Liverpool is well known for its many museums but there’s one that often gets overlooked – Victoria Gallery and Museum.
A short walk from the city’s main train stations, it’s smaller and often much quieter than some of the city’s other galleries and museums and set within a stunning Victorian building which is worth the visit alone.
Most of Liverpool’s museums are part of the same group – National Museums Liverpool – but Victoria Gallery and Museum is part of the University of Liverpool and has a unique history.
Opened in 1892, it was originally the headquarters of University College Liverpool, the forerunner to today’s modern university and its exterior led to the coining of the term ‘red brick university’.
The main entrance is located around the side of the building – walk through the gift shop and up a flight of stairs to find the main galleries. But it’s worth stopping to admire the beautiful entrance hall, now used as a cafe, with its ornate fireplace.
The exhibitions are located over two floors and include both permanent galleries and temporary displays.
The current temporary exhibitions include Beyond Dread and Watchman: The Art of John Higgins, which is a look at the works of the Liverpool-born 2000AD, DC and Marvel artist featuring his original works alongside pieces which inspired him which is a fascinating look at the length and breadth of works that can influence artistic works. This runs until December 2017.
Other exhibitions focus on photography, the history of false teeth and zoology so there’s a huge range of pieces to explore – all set within a building with its own unique history.
Victoria Gallery and Museum, Ashton Street, Liverpool, open Tuesday to Saturday 10am-5pm (most exhibitions free) – vgm.liverpool.ac.uk