The beautiful and newly renovated Victoria Gallery and Museum was originally commissioned to be the home of Liverpool's first university. Designed by Alfred Waterhouse, the renowned Victorian architect, the distinctive red brick exterior inspired the term ‘red brick’, which became synonymous with late 19th-century civic universities. The building was completed in 1892 with funds donated by the people of Liverpool.
From Byzantine icons and academic portraits to pictures by Liverpool School of Art graduates, the art gallery has a varied collection reflecting the history and identity of the university since its foundation in 1881. The gallery is home to the Charles Sydney Jones collection of early English watercolours, including paintings by Turner and a unique collection of works by the American wildlife artist, John James Audubon. The collection includes an extensive selection of 20th century prints from the post-war period including the artists Gillian Ayres, Peter Blake, Patrick Caulfield, Lynn Chadwick, Patrick Heron, David Hockney, Howard Hodgkin, RB Kitaj and Elizabeth Frink. Freud’s Paddington Interior, Harry Diamond represents the most important British painting of the 20th century in the collection, and is a sister painting to the large-scale, earlier portrait of the same subject in the Walker Art Gallery.