1946–7

  • Liverpool FC win the first post-War League Championship

1948

  • Edward Chambré-Hardman photographic studio moves to 59 Rodney Street. His studio had previously been established at 51a Bold Street in 1923

1951

  • The Walker Art Gallery re-opens after the War. In 1952 Hugh Scrutton is appointed Director of the Walker Art Gallery. The gallery supports Liverpool artists by regularly purchasing their work for its collection until 1972
  • Gordon Fazakerley enrols at Liverpool College of Art. In 1962 he becomes a founding member of the Bauhaus Situationists in Drakabygget, Sweden

1954

  • Jacob Epstein’s Resurgent is unveiled at Lewis’s department, Lime Street. The sculpture of a naked youth with arms flung out triumphantly on a ship’s prow is intended to symbolize Liverpool’s rising from the flames of World War Two

1956

  • Adrian Henri moves to Liverpool after studying art at King’s College, Newcastle, where he was taught by Richard Hamilton
  • Stuart Sutcliffe enrols at Liverpool College of Art

1957

  • 6 July – John Lennon and Paul McCartney meet at the annual Garden Fete, St Peter’s Church, Woolton, where Lennon’s skiffle group The Quarrymen were performing
  • John Lennon enrols at Liverpool College of Art. Liverpool-born sculptor and future Royal Academician Michael Kenny enrols in the same year
  • John Moores biannual painting prize and exhibition launched at the Walker Art Gallery. The first prizewinner is Jack Smith’s Creation and Crucifixion, 1955-56
  • Arthur Ballard, artist and Lecturer at Liverpool College of Art, awarded a grant to study in Paris, where he exhibits the following year
  • Alan Sytner opens The Cavern in the basement of 10 Mathew Street. Inspired by the ‘caveau’ bars on Paris’s Left Bank, the venue becomes synonymous with the emergence of Merseybeat

1958

  • Le Corbusier exhibition at the Walker Art Gallery

1959

  • Lawrence Alloway and Herbert Read organise a solo Gordon Fazakerley exhibition, which is staged in the library of London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts
  • Denis Mitchell of the BBC Northern Film Unit makes Morning in the Streets, a study of life in Liverpool’s slums

1960

  • The Beatles leave for Hamburg
  • Irish artist Sam Walsh moves to Liverpool from London, where he had been studying at the Royal College of Art
  • George Mayer-Marton, former head of Liverpool College of Art, dies in Liverpool. A memorial exhibition is held at the Walker Art Gallery
  • Poets Johnny Byrne and Spike Hawkins set up jazz and poetry nights at Streate’s Coffee Bar, 51 Mount Pleasant. It was here that Adrian Henri meets Roger McGough. Brian Patten gives his first poetry reading at the venue the following year

1961

  • John Edkins and Neville Weston become Lecturers at Liverpool College of Art. Pop artist Weston had previously studied at the Slade School of Fine Art and the Courtauld Institute of Art
  • The Beatles second trip to Hamburg. Stuart Sutcliffe leaves the band and enrols at the city’s State School of Art, where he studies under Eduardo Paolozzi
  • Merseybeat, a fortnightly newspaper dedicated to the Liverpool music scene, launched by Bill Harry
  • Bluecoat Arts Forum formed by cultural societies within Bluecoat Chambers ‘to develop the building as a live arts centre’

1962

  • Keith Arnatt becomes a Lecturer at Liverpool College of Art
  • Brian Patten produces the first issue of Underdog, an underground poetry magazine. It ceases publication in 1966
  • Adrian Henri becomes aware of the activities of pioneering American Happening artist Allan Kaprow. That August, as part of the Merseyside Arts Festival, he helps organise City, the first Happening in England, at Hope Hall (now the Everyman Theatre). Other Happenings staged through the 1960s include Death of a Bird in the City (Hope Hall, 1962); Nightblues (Hope Hall, 1963); Bomb (Cavern Club, 1964); and Black and White Show (The Cavern, 1965)
  • Henri Cartier-Bresson takes photographs in Liverpool for American TV programme TEMPO
  • Adrian Henri and Sam Walsh joint exhibition at the Portal Gallery, London
  • Stuart Sutcliffe dies of a brain tumour
  • The Beatles’ first UK single Love Me Do is released

1963

  • Formation of WEBA Group of ‘designers and consultants in colour, mural decoration, exhibition design, display and typography’ by Keith Arnatt, Arthur Ballard, John Edkins, and Neville Weston. Between 1963 and 1966 they undertake several commissions for Liverpool-based architects
  • Theatrical satire music group The Scaffold form. Their original line-up is John Gorman, Mike McGear (a pseudonym for Mike McCartney, brother of Paul), Roger McGough, and Adrian Henri, who leaves shortly after joining the group
  • Sam Walsh’s Pin up 1963 – for Francis Bacon, 1963, is included in the John Moores exhibition and purchased by the Walker Art Gallery
  • Pop Art exhibition at Midland Group, Nottingham, includes work by Adrian Henri, Sam Walsh, as well as by Pauline Boty, Peter Blake and David Hockney

1964

  • Max Scheler and Astrid Kirchherr travel to Liverpool from Hamburg for a photographic feature on Merseybeat for Stern magazine
  • Adrian Henri paints The Entry of Christ into Liverpool (Homage to James Ensor), 19624, and in the same year becomes a Lecturer at Liverpool College of Art
  • Everyman Theatre is established in Hope Hall, Hope Street. It quickly builds a reputation for groundbreaking theatrical work, becoming an important venue for a number of Liverpool writers and performers Maurice Cockrill moves to Liverpool, he becomes a Lecturer at Liverpool College of Art in 1967
  • The Beatles’ first US tour opens the door to the ‘British Invasion’. On 9 February 1964 around 73 million watch them perform on The Ed Sullivan Show
  • Stuart Sutcliffe retrospective at the Walker Art Gallery
  • Northern premiere of Beatles’ film A Hard Day’s Night at the Liverpool Odeon, around 50,000 people crowd outside the Town Hall for a glimpse of the band
  • Black Mountain College poet Robert Creeley gives readings at The University of Liverpool poetry society, and at Sampson & Barlow’s

1965

  • Beat in Liverpool, photographic book of Liverpool music scene, by Juergen Seuss, Gerold Dommermuth, and Hans Maier is published in Germany
  • John Baum becomes Senior Lecturer on the Art Foundation course at Liverpool College of Art and holds his first exhibition in the city
  • Allen Ginsberg visits Liverpool in May and describes the city as ‘the centre of the consciousness of the human universe.’ Whilst in Liverpool he meets poets and artists, and gives a reading at Parry’s Bookshop, Hardman Street

1966

  • German artists Bernd and Hilla Becher awarded British Council grant to photograph the industrial regions of England and South Wales. They visit
    Liverpool and photograph the Albert Dock
  • Sean Hignett’s Liverpool-based novel A Picture to Hang on the Wall is published by Michael Joseph, London
  • John Edkins, artist and Lecturer at Liverpool College of Art, dies at 35 of a heart attack
  • John Lennon meets Yoko Ono at Indica Gallery, London

1967

  • Penguin publishes The Mersey Sound, anthology of poems by Adrian Henri, Roger McGough and Brian Patten
  • Brian Patten’s first volume of poetry Little Johnny’s Confession is published by Allen & Unwin, London
  • Frinck, A Day in the Life Of and Summer with Monica, Roger McGough’s first novella and volume of poetry is published by Michael Joseph, London
  • John Willett’s Art in a City is published by Methuen & Co Ltd, London. Commissioned by the Bluecoat Society of Arts, this study of Liverpool’s cultural scene proposes a blueprint for how its arts might be developed in future
  • Edward Lucie-Smith’s The Liverpool Scene published by Rapp & Carroll, London. The book documents the city’s poetry and live music scene
  • Mark Boyle and Joan Hills exhibition at the Bluecoat Society of Arts. They perform Son et Lumière for Earth, Air, Fire and Water, and premiere Son et Lumière for Bodily Fluids and Functions over the first two evenings of exhibition opening
  • The Liverpool Daily Post runs a weeklong feature about the Liverpool 8 bohemian area in February, which it describes as the ‘Left Bank of the North West’
  • On 17 February The Beatles release double A-sided single Strawberry Fields Forever / Penny Lane. The LP Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band follows in June and becomes the soundtrack to the ‘Summer of Love’
  • On 31 March the Weekend Telegraph Magazine publishes Sean Hignett’s feature about the Liverpool 8 scene
  • Art in a City: The Liverpool Look, the exhibition to accompany John Willett’s book, is staged at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London Exhibition in honour of Liverpool-based artist John Edkins is held at the Walker Art Gallery
  • Yoko Ono performs Concert of Music for the Mind and premieres The Fog Machine at the Bluecoat Society of Arts
  • Poetry/Rock group The Liverpool Scene formed by Adrian Henri, Andy Roberts, Mike Evans, Percy Jones, Brian Dodson and Mike Hart. Their debut LP Amazing Adventures of… is produced by John Peel and released on RCA Records the following year. In 1969 the band tour to America and play the Isle of Wight Festival. They break-up in 1970, shortly before the release of their final LP Heirloon

1968

  • Adrian Henri’s first book of poetry Tonight at Noon is published by Rapp & Whiting, London. Its title is taken from a Charlie Mingus LP. In the same year he has a solo exhibition at Institute of Contemporary Arts, London
  • German photographer Candida Höfer accompanies a friend to Liverpool who was interested in finding out more about the city’s poetry scene. Whilst in
    Liverpool she takes her earliest exhibited photographs
  • Great Georges Community Cultural Project is founded by Bill and Wendy Harpe. Known as The Blackie due to the sooty exterior of the former church they inhabit, it pioneers the use of avant-garde arts practice in education and community work
  • Dada 19161966: Documents of the International Dada Movement exhibition is held at the Walker Art Gallery

1969

  • John Latham exhibition at the Bluecoat Gallery opens in January. The following month Latham collaborates with Eventstructure Research Group (ERG)
    for a performance at The Blackie

1970

  • George Melly’s Revolt into Style: The Pop Arts in Britain is published by Penguin

1971

  • Probe Records opens on Clarence Street. The shop relocates to Whitechapel and later Button Street. It becomes a focal point for the local music scene with many staff members later becoming members of prominent Liverpool bands. The shop later moves to its present home on Slater Street
  • Timothy Stevens appointed Director of the Walker Art Gallery. Its role changes to showcase the best contemporary art in the widest sense with no discrimination in favour of local artists
  • The Walker Art Gallery stages New Italian Art 195371, the first in a series of Peter Moores Liverpool Project exhibitions

1972

  • Adrian Henri’s Painting 1, 1972, wins Second Prize in the John Moores exhibition. In the same year he becomes president of the Liverpool Academy of
    Arts, a position he holds until 1981
  • Cult Californian rock musician Captain Beefheart visits Liverpool to perform at the Liverpool Stadium, finding time to have the first public exhibition of his abstract paintings at Bluecoat Gallery

1973

  • An exhibition of Liverpool Academy artists entitled 18 Special Works on Communication is staged at the Walker Art Gallery. Paintings include John Baum’s Five Girls 1973 and Maurice Cockrill’s Two Windows/Two People 1972
  • Filmaktion residency at Walker Art Gallery, 22 to 28 June 1973. The filmmakers involved are David Crosswaite, Mike Dunford, Gill Eatherley, Malcolm
    Le Grice, Annabel Nicolson and William Raban
  • Peter Moores Liverpool Project 2, Magic & Strong Medicine at Walker Art Gallery
  • Edward Lucie-Smith’s article ‘The New British Realists’ is published in the Sunday Times Magazine of 14 October. It focuses on a number of Liverpool photorealist painters, including John Baum and Maurice Cockrill
  • Contemporary Art from Africa at Bluecoat Gallery, includes work by Ronald Moody, Uzo Egonu and Errol Lloyd

1974

  • Maurice Cockrill’s Scillonian Pumps, 1974, wins a prize in the John Moores exhibition. In the same year he exhibits at the Bluecoat Gallery Adrian Henri’s Environments and Happenings is published by Thames & Hudson, London. The book offers a historical overview of the origins of assemblage, environment, and performance art
  • Deaf School formed by students and staff at Liverpool College of Art. An archetypal ‘art school band’, they go on to win the Melody Maker best new band competition, securing a deal with Warner Brothers and releasing three albums

1975

  • Peter Moores Project 3, Body & Soul at the Walker Art Gallery. Exhibited works include Stephen Willat’s A Moment of Action, 1974

1976

  • The Face of Merseyside, exhibition of works by Liverpool Academy artists, held at the Walker Art Gallery
  • Ken Campbell forms the Science Fiction Theatre of Liverpool to stage his play Illuminatus! at the Liverpool School of Language, Music, Dream and Pun, 18 Mathew Street
  • Roger Eagle and Ken Testi establish Eric’s on Mathew Street. A number of eminent Punk and New Wave acts play at the venue, which becomes instrumental in developing the city’s music scene. It closes in 1980

1977

  • Peter Moores Project 4, Real Life exhibition at the Walker Art Gallery. Works include Boyle Family’s Herculaneum Dock Series, 1976, and four paintings by Maurice Cockrill
  • Open Eye Gallery opens in the former public bar of the Grapes Hotel on the corner of Whitechapel and Hood Street. The gallery moves to Bold Street in the early 1990s, before re-launching in November 1996 at its current Wood Street premises

1978

  • Adrian Henri becomes president of Merseyside Arts Association
  • Bill Drummond and David Balfe form Zoo Records, an independent Liverpool-based record label which releases records by Echo and the Bunnymen, The Teardrop Explodes, and others
  • Photographer Tom Wood moves to Wallasey
  • Phil Redmond’s Grange Hill first broadcast on BBC

1979

  • Seven in Two, Maurice Cockrill’s public art commission is installed at Lime Street Station. He has a solo exhibition at the Bluecoat Gallery the following year Peter Moores Project 5, The Craft of Art at the Walker Art Gallery

1980

  • John Lennon murdered in New York
  • Liverpool Artists’ Workshop established. It initiates projects and develops a lecture programme around the idea of art in a social context. Speakers include Terry Atkinson, Pete Dunn and Griselda Pollock

1981

  • On 3 July racial tension and social deprivation erupts into three nights of street rioting centred in the Liverpool 8 area. The event is quickly dubbed the ‘Toxteth Riots’ by the media
  • Art and the Sea, a nationwide collaboration involving coastal venues and artists working around maritime themes is shown in Liverpool at Bluecoat Gallery and other venues
  • The Liverpool Academy of Arts closes

1982

  • Alan Bleasdale’s The Boys from the Blackstuff is broadcast by the BBC
  • Phil Redmond establishes Mersey Television to produce Brookside broadcast for Channel 4. The series runs until 2003. In 1995 he produces Hollyoaks, also for Channel 4
  • Albert Dock acquired by Merseyside Development Corporation
  • Martin Parr moves to Wallasey. The following year he begins to photograph New Brighton – these works become The Last Resort series

1983

  • The film adaptation of Willy Russell’s Educating Rita, starring Julie Walters and Michael Caine, is released
  • Peter Moores Project 7, As of Now staged at the Walker Art Gallery
  • Bridget Riley commissioned to paint a mural at the Royal Liverpool Hospital

1984

  • The International Garden Festival takes place in Otterspool. Occupying 100 hectares, this ‘five month pageant of horticultural excellence and spectacular entertainment’ attracts 3.4 million visitors. The festival includes a major sculpture exhibition curated by Sue Grayson
  • Artists, designers and craftspeople move into a warehouse on Duke Street, converting it into studios and workshops. Gaining charitable status in 1986 as the British Art and Design Association, the group later becomes known as Arena in 1997

1985

  • Joint exhibition of photographs by Martin Parr and Tom Wood at the Open Eye Gallery
  • Black Skin, the first exhibition to reflect the emerging Black art movement in UK, is staged at the Bluecoat Gallery. It features works by Eddie Chambers, Keith Piper, Sonia Boyce and Tam Joseph
  • Letter to Brezhnev, Liverpool-based film, is released

1986

  • Phil Hayes establishes The Picket, a rehearsal space, recording studio, and live music venue on Hardman Street
  • Under the Directorship of Richard Foster, National Museums and Galleries on Merseyside (NMGM) is established following the abolition of Merseyside County Council.
  • In the same year it acquires the Stewart Bale photographic archive
  • Connections, an exhibition exploring the links between Manchester and Liverpool, is staged jointly at Open Eye and Bluecoat Galleries and Cornerhouse in Manchester. The exhibition includes work by Vanley Burke, Peter Clarke, John Davies, John Hyatt, Martin Parr and Jenny Wilson

1987

  • The Granby Street Festival, Liverpool 8, is photographed by Vanley Burke
  • Barbara Kruger We Don’t Need Another Hero billboard appears in Liverpool and on sites across the UK and Ireland. The project is initiated by Artangel and coincides with the broadcast of a Channel 4 television series about 1980s art
  • Start of on-going cultural exchange programme with Liverpool’s sister city of Cologne, coordinated by Merseyside Arts. Bluecoat Gallery continues the exchange with Cologne’s BBK Gallery over next ten years, after which it is superseded by Eight Days A Week

1988

  • Tate Gallery Liverpool opens on 24 May. Its first exhibition is Starlit Waters: British Sculpture, an International Art 1968–1988
  • Merseyside Moviola founded to commission and present work in galleries and other exhibition spaces by international artists working in film, video and new media
  • Photographer Edward Chambré-Hardman dies
  • Art transport company MOMART begin supporting an artist-in-residence programme at Tate Liverpool. Residency artists include Marion Coutts, Neville Gabie, Gary Perkins, James Rielly, Laura Godfrey Isaacs, Emma Rushton, Maud Sulter and Paul Rooney. The scheme runs until 2002

1989

  • Bluecoat Arts Centre and ARK Records present Pop Mechanica: Perestroika in the Avant-Garde, bringing Soviet musicians and artists to Liverpool for a
    series of events
  • Sam Walsh dies aged 55, he has a memorial show at the Walker Art Gallery
  • Merseyside Moviola organises the first Video Positive biennial. Works are sited at Bluecoat Arts Centre, Williamson Art Gallery and Tate Gallery Liverpool
  • Jimmy McGovern’s Cracker first broadcast on ITV

1992

  • Tracey Emin organises The Phone Box project, which involves placing artworks in telephone boxes in the red light districts of London and Liverpool
  • James Barton launches the Cream dance music night at Nation nightclub, Wolstenholme Square. One of the first ‘superclubs’, it spawns a record label, a residency in Ibiza and Creamfields, an annual dance music festival
  • The first Visionfest annual visual arts festival takes place
  • Trophies of Empire exhibition at the Bluecoat, includes works by Nina Edge, Sunil Gupta and Keith Piper

1994

  • Arthur Ballard dies

1995

  • Alan Dunn begins the Liverpool Billboard Project

1996

  • Artist group Common Culture form in Liverpool. Its members comprise David Campbell, Mark Durden, Paul Rooney and Anna Vickery
  • Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA) is founded

1997

  • Mixing It, a season of live art performances commissioned by the Bluecoat Gallery includes the premiere of Jeremy Deller’s Acid Brass, 1997, which is performed by the Williams Fairey Brass Band at LIPA

1998

  • Continuing a family tradition of arts patronage, James Moores establishes the A Foundation to support the development and exhibition of contemporary art in Liverpool
  • Static, an arts organisation offering working and exhibition space to Liverpool-based artists and architects is established
  • Michael Wilford completes the second phase of Tate Liverpool’s development. The scheme creates new galleries, more space for education activities and improved visitor facilities. The building reopens with Artranspennine98, a festival of international contemporary art staged at venues across the North of England. One of the commissions is Taro Chiezo’s Superlambanana, 1998, which becomes an iconic piece of public sculpture in Liverpool
  • Tom Wood’s All Zones Off Peak is exhibited at the Open Eye Gallery and Bluecoat Gallery

1999

  • The first Liverpool Biennial is presented at arts venues across Liverpool. Its international exhibition, Trace, curated by Tony Bond, includes Liverpool artists Susan Fitch and Amanda Ralph. The Biennial also opens up opportunities for grass-roots and artist-led initiatives through Tracey, the independent strand of the festival
  • Adrian Henri retrospective at the Walker Art Gallery
  • Black Diamond arts magazine is established by Liverpool artist Duncan Hamilton

2000

  • Adrian Henri dies

2002

  • Second Liverpool Biennial staged

2003

  • Foundation for Art and Creative Technology (FACT) established in a building on Wood Street having operated out of the Bluecoat since the mid-1980s as Merseyside Moviola, having changed its name in 1997. Dedicated to commissioning and developing the work of artists working in film, video and emerging media, this is the first purpose-built arts centre in Liverpool since the Philharmonic Hall opened in 1939
  • Campaigning under the slogan ‘The World in One City’, Liverpool is awarded 2008 European Capital of Culture status
  • Tatler magazine describes Liverpool as ‘Livercool… the jewel of the north… the place where tradition meets cutting edge’
  • George Wallace Jardine, the Liverpool surrealist, dies aged 82

2004

  • UNESCO inscripts the Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City as a World Heritage Site
  • Liverpool Biennial 2004 takes place

2005

  • Liverpool artist Nicholas Horsfield dies. Horsfield had been a member of the Liverpool Academy of Arts from 1954, and its president from 1960 to 1965
  • Antony Gormley’s Another Place is installed on Crosby Beach

2006

  • A Foundation launches its Greenland Street arts venue in three former industrial buildings
  • Liverpool Biennial 2006 staged