in the growth of provincial culture. In 1871 art exhibitions were revived in Liverpool under the control of the City Council, but the new Liverpool Autumn Exhibitions were dominated by the Royal Academy and by the other major London exhibiting societies; they no longer needed to be responsive to the local artistic climate and in fact they were a national and not a local institution. This volume makes available to a wider public a remarkable aspect of Liverpool culture. The index to some fifty exhibition catalogues is complemented by extensive essays by Edward Morris and Emma Roberts and six informative appendices.