The Atkinson is Southport’s home for music, theatre, art, literature and history. You can find them in the middle of the iconic Lord Street and just 3 minutes’ walk from Southport train station.

During lockdown, they have continued to provide opportunities to engage with arts and culture on our digital platforms. We are looking forward to visiting The Atkinson again soon, but for now, exploring their digital platforms is a great way to view fantastic works of art.

Here are The Atkinson’s top 10 digital activities:

1. Sefton Open – Digital Exhibition
18 April – 4 July 2020
Click here for more info

Unfinished Journey, Amanda Clark-Price, Mixed Media, £300, 60x50cm

View over 200 artworks from local artists in The Atkinson’s annual exhibition, Sefton Open. The exhibition celebrates the creativity and artistic talent across the borough of Sefton and is supported by their longstanding partner, Southport Palette Club, as well as many other local groups. Selected artworks are available to purchase.


2. Sefton Young Artist of the Year – Digital Exhibition
13 May – 4 July 2020
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Persephone Falls, Felix Bode, Acrylic Paint On Canvas

Discover the next generation of artists in The Atkinson’s Sefton Young Artist of The Year competition. With over 120 entries received, the competition showcases the emerging talent in Sefton across a variety of artistic practices. The competition winners were announced on Thursday 28 May and awarded prizes donated by The Arts Society Southport.


3. The Triumph of Art – Digital Exhibition
Digital Exhibition now online
Gallery display: 9 October 2020 – 12 December 2020
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The Triumph of Art, Nicolas Pierre Loir (1624–1679). Atkinson Art Gallery Collection.

View The Atkinson’s upcoming exhibition, The Triumph of Art, as a digital exhibition ahead of the gallery display. This exhibition celebrates the restoration of a painting given to The Atkinson in the late 19th century. In ‘The Triumph of Art’ classical figures representing the visual arts pay homage to Jean Baptiste Colbert, a major patron of the arts and a powerful minister who helped Louis XIV rule over France in the 1600s. The exhibition also features highlights from The Atkinson’s collection, reflecting the art forms portrayed in ‘The Triumph of Art’.


4. Brick Wonders: LEGO Challenge
Lego Challenge now online
Brick Wonders exhibition: 13 July – 26 September 2020
Click here for more info

Brick Wonders, Giza

The Atkinson’s upcoming Brick Wonders exhibition will transport you around the world to wonders old and new, recreated from half a million LEGO® bricks by Warren Elsmore and his team. From the building of the pyramids to the International Space Station, journey through our amazing world, and be inspired to discover and create your own wonders.

In the countdown to the exhibition opening, get creative and take part in The Atkinson’s LEGO Challenge. A new theme is announced each week.


5. Browse The Atkinson’s Fine Art Collection
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Pygmalion and Galatea by Ernest Normand (1857–1923). Atkinson Art Gallery Collection.

The Atkinson’s collections hold over 3,500 artworks and over 25,000 pieces of social history, dating from the 17th to the 21st centuries. They are in the process of digitizing their fine art collection and a selection of artworks can be seen on the Art UK website. You can also purchase selected framed and un-framed print reproductions from their fine art collection via the Art UK Shop. All the money raised from sales supports their ongoing collections care, public engagement programmes and learning.


6. Explore Ancient Egypt
Click here or here for more info

The Atkinson’s Egyptology Gallery presents the Goodison Egyptology Collection. The collection of more than 1,000 artefacts was collected by Mrs Goodison during two trips to Egypt in 1887 and 1897. Little is known of Mrs Goodison, who was born Anne Padley in West Derby, Merseyside, in 1845. Aged 22, she married George Goodison, a civil engineer for the Walton Local Board, who laid a sewerage system in the Everton area. As a gesture of thanks, a road was named after him and – some years later – Everton FC’s stadium on the same road took the name Goodison Park.

The Atkinson’s museum is closed, but you can discover the story of Ancient Egyptian treasures collected by Victorian women in the North West using their online resource, Gold and Grime.


7. Discover the History of The Atkinson
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In 1875, William Atkinson offered Southport Corporation £6,000 to build an art gallery and library for the town.

William Atkinson was a cotton manufacturer from Knaresborough who frequently visited Southport with his sick wife looking for the refreshing sea air. He eventually moved to Southport and generously donated approximately £40,000 to the town during his lifetime and played an active part in its development. The architects Waddington & Son of Burnley designed the Atkinson Art Gallery and Library, which opened in 1878.

Did you know that Julius Caesar, Caratacus, Alfred the Great and Edward the Confessor surround The Atkinson’s clock tower?… Find out more about the history of the Grade II Listed Building online.


8. Fine Art Jigsaws
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An Ancient Melody by William Henry Longmaid (1835–1919). Atkinson Art Gallery Collection.

Piece together jigsaw puzzles from The Atkinson’s fine art collection online. A great way to escae the stresses and strains of the day. If you’re competitive, you can attempt to beat the fastest completion time!

This jigsaw is An Ancient Melody by William Henry Longmaid (1835–1919). Longmaid was an art teacher in Southport in the 19th century. He worked in a typically ‘Aesthetic’ style, demonstrating the art critic Walter Pater’s idea, that ‘art aspires to the condition of music’. In this painting the subject or narrative is played down and more abstract qualities of form and composition take precedence.


9. Digital Library Services
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The Atkinson is home to Southport Library who have a range of digital services available. You can enjoy your favourite e-books, e-audiobooks and digital newspapers with Your Library Sefton on BorrowBox and RBdigital. A brilliant service if you have read everything in your home from cover to cover!


10. Early Bird Tickets
Click here for Cinderella or click here for events

Early bird tickets for The Atkinson’s Christmas pantomime, Cinderella, are available until the end of June 2020. Book now for the best seats and biggest discount! Cinders, her wicked Stepmother, a jealous stepsister or two, the Fairy Godmother, Buttons and Prince Charming will all make an appearance in this magical family pantomime. You can expect to see some famous faces with the full cast announcement made in Summer 2020.

You can also browse The Atkinson’s performing arts highlights from October 2020 onwards online.

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