Liverpool's centre for the contemporary arts

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Blue Room at Home

Blue Room at Home

Bluecoat Liverpool: The UK's First Arts Centre part 2

Bluecoat Liverpool: The UK's First Arts Centre part 2

In his second blog on his new book about Bluecoat's history, Bluecoat Artistic Director Bryan Biggs discusses how he and co-writer John Belchem brought together Bluecoat’s fascinating exhibition history and arts centre origins for the book. He also takes a look back at the outpouring of support the book received from artists such as Yoko Ono and Arts Council England's CEO Darren Henley. 

John and I begin the story of the arts centre and the struggle to establish this in the early years of the last century through the efforts of the Sandon and their allies. We examine key developments, the local environment and the central figures involved, such as the redoubtable Fanny Calder who was both the first to identify the old charity school’s potential as an arts venue and led the campaign to save it, securing its future as an arts centre in 1927. The post-war consolidation of the arts in the building is considered in a national context, while the significance of Bluecoat’s arts programmes, as well as some of its resident artists, are discussed. Described as where ‘village hall meets the avant-garde’, this history encompasses an eminent cast of characters such as Picasso, Matisse, Stravinsky, Augustus John, Yoko Ono, Simon Rattle, Captain Beefheart, Sun Ra and several future Turner Prizewinners.

Funding advice for artists

Funding advice for artists

Bluecoat Liverpool: The UK's First Arts Centre part 1

Bluecoat Liverpool: The UK's First Arts Centre part 1

Malcolm Lowry - Sailing into View

Malcolm Lowry - Sailing into View

About the Bluecoat

Bluecoat is Liverpool’s centre for the contemporary arts, the oldest in the UK. Our landmark building, located in the ...

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0151 702 5324 | info@thebluecoat.org.uk

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