The History of the Liver Sketching Club

The Liver Sketching Club was founded on 11 May 1872 - initially as the Liverpool Amateur Sketching Club. In 1874, its name was changed to its present one as dropping the word 'Amateur' paved the way for professional artists to become members.

The club was founded by Samuel Burkinshaw, the Art Master at Liverpool College  and ten of his students - Joseph Hetherington, Johnathon Viner Garrett Loney, James Towers, Robert L Farmer, George M Richardson, John C Halfpenny, Albert Sutcliffe, J G Owens, John Skirrow and J B Brew.


The meeting at which the club was founded was held in the Committee Room at St Augustine's School in Salisbury Street where members initially met. Since then, it has been based at various locations around Liverpool - The Palatine, Cable Street [1875]; Pool Buildings, South Castle Street [1878]; 22 Williamson Street [1879]; Cuthbert’s Buildings, Clayton Square [1880]; 11 Dale Street [1890]; Bluecoat Chambers [1973]; 36 Seel Street [1993] and, since 2004, in Gostins Building, Hanover Street.  In 2017 we moved to our current studio at Oriel Chambers in Water Street. There we continuie as a city centre art club providing life, portrait drawing and painting classes from a live model.

Dale Street studio, 1895


By 2022 the Liver Sketching Club will have  been continuously active in Liverpool for 150 years and at present is busier than ever with about 90 members attending one or more of around 40 regular meetings each month - almost all of them working from the live model. The club regularly exhibits at various external venues as well as its own studio  holding an Open Night each year in May. It has an extensive library, a significant archive and a collection of work by past members.

If you have any information about the club or its past members, could you please contact David Brown

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