Original Artwork at the Racquet Club

The Racquet Club contains an eclectic mix of pictures both old and new but of particular note is a small collection of local artists work from the 1960’s to the present day.

We hold occasional exhibitions in the room we call ‘The Gallery’ and showcase work from a small number of talented local artists who like to paint.

Artists included in the collection:

Sam Walsh who died very young and was an inspirational pop artist tutor at the Liverpool Art School

Adrian Henri was a great friend and supporter of ours when we had Merkmal Gallery, then Ainscough Gallery then Number Seven Café on Falkner Street in Liverpool, next door to his home on Mount Street. His famous meat picture is on loan from a friend and the Nice landscape is a quintessential snapshot of his fun, colourful work.

Don McKinlay, based in East Lancashire but much in evidence in Liverpool and a great friend of Adrians, has had a number of brilliant shows with us and we have a number of works dotted around the building. Not least of which is the large striptease piece in the gents loo.

Martin Greenland has held many shows with us and his beautiful Hesperides and the golden apples picture in the restaurant is one of best works. There are others dotted around the building.

Rodney Dickson had a brief spell in Liverpool before moving to New York and his wacky picture in the bar is a real favourite.

Palazzo Medici Riccardi

Palazzo Medici Riccardi
Considered the prototype of residences for wealthy Florentines, it was built for Cosimo il Vecchio, the grandfather of Lorenzo il Magnifico. Of particular interest is the beautiful "Cavalcade of the Magi", a remarkable fresco painted by Benozzo Gozzoli, and one of the most significant and admired works of Florentine Renaissance painting. Above all, it is noted for the portraits of well-known people of the time.

Sam Walsh Art

Sam Walsh was born in Enniscorthy in Ireland in 1934. He attended Dublin College of Art and in 1955 he moved to London. He spent five years drifting between jobs and playing the guitar professionally. He also produced portraits and murals and exhibited work at the ICA. In 1960 he visited Liverpool and stayed. In 1962, at the opening of their joint exhibition at London's influential Portal Gallery, Walsh and his fellow Liverpool artist Adrian Henri were introduced to Francis Bacon by the musician, painter and raconteur George Melly, who had just bought the first of several paintings by Walsh.

Walsh began a teacher-training course in Liverpool and continued to show his work around England, sharing wall space with the likes of Peter Blake, David Hockney and Patrick Hughes. At this time, Adrian Henri described him as a �portrait painter for money and an abstract painter for love.� In 1963 this painting was selected for the John Moores exhibition at the Walker. It was purchased for the collection and was later joined by 'Three Figures in a Warm Climate' (c1965) and 'Emmett Dalton in Hollywood' (1965).

The artistic influences upon Walsh were diverse and included Cranach, Klee, Bacon and Rembrandt together with Larry Rivers and Theodore Sturgeon. Although producing local and regional scenes, including landscapes, and some interiors, the human face dominated his output, paying homage to the celebrities of the day: Norma Jean Baker (Marilyn Monroe), Samuel Beckett, James Joyce, J Edgar Hoover and Mao Tse Tung.

His portraits, many of them commissions, were, like this portrait of Bacon, distinctive for their up-front, cut-out treatment of the subjects' faces and for their isolation against a sparse, anonymous and ambiguous background. Stylistically, his work of this period is reminiscent of the early work of Hockney and Blake with the brash, large-scale imagery and vivid colours of the pop art movement under the influence of popular culture and commercial advertising, especially photographic ephemera.

During the 1970s, Walsh now an established talent, modified his paint-handling and adopted spray-painting .He made portraits of Simone de Beauvoir, Ivon Hitchens, Roger McGough and Adrian Henri, responses to Old Masters and a series of anthropomorphic wild animal subjects. The final decade of Walsh's life, during which he was less prolific, was still successful.

He had group and two-man shows (although he exhibited less locally) and his portrait of 'Samuel Beckett' was shown at the National Portrait Gallery. He also created one of his most complex works, 'The Dinner Party' (1980), a bold and detailed assembly of sitters from all periods of his life, including his neighbour, solicitor, ex-wife, partner, bank manager, and friends and contemporaries Adrian Henri, Roger McGough and Maurice Cockrill. The composition, a series of heads posed in recessional profile along two sides of a table, was inspired by Millais's 'Isabella' in the collection of the Walker.

Sam Walsh died in Liverpool in 1989 aged 55.