John Willett, Art in a City (1967)


Art in a City was the first sociological study of art in a single city. Its author, John Willett, had been commissioned by the Bluecoat, with funding from the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, to research the history and present state of art in Liverpool, and the future role it might play in the city's regeneration.

Published in 1967, the book was prescient: although its recommendations for a more civic art remained largely on the shelf for decades, by the time Liverpool became European Capital of Culture in 2008, the ambition to be an international visual art city in which art would increasingly becoming part of everyday life, was being realised.