Project Description

The Last Bohemian: Augustus John exhibition, Lady Lever Art Gallery, Liverpool

  • Date:

    Opening date to be confirmed

    Closes August 30th 2021

  • Lady Lever Art Gallery
    Port Sunlight Village,
    CH62 5EQ

  • Please confirm opening dates and access with venue.

    As soon as government restrictions are lifted, National Museums Liverpool will reopen the doors of the Lady Lever Art Gallery with this brand new exhibition. The Last Bohemian: Augustus John will showcase around 40 works by one of Britain’s most iconic and controversial artists. The exhibition will include 18 loans from across the north west and National Museum Wales and will run until 30 August 2021.

    Augustus John (1878-1961) was Britain’s leading portrait painter at the turn of the 20th century. Often described as a bohemian, he developed a passion for Gypsy lore and language and embraced a Travellers’ lifestyle. He was particularly famous for his technical drawing skill which he developed at London’s Slade School of Art. He formed close friendships with those he loved and admired, and this exhibition is a testament to those relationships.

    John moved to Liverpool in 1901 to teach at the Liverpool School of Architecture and Applied Art, part of today’s University of Liverpool. The exhibition explores his time in the city, which greatly influenced his life and career and is where he made his first etchings.

    Lord Leverhulme’s infamous ‘beheaded’ portrait will claim the spotlight and the exhibition will examine the extraordinary events that provoked Lever to destroy his own portrait. The scandal was leaked to the press, causing outrage and protest.

    As Britain’s leading celebrity painter, John’s portraits were often uncompromising and searching, famously capturing the true character and personality of each sitter. His celebrated portraits of acclaimed poets William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) and Dylan Thomas (1914-1953) will feature in the exhibition. Key moments of John’s life will also be represented, illustrating his artistic achievements and undoubtable contribution to British art.

    Image: Portrait of Augustus John by William Rothenstein, 1899. © National Museums Liverpool

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