The Art of philanthropy? The formation and development of the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool

James Moore

Abstract


The development of nineteenth-century municipal art galleries was often closely associated with the activities of private philanthropy. The history of the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, illustrates the problematic nature of philanthropy and the ways in which it could be used to advance personal status and political goals. However it also demonstrates that philanthropy was a skilled art; philanthropy that appeared to be self-seeking could be counter-productive and produce and adverse public reaction. Study of art gallery philanthropy can therefore be useful in exploring both the interdependence of public and private bodies in public cultural provision and the limitations of philanthropy as a strategy for urban governance.


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Copyright (c) 2015 James Moore

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Museum and Society

ISSN 1479-8360