A new suite of four rooms at the Lady Lever Art Gallery
provides much-needed activity space for visitors of all ages.
The exciting attraction focuses on the remarkable collections of soap tycoon William Hesketh Lever 1st Viscount Leverhulme, housed in the renowned gallery since1922. The Activity Rooms have four themes "Sustain", "Explore", "Imagine" and "Create" which encourage visitors to try new skills and activities and develop their talents.
"Explore" and "Imagine", which are open to everybody, feature original paintings used by Lord Leverhulme to publicise his products. Arthur John Elselys "Besieged" features a washer woman playfully chasing off three children and a dog with soap suds. Albert Chevallier Taylers "A Dress Rehearsal" shows a bride trying on her wedding dress to admiring glances from family and friends.
There are Chinese ceramics and African and Asian items collected by Lever on his many travels as he developed Lever Brothers as one of the worlds great international companies. Other attractions in these rooms include a throne for storytellers and childrens dressing-up costumes based on the gallerys collections.
"Create" is a flexible workshop area for adults and children. There are facilities for visitors to devise and display their own work. "Sustain" is a flexible lunch space and picnic area for up to 30 children as well as being a meeting room and exhibition area.
Sandra Penketh, head of the Lady Lever Art Gallery, says: These rooms provide an excellent resource including lunchroom and workshop areas, enhancing the visitor experience. They bring a new dimension to our wonderful collections through many enjoyable activities.
Free gallery activities over the summer holidays include animal print workshops linked to the Dürer exhibition, creating insect-inspired board games and Chinese blue and white pot designs, funky Pre-Raphaelite portraits and a Sunlight soap factory role player.