Our Story

The Artists Club was originally formed on 15th September 1877, the inaugural meeting taking place in R.T.Minshull’s studio at 13 Rotunda Buildings, 5 Bold Street in Liverpool.

It was agreed that the club would be called “Artists Club”. Grades and different costs of membership were agreed and James Pelham was voted to the Chair as President.

Premises were subsequently obtained above a china shop at No 28a Bold Street and the club formally opened on 20th October 1877.

The club formed its own small orchestra with vocalists and regularly performed in concerts at the Walker Art Gallery. Musical and “Smokers” evenings became a popular function within the club and this form of entertainment was taken up by other local clubs of the day. In later years the renowned pianists, Joseph Greene and Stephen Wearing, regularly gave recitals at the club.

After 12 years in Bold Street, the club was formally wound up and a new club, with a simplified membership base, was formed at our current address in Eberle Street on 28th November 1889.

Alderman E Samuelson was elected the first President of the new club and his portrait, the first on the stairs together with his bust, still greet you as you enter the club today. The bust of the Alderman was loaned for the opening ceremony but it seems that our distinguished President is loathe to leave the club and has remained in position ever since.

In 1898, the club bought a Bechstein semi-grand piano which is still with us and used frequently at club events throughout the year.
The painting and hanging of the current President’s portrait for display within the club became a tradition that has continued to the present day with in excess of 130 currently hanging on view.

Since the end of WW2 and into the 1960’s, the club has evolved, from these early days of a club exclusively for artists, to one that consists of a wide and interesting membership with a broad social base while still retaining an involvement in Art. The Club undertook a major refurbishment in the mid- 1980’s and which is seen to this present day in its ambience and atmosphere for members and guests.

Activities include sporting topics including a thriving golf section, trips to the races, cricket, Battlefield excursions, wine-tasting ‘experiences’, in addition to occasional organised visits to other clubs with whom we enjoy reciprocal membership.

Many of our members are retired and have a lifetime of experience to contribute to our lunch time gatherings. These informal lunchtime meetings are the mainstay of the club. They provide an opportunity to bring together our diverse base of members to meet and chat over a simple lunch and glass or two of wine in the most elegant of surroundings. Occasionally, we invite guest speakers to join us for lunch and speak to us on their specialist subject. These are always stimulating and sometimes lively affairs.

In addition to regular lunchtime gatherings, the club holds several formal and informal evening dinner events throughout the year. Some of these, for example the annual “Valentines Dinner” and the “Civic Lunch” provides a chance to invite ladies to join us and enjoy the atmosphere of our unique club.

Regular lunchtime Art Exhibitions of local artists’ work are put on throughout the year, which is followed by lunch and is an event to which guests are most welcome to attend. Wine-tasting is normally associated with these occasions.

The club is also available for private events and can cater for personal or corporate functions which, together with our experienced staff and imaginative menus, offer a unique dining experience in an elegant, tasteful, and exclusive venue. A lift is available for those who find the staircase challenging!

A warm welcome is always present.

And for the next hundred years……..!!

More from the Artists Club