Bluecoat's history of hosting LGBTQ performances includes an 'alternative Miss World' event in the 1990s compèred by Lily Savage, part of Merseyside Festival of Comedy, whose office was in the building.
Bluecoat's history of hosting LGBTQ performances includes an 'alternative Miss World' event in the 1990s compèred by Lily Savage, part of Merseyside Festival of Comedy, whose office was in the building.
In 1993, an exhibition by Widnes-born artist Mal Dean brought together many of his 1970s Melody Maker jazz illustrations.
Jarrow's Bede Gallery exhibition, The Gibbeting of William Jobling, toured to Bluecoat in 1975, bringing to life a macabre Geordie story.
On the occasion of the Columbus Quincentenary in 1992, Keith Piper and 15 other artists explored colonial legacies evident in Liverpool, Bristol and Hull in the commission project, Trophies of Empire.
Future Turner Prize winner Martin Creed's 2000 Bluecoat exhibition, Martincreedworks, filled the gallery with hundreds of red balloons.
In May 2002, Turkish artist Sumer Erek presented his life-sized Upside Down House in Bluecoat's front courtyard.
Peter Hagerty's 1984 Bluecoat exhibition of photographs, The State, revealed sartorial innovation at this fashionable Liverpool nightclub in Dale Street.
A Sandon Studios Society exhibition of Modern Art in April 1912 at Bluecoat included works by Augustus John and Liverpool-based Polish émigré, Albert Lipczinsk.
In 1992, a three-part exhibition curated by Bluecoat - titled A Pool of Signs - reflected an engagement with postmodernism, rooted in a distinctly Liverpool context.
Bluecoat alumnus Keith Piper, who first exhibited in Black Skin Bluecoat in 1985, returned in 2017 with the Arts Council Collection commission, Unearthing the Banker's Bones.
Bluecoat's origins as a charity school funded partly from the profits of the Transatlantic slave trade was referenced in Andrew Robarts' 1988 courtyard installation, which included cast-concrete feet shackled to the railings.
The next-of-kin plaque, awarded to families of those who died in the First World War, was designed by Sandon Studios Society artist Edward Carter Preston, who was selected from an international competition. The plaque was included in Bluecoat's tercentenary exhibition, In the Peaceful Dome.
Cigarettes, Flowers and Videotape was US artist Tony Oursler's first solo UK exhibition - a collaboration in 1993 between FACT, Ikon Gallery and Bluecoat - and included his characteristic video projections onto dummies.
In 1990, Bluecoat took part in the International Gay Pride Film Festival as one of several participating venues across the city.
Between 1765 and 1771, pupils at the school were employed by Bluecoat treasurer, Jonathan Blundell, to manufacture stockings, a practice ended following concerns by some funders of the school that the children were being exploited.
Two members of Sandon Studios Society produced a scurrilous satire, A Bushel of Chaff, in 1912, poking fun at Liverpool’s cultural and other institutions. Its caricatures were by theatre designer, George Harris, who had a studio at Bluecoat.
Blue Coat School old boy, Richard Ansdell, became a successful artist and a Royal Academician. His 1861 painting, The Hunted Slaves, now hangs in Liverpool's International Slavery Museum.
Sierra Leonean highlife and 'palm wine' guitarist and singer Sooliman E. Rogie performed in 1988 at Bluecoat in a programme of global beats curated by Jayne Casey.
Bluecoat has organised regular participation events for children since the 1980s, including during the 2017 summer exhibition, Abacus.
on 25 May 1989, UK female rap team The Cookie Crew performed at Bluecoat, in the concert hall, now the upstairs bistro.
When the Bluecoat building was up for sale in 1925/26, the large ground floor room was leased as a car showroom.
Silversmith Stan Hill had a studio at Bluecoat for many years, exhibiting frequently at contemporary craft gallery, the Bluecoat Display Centre. He also documented daily life at the arts centre, photographing many of its tenants, artists and visitors.
In 1994, Olu Oguibe curated an exhibition at Bluecoat, Seen Unseen, questioning definitions of the 'African artist', which included works by Yinka Shonibare and Lubaina Himid.
Bluecoat hosted Egyptian/German artist Susan Hefuna's first solo UK exhibition XCultural Codes in 2004.
US musician Rhys Chatham's 2011 multiple guitar performance at Bluecoat, promoted by Andrew Ellis, was followed the next year by his opening event at Liverpool Cathedral for the Liverpool Biennial.
At Bluecoat, American eco-artists Helen Mayer Harrison and Newton Harrison's 1998 Artranspennine project mapped the North of England in the shape of a green dragon.
Bob and Joan Porter have been Bluecoat tenants for 25 years. Bob is a master silversmith who engraves the Grand National trophy each year.
On 18th April 1997, Matt Wand and Laurence Lane played The Beach Boys' Good Vibrations vinyl single at 1rpm in the Concert Hall for Bluecoat's live art commission series, Mixing It.
On 10 July 1989, The Walking Seeds, described by John Peel as Mersyside’s “barons of noise”, performed at Bluecoat in a multi-media psychedelic extravaganza.
On 15 April 1989, artist Geoff Molyneux created a maze of cardboard boxes in Bluecoat's front courtyard as part of large survey exhibition, New Art Merseyside.
In May 1945, when Bluecoat was Liverpool's main art gallery while the Walker was closed during the War years, an exhibition of contemporary Chinese paintings, arranged by the British Council, was staged.
Life was harsh at Blue Coat School in its early years, but pupils enjoyed holidays across the year, including many Saints' days, a Gunpowder Plot day, and fourteen days at Christmas 'for amusement.'
In 2013, Merseyside-born artist Mark Leckey curated the Hayward National Touring exhibition, The Universal Addressability of Dumb Things, which opened at Bluecoat, where he presented a huge inflatable Felix the Cat in the Vide.
Commissioned by the Liverpool Biennial for the 2006 Shanghai Biennale, Bluecoat curated Walk On, an exhibition by artists from Liverpool that was presented in a shopping mall, Citic Square.
Bob & Roberta Smith created a towering installation resembling a bonfire for the exhibition Niet Normaal ('Not Normal') at Bluecoat in 2012, part of disability arts festival DaDaFest.
In 1981, Bluecoat exhibition, Cover Versions, featured Malcolm Garrett, Peter Saville and others at the forefront of punk/new wave record sleeve design, probably the first exhibition to chart this period of graphic invention.
The after effects of a fire that broke out shortly after Bluecoat reopened in 2008 were captured by photographer John Davies, including the blackened bistro upstairs, a photograph of which was last exhibited in the gallery in the 2017 exhibition, In the Peaceful Dome.
In 1997, Bluecoat marked 50 years since India's independence and the partition of Pakistan with Independent Thoughts, a series of artists' commissions in collaboration with artist Juginder Lamba and galleries in the North and Midlands, which were later documented in a book, Independent Practices
Genesis, Jacob Epstein's controversial sculpture of a naked, pregnant woman, was exhibited at Bluecoat in 1931, generating £1,000 from almost 50,000 visitors, who paid sixpence each to see it. The sculpture returned in 2017 for the exhibition, In the Peaceful Dome.
Black Art: Plotting the Course was one of several exhibitions curated by Eddie Chambers that Bluecoat hosted in the 1980s/90s. A collaboration between Bluecoat, Oldham and Wolverhampton Art Galleries, it featured 27 artists, including Nina Edge, Tam Joseph, Mowbray Odonkor, Mark Sealy, Lesley Sanderson, Eugene Palmer, Erroll Lloyd, Carol Hughes, Alistair Raphael, Shanti Thomas and Said Adrus.
In 1992, Delta Streete's installation, Rough, transformed Bluecoat's gallery space and included a live performance by the artist.
Before World War One, trade union leader Tom Mann visited the Sandon Studios Society dining room at Bluecoat and reputedly stood on a chair to sing socialist anthem, The Red Flag.
Master mariner and Blue Coat School founder Bryan Blundell was also an amateur artist, painting his own ship The Mulberry in 1696, some 20 years before it became the first vessel to sail from the port's Old Dock.
Several Contemporary Art Society exhibitions have been staged at Bluecoat, starting in 1914 when work by Wyndham Lewis, Vanessa Bell and other leading modern British artists was included.
For 2014 DaDaFest/Bluecoat exhibition Art of the Lived Experiment, curated by Aaron Williamson, Tony Heaton's Gold Lamé, a gold-sprayed invalid car was suspended in the tall Vide space.
Amanda Coogan's Beethoven the Headbangers opened the 2002 Liverpool Biennial with furious headbanging to Beethoven in Bluecoat's courtyard.
In September 1972, Dave Pearson built a dramatic installation at Bluecoat inspired by Van Gogh, recreating a larger-than-life 3D room based on one of his paintings.
In June 1996, for the Euro96 group stage matches, Bluecoat hosted Tackle, a football fashion show in the front courtyard, which included striking Liverpool dockers and was devised by Roger Hill and Jayne Casey, Bluecoat's live programmer.
Edmund Clark’s photographs of Guantanamo Bay were included in Confined, a 2011 Bluecoat exhibition themed around imprisonment.
Bluecoat has a relationship with Captain Beefheart stretching back 45 years, when he held his first ever art exhibition at the gallery in 1972.
Bluecoat commissioned the writer and Brecht translator, John Willett, to carry out a study of art in Liverpool. The result, Art in a City, published in 1967, is regarded as the first sociological study of art in a single city.
For the 2004 Liverpool Biennial, Bluecoat showed Malaysian artist Wong Hoy Cheong’s video installation based on the story of cowboy film star Roy Rogers (and his horse Trigger) staying at the Adelphi hotel.
In 1823, there were 320 pupils at Blue Coat School, growing to 350 in 1827 – 250 boys and 100 girls.
Bluecoat was severely damaged during the 1941 May Blitz, when Liverpool suffered some of the worst bombing of World War Two.
In 1991, Bluecoat staged a major two-part exhibition of contemporary Irish art, Parable Island, curated by Brian McAvera.
The original Bluecoat building had 36 alms houses overlooking what is now the garden, which brought in an annual income to the school.
For his 1989 Bluecoat exhibition, George Wyllie presented his Paper Boat project, a comment on the decline of the shipping industry on the Clyde.
In 1999, Bluecoat's Lottery-funded participation outreach programme, Bluecoatconnect, started. From this, the long-running learning disabled project, Blue Room, grew.
In July 1932, Liverpool architect and Sandon Studios Society member, Lionel Budden, who had a studio at Bluecoat, gave a talk on “'What we saw in Russia.'
An exhibition of Post-Impressionism at Bluecoat, including works by Picasso, Matisse, Cézanne, Van Gogh and Gauguin, opened on 12 March, 1911. Liverpool artists from the Sandon Studios Society showed alongside their Continetnal counterparts, whose work had shocked London earlier in an exhibition organised by British artist and writer Roger Fry.
2010 Bluecoat exhibition, Global Studio, showcased Liverpool artists who had forged international networks in Germany, Austria, Pakistan and elsewhere.
Popular Liverpool artists Don McKinlay and Sam Walsh exhibited individually at Bluecoat, as well as together in Going Backwards (1980) and Between Ourselves (1983), much of their work in these shows selling on the private view night.
Australian artist Julie Gough's HOME sweet HOME (Forget Me Not), based on graves of Blue Coat school children in the Anglican Cathedral cemetery, was shown one the main gallery at Bluecoat in the first Liverpool Biennial in 1999.
Simon Rattle frequented Bluecoat in his teens, playing with, and even conducting, Liverpool Mozart Orchestra, whose regular conductor was John Carewe.
The title of the 2017 exhibition, In the Peaceful Dome, comes from William Roscoe's 1777 poem, Mount Pleasant, which describes Bluecoat.
Merseyside Film Institute, Britain’s oldest film society founded in 1934, was based at Bluecoat for over 60 years and at the height of its popularity had 2,000 members.
The first of Bluecoat's Out of the Blue art clubs ran in Norris Green in 2014, with learning disabled Blue Room artists leading activities for children.
Bluecoat's Baby Book Club started in 2014 and has seen many parents, carers and babies discover a love of books.
A postcard from a Bluecoat visitor, dated 1934, recently came to light, describing a “rather small and uninteresting” exhibition at the venue, except for the work of Roderick Bisson, who was a self-taught, Modernist-inclined young artist, with a studio in the building at the time.
The school menu for a typical Wednesday in 1742 consisted of porridge and buttermilk for breakfast, pudding pies for dinner, and bread and buttermilk for supper.
For Gina Czarnecki's 2011 solo Bluecoat exhibition, children were invited to donate milk teeth to an ethereal, transparent sculpture in the gallery.
A substantial solo exhibition at Bluecoat in 1995 by Liverpool-born Chila Burman, 28 Positions in 34 Years, representing her diverse practice interrogating cultural identity and political issues, toured to UK venues.
In the 18th century, the Blue Coat School bought 'junk' from ships, which pupils converted into oakum for resale – literally getting money for old rope.
Liverpool original, Arthur Black, had a studio at Bluecoat and staged extravagant fancy dress parties at the venue in the late 1970s/80s. One, on a Russian Revolution theme, featured an overthrown Czar, soup kitchen, heroic workers' banners, Lenin's tomb, and singing of The Internationale.
'Fifth Beatle' Stuart Sutcliffe's paintings and works on paper were exhibited at Bluecoat in 1990, before travelling to Liverpool's German twin city of Cologne.
When Bluecoat was built three centuries ago, statues representing faith, hope and charity were positioned high up above its entrance. These are depicted in a print from 1718.
Nobel prize winning novelist Doris Lessing visited Bluecoat in October 2001 to read and talk about her work.
In 1996, the fifth annual showcase of local black performance talent - Oral & Black - took place at Bluecoat, featuring Levi Tafari, Asian Voices Asian Lives, Rommi Smith and others.
A 1796 guide to Liverpool, by W. Moss, describes the Blue-Coat Hospital - the charity school - as a place where 'the boys are taught reading, writing and accounts; and those intended for the sea are instructed in navigation.'
Bluecoat is featured in John Brophy's wartime novel, City of Departures (1946), where it is described as Liverpool's 'most graceful building,' reduced to a 'burnt-out skeleton.'
Mexican artist Guillermo Gómez-Peña and his collaborators La Pocha Nostra, together with local performers, presented an electric performance, Ex-Centris, in Bluecoat's concert hall, to launch the 2002 Liverpool Biennial.
On 27 September 1967, Yoko Ono performed at Bluecoat to a packed audience in the Concert Hall, the event captured by Granada TV. She returned to perform at the venue in 2008.
US minimalist composer Steve Reich visited Bluecoat in 1987 to witness his Four Organs being performed as part of a Steve Reich Day in Liverpool.
When Bluecoat was built in the early 18th century, close to the revolutionary 'Old Dock,' Liverpool was a small town of around 8,500 inhabitants..
New Ends, Old Beginnings in 2008 was one of several exhibitions of contemporary art from the Arab World presented by Bluecoat over three decades.
In 1912, Sandon Studios Society's redoubtable Fanny Calder articulated her vision for an arts centre that would attract people "interested in something more than fashion and football and bridge and the share market."
In 1993, future Mercury Prize winner Talvin Singh performed at Bluecoat with Sugar Hill Gang's Skip McDonald and Adrian Sherwood.
Part of 2002 live art programme You Are Here, artists Mad for Real performed a soya sauce and tomato ketchup fight inside a perspex boxing-ring styled box in Bluecoat's front courtyard.
In 1977, Bluecoat ceramicist Julia Carter Preston was commissioned to produce a 50th anniversary plaque in her distinctive s'graffito style for the Bluecoat Society of Arts, and this was displayed, set into an iron gate leading to the garden from College Lane, next to Bluecoat Display Centre.
A Contemporary Music Network commission, bringing together emerging North West poet Lemn Sissay and US jazz legend David Murray's big band, was premiered at Bluecoat in 1989.
In 1967, Bluecoat opened its refurbished gallery. One press verdict was that it was 'probably the best gallery outside London.'
1988 Bluecoat exhibition, Numaish Lalit Kala, featured British Asian artists Chila Burman, Arpana Caur, Jagjit Chuhan, Amal Ghosh, Naiza Malik, Alnoor Mitha, Alastair Raphael and Shaffique Uddin.
In March 1994, Ann Whitehurst's exhibition, On the Map: Placing Disability, responded to access issues at Bluecoat and in urban environments generally.
Roderick Bisson - chronicler of the Sandon Studios Society, who had a studio at Bluecoat for many years - made a painting in 1941 of the wartime destruction in adjoining Church Alley.
Sandon Terrace in Duke Street was home to a group of students who broke away from the 'Art Sheds' at Liverpool University to form an independent art school. In 1907, they moved into the vacant Bluecoat building, becoming the Sandon Studios Society and eventually helping to secure the building as the UK's first arts centre.
Painter Clement McAleer, who had a studio overlooking the Bluecoat garden for many years, was one of the most prolific artists working in the city during the 1980s and 90s and exhibited frequently at the venue.
Bluecoat's first exhibition of modern art opened on 2 May 1908, and featured a painting by French Impressionist, Claude Monet.
In 2011, Mark Anstee installed Removed and Destroyed Without Warning, a 12m long submarine made from wood, paper and wax, in Bluecoat's tall Vide space.
Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation funding enabled Bluecoat to stage three themed arts seasons, including Victorian High Noon in 1959, as well as create a young artists' bursary scheme and commission research into the prospects for visual art in Liverpool, which resulted in John Willett's study, Art in a City, published in 1967.
In February 1997, as part of her Bluecoat exhibition, Hidden Agenda, Nina Saunders clad the building’s windows in white padded leather, creating a ghostly façade.
Bluecoat's weather vane once featured a ship, reflecting the building's close association with maritime trade and the importance of donations by merchants to the charity school's early years.
Charles Reilly, Head of the University of Liverpool's School of Architecture, moved his department to Bluecoat in 1909, where it remained for nine years, the large room upstairs becoming a drawing studio for the students.
Bluecoat is the oldest building in Liverpool's UNESCO World Heritage Site, which was designated 'mercantile maritime city' in 2004.
In the 19th century, Blue Coat School received a donation of raw cotton, equivalent to an amount that later caused a glut on the markets in Manchester.
On 15th March 2008, Bluecoat reopened at the start of Liverpool's year as European Capital of Culture, after a three-year closure for a major capital development, which included an award winning arts wing, designed by Rotterdam architects, Biq.
Tricia Porter's vivid photographs of life in Liverpool 8 were shown at Bluecoat in April 2015, some 40 years after they were taken in this multicultural area of the city.
Liverpool's workhouse was situated close to Blue Coat School in Hanover Street until its relocation to Brownlow Hill in 1771, the result of objections from residents in what was becoming a fashionable part of the town.
On 16 November 1926, Bluecoat received an anonymous donation of £17,000 towards the appeal to keep the building open as a centre for the arts. Later, the donor was revealed as William Ernest Corlett, whose generous gift is acknowledged on a plaque in the garden.
Holly Warburton's installation in the Oratory at Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral was Bluecoat's contribution to nationwide TSWA 3D public art project in 1987.
The history of Bluecoat's building construction, from 1717-2008, can be seen in the exposed brickwork just inside the gallery entrance.
Printmaking at Bluecoat started with acquisition of an Albion etching press, reputedly used by Augustus John, a frequenter of the building who had taught some of the Sandon Studios Society artist who established an arts presence there in the early 1900s.
Conrad Atkinson's 1999 Bluecoat exhibition, Mining Culture, critiqued the use of land mines through disarmingly beautiful ceramics, which were also exhibited in subtle interventions at the Walker Art Gallery in the first Liverpool Biennial.
Vincent Woropay's large-scale welcoming hand sculpture was shown in Bluecoat's courtyard as part of the 1988 exhibition Distant Thunder, alongside work by Andy Goldsworthy.
For Bluecoat's 2011 Democratic Promenade exhibition, Oliver Walker installed thousands of dolls programmed to recite a UK constitution he'd commissioned from law students in China, where the dolls were manufactured.
Bluecoat's 2011 exhibition, Honky Tonk, drew parallels between Texas and Liverpool, focusing on the Scouse love of country music and honky-tonk bars.
Bluecoat has Liverpool's oldest Liver Birds in its front courtyard - one on the front gates, another over the entrance to the building, though this is a later replacement, and two above other doors.
The will of Blue Coat School headmaster William Trenow, dated 27 February 1723, left his best suit to 'Robert, son of Ellen Bibby', the school mistress.
Russia's revolutionary spirit was evoked by contemporary Leningrad artists who took over Bluecoat in 1989, accompanied by a legendary gig by Pop Mechanica (Popular Mechanics) at St George's Hall.
A 1796 guide to Liverpool, by W. Moss, describes girl pupils at the Blue-Coat Hospital - the charity school - being taught reading, writing, spinning, sewing, knitting and housewifery.'
In 2001, MOMART Fellow at Tate Liverpool, Marion Coutts, had an exhibition at Bluecoat, the culmination of her fellowship. Other fellows who also had final shows at the venue included Emma Rushton and Maud Sulter.
During Jonathan Blundell's treasurership of Blue Coat School, £500 was placed at interest on the Weaver Navigation canal in Cheshire in 1761, a sum repaid ten years later.
Following their breakthrough 1967 collection, The Mersey Sound, Liverpool poets Adrian Henri, Roger McGough and Brian Patten performed at Bluecoat on many occasions. Henri was also a regular exhibitor in the gallery. Patten returned to give a reading in Bluecoat's tercentenary year, 2017.
The 1995 exhibition, Science Friction: Art from Cologne, was one of a series of exchanges Bluecoat organised with BBK Gallery in Liverpool's German twin city of Cologne.
In their 1979 installation Phoenix: Women artists at work, Monica Ross, Sue Richardson, Suzy Varty and Kate Walker transformed Bluecoat's gallery space into a working studio for two weeks.
In February 1974, David Saunders, a lecturer at the art school - recently absorbed into Liverpool Polytechnic - exhibited a selection of his ‘serial' paintings at Bluecoat.
In March 1912, the Sandon Studios Society invited Cecil Sharp, founding father of the folk-song revival, to give a lecture at Bluecoat on folk song and dance.
In 2008, Geraldine Pilgrim's Trace performance with Blue Coat School pupils evoked the building's previous life as a charity school.
The name Bluecoat derives from the blue coats worn by pupils at the charity school, which was founded in 1708 and opened the following year in a modest building close to the present site. The colour Blue denotes charity and the first such school was Christ's Hospital in London in 1552, which moved to Horsham Sussex in 1902.
Australian artist Aleks Danko’s 2004 Liverpool Biennial performance, Rolling Home, involved rolling large soft blue houses through the city to the Bluecoat courtyard.
The earliest subscription roll for Bluecoat - 1717 - features many of the tradesmen who worked on the building and donated their fees back to the charity school.
The curved wall in Bluecoat's reception area, The Hub, dates from around 1820. It was the work of corporation engineer John Foster Snr, who also completed Prince's Dock and built the warehouse at King's Dock.
Grace Surman’s solo performance, White, was part of Bluecoat's Liverpool Live programme for the 2004 Biennial.
In March 1998, in Merseyside Dance Initiative's performance at Bluecoat, Growing Older (Dis)gracefully, dancers over 40 challenged perceptions of middle age.
In August 1989, Bluecoat hosted an exhibition of photographs of popular TV drama Brookside, taken by Alex Laing, a young photographer who was tragically killed that year.
Organised by Bluecoat in collaboration with the ICA, London, Graphic Rap, was an exhibition in 1983 of new comics featuring work by, amongst others, New York artist Art Spiegelman, whose influential comic RAW, including the seminal strip Maus, was featured.
Actors from Liverpool Playhouse spotted relaxing at Bluecoat over the years include Brian Rix with Fenella Fielding, Kim Cattrall, and Richard Ellis from the original 1975 TV series, Poldark. Others have visited incognito.
Keith Khan's solo 1988 Bluecoat exhibition, Soucouyan, was accompanied by a live performance in the Concert Hall upstairs, drawing on Trinidadian carnival traditions.
Decorative works by British artist of the Bloomsbury set, Duncan Grant, were brought together in a Bluecoat exhibition in 1980, over 60 years after he first exhibited at the venue.
Football was the focus of Clive Hickinbottom's exhibition of ceramics at Bluecoat in 1980.
Liverpool performance group Visual Stress' Death by Free Enterprise cleansed Bluecoat of its slavery-connected origins the week that Tate of the North (Tate Liverpool) opened in May 1988.
The Augustan Age was a popular Bluecoat arts programme in 1958 themed around the 18th century, when the building was founded.
Print studio Juniper Press has been based at Bluecoat since 2014, keeping alive the process of letterpress through workshops and their own exquisitely produced work.
Bluecoat launched Blue Room on this day in 2008, a weekly arts programme for adults with learning disabilities with 33 members
On 29th March 1997, in an event titled Power to the People, artists Cornford & Cross turned the gallery into a record fair for a day, one of Bluecoat's Mixing It live art commissions themed around art and pop music.
Classical music has a long history at Bluecoat, with many ensembles performing here, from the Liverpool Chamber Music Group to more contemporary approaches from the likes of Immix Ensemble and Ex-Easter Island Head.
Leading moving image promoter FACT (formerly Merseyside Moviola) was based at Bluecoat for nearly 15 years, staging the Video Positive festivals and other exhibitions, including Abstract, Still Life, Moving Image in 1992.
Contemporary dance companies the Cholmondeleys and the Featherstonehaughs collaborated on a performance in Church Street for Bluecoat's Summer in the City '95.
On 12 April 1997, a performance by Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard, Doing it for the Kids, featured a superstar tribute band that included Kylie Minogue, David Bowie, Morrissey and Jarvis Cocker impersonators.
Bluecoat presented Pierre Henry's Liverpool Mass at the Metropolitan Cathedral on 13th May 2017, 50 years after it was commissioned for the cathedral's opening. Bluecoat also promoted the French musique concrète composer in 1968, part of the North West's first electronic concert at Liverpool University.
In March 2011, a Bluecoat-curated project with Chrysalis involved a parade that ended with a spectacular butterfly dance by Liverpool Lantern Company puppeteers at the 'Ralla', a disused railway path running from Halewood to Aintree.
In June 1996, the future Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone MP, led a tour of Peter Kennard’s Bluecoat exhibition Unwords that explored human rights abuse around the world.
The Latin inscription over the entrance to Bluecoat is a reminder of its origins as a charity school over 300 years ago.
On 27 September 1912, the Sandon Studios Society held a reception at Bluecoat for Anna Pavlova, principal artist of the Imperial Russian Ballet. 300 people attended.
Nina Edge's 1994 residency at Liverpool John Moores University's art school culminated in an exhibition Virtual Duality at Bluecoat, part of the venue's long relationship with this interdisciplinary artist.
Bluecoat tenants, Merseyside Moviola's Video Positive festival in 1991 featured leading US video artist Tony Oursler in the gallery, his first UK exhibition.
Adrian Henri's Bluecoat 1987 retrospective exhibition was opened by another Liverpool cultural legend, the singer, writer and entertainer, George Melly, who frequented Bluecoat as a child.
On 18 February 1998, Lebanese artist Walid Sadek opened his exhibition, Karaoke, at Bluecoat at the end of his residency in the art department of Liverpool John Moores University. His work was shown again at Bluecoat in 2017 anniversary show, Public View.
Liverpool artist, poet and performer, Adrian Henri exhibited his art and read poetry many times at Bluecoat. Described as a 'total artist', his first exhibition here was in 1958, and in 2014 Bluecoat's print studio produced an edition featuring a familiar Henri 'Valentine' motif, a pink heart.
Joining Blue Coat School at the age of eight, George Brown broke both legs as an apprentice at the start of his first sea voyage. Years later, in 1809, he was appointed the school treasurer, having become a successful Liverpool merchant who profited from the lucrative Transatlantic slave trade.
The Walker Art Gallery was requisitioned by the Ministry of Food during World War Two and relocated its exhibitions programme to Bluecoat, the venue effectively becoming the city's main art gallery, hosting over 170 exhibitions. Many were originated by Walker staff, with several touring shows from the Contemporary Art Society and the Arts Council.
In 1991, Bluecoat exhibition A Table For Four presented work by four emerging female British Asian artists: Nina Edge, Bhajan Hunjan, Tehmina Shah and Veena Stephenson, part of Bluecoat's contribution to the MILAP festival, which was largely based at the venue.
Bluecoat alumnus David Mabb curated Problems of Everyday Life at the venue in 2000, an exhibition of emerging British artists from Goldsmiths College in London.
Bluecoat’s garden was once the playground for girls at the school. The boys' playground was on School Lane, where the Quaker Meeting House now stands.
In 1978 Liverpool artist Pam Holt curated, The Liverpool Nude, an exhibition of contemporary nudes at Bluecoat. Its poster depicted a detail of Jacob Epstein's sculpture at Lewis’s department store, known locally as 'Dicky Lewis.'
Bluecoat has a thriving community of artists, designers and cultural organisations, but tenants have also included sanitary engineers, the Christian Science Monitor, and car dealers The Voss Motor Car Company.
Bluecoat Society of Arts was established in 1927, its constitution setting out a vision for the UK's first arts centre.
In 1802, pin making - a lucrative business for the Blue Coat School - was ended, having been considered detrimental to the health of the children who had to carry out the work.
In October 1948, British contralto singer Kathleen Ferrier visited Bluecoat. She was one of many cultural celebrities to sign the visitors' book of the Sandon Studios Society's dining room.
In 1913, Sandon Studios Society member, writer and satirist Maud Budden created Curly Wee and Gussy Goose with artist Roland Clibborn, a cartoon strip which ran for many decades in The Echo.
In the early 18th century, Dr Bell's ‘Madras system’ of education was introduced to Blue Coat School, based on the principal of older pupils teaching younger ones.
The Sandon Studios Society's Annual Exhibition of Paintings, Sculpture & Etchings in 1929 included life drawings and a Reclining Woman sculpture in concrete by Henry Moore, and works by other artists at the forefront of modern British art.
Wallasey surrealist, George Jardine, had a studio at Bluecoat, exhibiting several times in the gallery, including 1977 solo show, From Landscape to Fantasy.
While Bluecoat's front façades are little altered since they were built in the early 18th century, much of the rest of the building has changed over three centuries. The low buildings on College Lane overlooking the garden, for instance, are a 19th century addition, the 'back courtyard' originally opening onto the street.
In 1986, Liverpool performance artists Bob Connolly and Phil Hughes presented Executive Golf in Bluecoat's front courtyard. Dressed as city gents, complete with bowler hats and brief cases, they attempted to play golf on the unyielding terrain of the cobbles.
1983 Bluecoat touring exhibition, Past Imperfect, reflected Marc Camille Chaimowicz's diverse practice embracing installation, applied arts, performance and sculpture.
In 2016, Auto Agents opened at Bluecoat, the first exhibition to be curated by people with learning disabilities. It included artists from our Blue Room programme.
Currently home to several Liverpool festivals, Bluecoat has also previously hosted Africa Oyé, Brouhaha and the Liverpool Comedy Festival.
During the 2003 European Year of Disabled People, Bluecoat and DaDaFest collaborated on Senseless: Art/Bodies/Misfits, a touring exhibition from Austria.
Hammertown, a Fruitmarket Gallery touring exhibition of new art from Vancouver, included Geoffrey Farmer's Trailer, a life-sized truck that occupied the whole of the main gallery at Bluecoat in February/March 2003.
In February 1968, Liverpool artist Arthur Dooley displayed his art on the Bluecoat railings at the front of the building, protesting that local artists were being 'priced out' of exhibiting at the gallery. The 'protest' became a regular feature for many years.
Bluecoat’s record fairs - organised by Trevor Hughes - have been a regular feature since the 1970s, offering a range of vinyl and pop ephemera for the discerning collector.
A memorable performance at Bluecoat in 1996 by aerial dance duo, Momentary Fusion, featured them emerging from the building's clock and descending down the building's façade.
Janet Hodgson's ingenious 1999 film installation, History Lesson, imagined a day in the life of the 19th century Blue Coat School. Videos of several sequences were projected back into the places in the gallery where they were filmed.
Whistler's work was shown at Bluecoat for the 2014 Liverpool Biennial and included recreation of his controversial Peacock Room.
In April 1972, a Bluecoat exhibition, A Concept of Multiples, featured affordable art by David Hockney, Claes Oldenberg and others.
English composer, poet and author Sir Arnold Bax performed a concert at Bluecoat on 5th November 1926.
US jazz legend Sun Ra brought his Cosmic Love Arkestra to Bluecoat for a memorable gig in the upstairs concert hall in 1990.
In July 2008, leading deaf and disability arts organisation DaDaFest moved into Bluecoat, becoming part of its creative community and presenting much of its programme at the venue.
Janek Schaefer performed at Bluecoat in 2009 to accompany his gallery exhibition, Sound Art, on a bill that also featured Liverpool-based turntable pioneer, Philip Jeck.
During their 2009 exhibition Variable Capital, artists Common Culture - who were the curators of the exhibition - hired bouncers to police the gallery, as an intervention into the show.
Bluecoat's history is closely linked with Liverpool's 18th century mercantile development, including the growth of the Transatlantic slave trade. The original school building, for instance, received an eighth of the profit from slave ship, St Michael.
In 1994, Wirral-based artists Amrit & Rabindra Kaur Singh, better known as The Singh Twins, presented Miniatures at Bluecoat, the first exhibition of their Indian miniature-influenced contemporary paintings.
Independent curator Eddie Chambers collaborated with Bluecoat many times from 1984 onwards. Let The Canvas Come To Life With Dark Faces in 1990 comprised portraits by contemporary Black artists.
Filippos Tsitsopoulos' organically-masked 2014 performance, Cabinet of Curiosities, made a startling intervention at Bluecoat in May 2017.
In 2002, Bill Drummond brought his How To Be An Artist project to Bluecoat. It consisted of a Richard Long photograph cut into 20,000 pieces, to be individually sold.
Bluecoat's name derives from the uniforms of the pupils attending the school, the colour blue denoting charity.
Cult US rock musician Captain Beefheart’s first ever painting exhibition opened at Bluecoat on 4 April 1972. He described his art technique as “an ass swishing its tail.”
Liverpool-based artist Phil Hughes presented a series of performance interventions around Bluecoat during 1987 gallery exhibition, Home Base.
A 1796 guide to Liverpool, by W. Moss, describes the Blue-Coat Hospital - the charity school - as containing '79 orphan children, 143 fatherless children, and 58 whose parents are in indigent (poor) circumstances.'
Experimental live art group, Forced Entertainment, has visited Bluecoat several times, including in 1991, with their performance Marina and Lee.
John Harrocks presented a Father Willis pipe organ to the Blue Coat in 1821. It accompanied the school to its new home in Wavertree in the early 1900s, where it remains today, in need of restoration.
Children at the Blue Coat School in the 18th century had beer, brewed on the premises, for breakfast.
For the 2009 exhibition End of the Line, Bluecoat collaborated with Hayward Touring and UK galleries to showcase a resurgence in drawing nationally and internationally.
On 13 March 1988, the Manchester-based Those Environmental Artists (TEA) constructed a temporary house in Bluecoat’s courtyard, using sculptural baggage.
Elin Strand's performance installation, Speaking Bernina, involving a huge fabric being stitched together in the concert hall upstairs, was part of the Veil exhibition in 2003, organised by Iniva.
Alongside work by Val Murray, Jo Stockham and Louise Scullion, Sophie Horton's concrete structures in Bluecoat's 1990 exhibition, New Sculpture, offered a feminist critique of brutalist architecture, with its phallic towers.
The ICA, London touring exhibition, Women’s Images of Men, featuring key feminist artworks, came to Bluecoat in March 1981.
In 1997, to mark 30 years since The Beatles' Sgt Pepper LP and its iconic Peter Blake-designed cover, Bluecoat created a new tableau of cut-out heroes in its gallery for an exhibition titled It was thirty years ago today.
Bluecoat opened its second Post-Impressionist exhibition in February 1913. Alongside works by Picasso, Matisse, Cézanne and Van Gogh, British artists exhibited, including members of the Sandon Studios Society, which was based at Bluecoat, and Duncan Grant, whose decorative work was the subject of a historical exhibition in the gallery over 60 years later, in 1980.
Moving into the building in the 1920s, Herbert Tyson Smith was active at Bluecoat for half a century, creating art for churches and public sites in the region. His sculpture studio overlooked the garden.
Reflecting Liverpool's economic decline and betrayal, Nina Edge's 1995 participatory performance, Sold Down the River, processed from Bluecoat to Albert Dock.
Bluecoat founder, Bryan Blundell, notes in his journal in 1744 that children were taken into the school aged eight, and apprenticed at 14: "I give 40 shillings apprentice fee with each."
Bluecoat exhibition Underwater, curated by Angela Kingston, explored artists' responses to the deep, while her 2013 show 3 am: wonder, paranoia and the restless night, entered the nocturnal zone.
Bluecoat was established as a charity school for destitute children, dedicated in 1717 'to the promotion of Christian charity,' as inscribed in Latin on a frieze on the building's front façade.
St George's Day in 1843 is the subject of a popular print that depicts school children marching out through the Bluecoat gates, led by the school band.
Two artworks by Reinhard Henning - a life-sized crucifix festooned with coat hooks and clear perspex hearts filled with live maggots - were included in Bluecoat’s first exchange exhibition with BBK gallery in Liverpool's German twin city of Cologne in 1987, attracting the interest of the local press.
Future Turner Prize winner Jeremy Deller's Bluecoat live art commission, Acid Brass, comprised acid house anthems being played by leading brass band, The Williams Fairey. On 1 March 1997 it was performed at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, MC'd by Tony Wilson.
From 1913, the Women's Citizens Association, the oldest women's organisation in Liverpool, or any other UK city, held its meetings at Bluecoat. Its president was social reformer Eleanor Rathbone.
In 2015, Anne Harild worked with Bluecoat's learning disabled group, Blue Room, on We Approach, a colonnade-like sculpture for the courtyard, inspired by the building.
On 23 February 1934, Sir Edward Elgar died. Dining at Bluecoat that day, Russian composer Igor Stravinsky asked fellow diners to stand and pay tribute to “England’s greatest composer.”
Bed-In at the Bluecoat in 2010 consisted of over 60 daily events staged on a bed in the Hub, in tribute to John Lennon and Yoko Ono's famous peace protest. Performances and actions were presented by a wide range of artists, community groups and activists, selected from an open call.
Black Skin Bluecoat opened on 5 April 1985, the exhibition featuring emerging Black British artists Sonia Boyce, Eddie Chambers, Tom Joseph and Keith Piper.
Palestinian artist Bashir Makhoul first exhibited at Bluecoat in the 1990 group show, Interim Report, followed by a solo show, Al Hejara, three years later.
The annual Liverpool Arab Arts Festival was launched as a collaboration between the Liverpool Yemeni Arabic Club and Bluecoat in 2002.
Following the efforts in 1813 of Blue Coat School treasurer Matthew Gregson, a drawing master was employed to teach at the school, but this was shortly discontinued.
Spanish artist Xavier Ribas' 2015 Bluecoat exhibition, Nitrate, charted the history of nitrate extraction in the Atacama Desert, Chile.
At Bluecoat in April 1986, sculptor Tony Hayward exhibited wall-based works, many of them made from recycled domestic objects.
The Art School became part of Liverpool Polytechnic in the early 1970s, and in July 1975 sculpture students from the fine art department there exhibited in the Bluecoat garden. It was the first of many outdoor art displays in this city centre oasis, while collaborations with the Polytechnic - later becoming Liverpool John Moores University - have continued.
There are some unexpected tenants who have rented space at Bluecoat over the years, including Northern Counties Athletic Association, a house music record shop, and a lingerie outlet.
As the charity school grew in the 19th century, Bluecoat extended into new buildings up School Lane in 1816, with dormitories to accommodate the growing number of pupils.
In 1990, Bluecoat commissioned a new series of Rock Family Trees from Pete Frame, tracing the lineage of Merseyside groups, from the Cavern to Eric's.
In 2009, Reverend Billy and his Gospel Choir of Stop Shopping visited Bluecoat and several Liverpool shops in an attempt to cleanse the city of rampant consumerism.
In the early 20th century, Picasso's work was exhibited twice at Bluecoat, in the 1911 and 1913 Post-Impressionist shows curated by Roger Fry, when Sandon artists showed alongside the Continental artist. His work was also included in shows in 1946, 1948 and 1968.
Bluecoat's Live from the Vinyl Junkyard live art commissions, made in response to the supposed death of vinyl, included Philip Jeck's installation of record players, Jane Sanders' hermaphrodite Elvis, John Campbell & Henry Priestman's tape loop of 'baby' songs, and Kevin O’Neill's sharing of his record collection.
For Bluecoat's tercentenary exhibition, In The Peaceful Dome, Jo Stockham revisited work she'd showed in the venue's 1990 exhibition, New Sculpture, and remaking her iconic Canon piece.
In 2003, artist Claire Weetman presented a performative drawing in Bluecoat's Window Box, a tiny space enclosed on two sides by windows that housed a programme of artists' displays.
Compositions by members of the Sandon Studios Society music group, together with sounds of the Society's social life, were captured on an LP The Sandon Sound, recorded in 1965 by Bluecoat based-architect George Hall.
Liverpool-born actor Derek Nimmo, known for upper class and clerical roles on TV shows like All Gas & Gaiters, wandered inadvertently into Bluecoat while 1992 postcolonial exhibition Trophies of Empire was being installed.
In 1907, independent art school, the Sandon Studios Society, moved in to the empty Bluecoat school building, establishing an arts colony which led to the establishment of the UK's first arts centre in 1927.
In 2017, a conference on acclaimed Wirral-born writer Malcolm Lowry continued Bluecoat's annual Lowry Lounge celebrations of the author of modernist classic Under the Volcano.
Tom Wood's epic photographic odyssey, All Zones Off Peak, created over years travelling on Merseyside buses, was shown at both Bluecoat and Open Eye Gallery in 1998.
After the war, the English Folk Dance and Song Society had a regional office at Bluecoat. Bert Jansch, Martin Carthy & Dave Swarbrick, June Tabor, Martin Simpson and many others from the folk world have performed at the venue.
Bluecoat exhibited rarely-seen posters from behind the Iron Curtain in a 1981 exhibition of Czech posters, curated by Gérard Mermoz.
Prominent actors who have dined in Bluecoat's Sandon Dining Room, which attracted many key cultural figures in over half a century, included Dames Sybil Thorndike and Edith Evans, and Sir Laurence Olivier. Others who also signed the visitors book included John Pertwee, Derek Jacobi and Michael Gough.
In February 1969, Bluecoat showed British avant-garde artist John Latham's work in an exhibition, Review of a Dictionary. His work was also included in Public View, our 2017 exhibition featuring many of Bluecoat's alumni artists.
In August 1999, the first Arabic Weekender at Bluecoat featured musician Adel Salameh. This event led to formation of the Liverpool Arab Arts Festivals, a partnership between Bluecoat and Liverpool Yemeni Arab Club.
In November 1998, Andrea Buckley and Sharon Smith presented dance piece Physically Feminine 2 at Bluecoat. Buckley recently performed in Siobhan Davies Dance's national touring project material/rearranged/to/be in the gallery in 2017.
Bluecoat has appeared fleetingly in the film Violent Playground (1958) and on television in Brookside. Do you know of other appearances?
Bluecoat began its 300th birthday celebration with an exhibition, Public View, of works from over 100 of its 'artistic alumni', artists whose work had been shown at the venue over the previous 50 years.
Bluecoat commission, Twins, by Cologne-based artist Angie Hiesl, involving pairs of identical twins, was staged at the A Foundation (now Camp and Furnace) in 2009.
Recipient of Shape's Adam Reynolds Memorial Bursary for a disabled artist, Sally Booth was resident in a studio at Bluecoat in 2009, later presenting her work in DaDaFest.
Bluecoat's cobbled courtyard is probably original. An early print of the building, however, shows a paved chessboard design that, apparently, was never realised.
In 2013, Bluecoat's learning disabled group, Blue Room, travelled to Ireland to collaborate with theatre group, Doors to Elsewhere, on an immersive dinner party.
The Blue Coat School accounts book for 8th August 1716 includes payments for timber and iron - and beer for the men working on the construction site.
On 7th February 1991, American singer-songwriter, pianist and composer Tori Amos performed at Bluecoat, a year before her breakthrough single Crucify.
Bluecoat's oldest arts tenant, the contemporary craft gallery Bluecoat Display Centre, was established in 1959 in premises overlooking the garden.
Even a decade after building work started, the Blue Coat School was still, according to Herdman's Ancient Liverpool (1725), on the extreme Eastern edge of the town, with 'green fields and pasturage beyond.'
Berlin-based artist Hannah Hurtzig's 2008 Blackmarket performance at Bluecoat invited the audience to interact with experts in an interrogation about 'useful knowledge.'
The Blue Coat School was dependent on subscriptions, donations and legacies from Liverpool's merchant class in the 18th century. Ann Cleveland left eight buildings to the school in March 1730.
A Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, University of East Anglia touring exhibition, Contemporary British Tapestry visited Bluecoat in 1982 with a selection featuring a punk portrait and work by pop artist Eduardo Paolozzi.
Robin Blackledge presented several memorable live art interventions at Bluecoat, including one in 1989 where, painted red, he performed on the roof.
Art in Chaos was a richly layered solo exhibition at Bluecoat in 1990 by John Hyatt, singer of Leeds post-punk favourites, The Three Johns.
Juginder Lamba's 1995 solo exhibition of wood carvings From the Wood, following his residency at Liverpool John Moores University, extended into the Bluecoat garden.
In July 1989, John Willett, author of Art in a City - a Bluecoat-commissioned study of art in Liverpool - gave a talk about German artist John Heartfield during an exhibition of his pioneering photomontages in the gallery.
In 2009, national live art project, Rules & Regs, invited artists to respond to Bluecoat's performance history, and included Grace Surman's evocation of Yoko Ono's 1967 event.
Beck's Futures 2, the ICA touring exhibition showcasing new art in the UK, was shown at Bluecoat in 2001.
In February 1994, Janet Hodgson projected the repeated school punishment lines "I must learn to know my place” onto the front of the building, a reminder of Bluecoat's time as a charity school.
Bluecoat's 1983 touring exhibition, Power Plays, which addressed patriarchy, featured Sue Coe, Jacqueline Morreau and Marisa Rueda. All three had been at Bluecoat in the exhibition Women's Images of Men.
Architectural historian Quentin Hughes compared Bluecoat's artistic endeavours to pioneering German art school, Bauhaus. 1960s press descriptions like 'Merseyside's Little Chelsea' and 'Liverpool's Latin Quarter' are perhaps closer to the truth.
European émigré artist George Mayer-Marton settled in Liverpool after World War Two. He had a studio at Bluecoat, taught at the art school, and was a pioneer of contemporary mosaics.
In 1833, the Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Charles Horsfall, donated £50 to the Blue Coat School, to purchase two globes, the surplus money to be spent on books for the library.
Liverpool's African music festival Africa Oyé originally took place not just in the park, but in Liverpool city centre, including at Bluecoat. Here, in 1996, Tanzanian music/dance group Wagogo performed in the garden and courtyard.
Ghost stories abound in Bluecoat’s history. British TV show, Most Haunted, filmed in the empty building in 2005 during its refurbishment.
For the 1989 Video Positive festival, organised by Merseyside Moviola (later FACT), Mike Stubbs' installation at Bluecoat - Desert Island Dread - comprised TV monitors embedded in a desert island, a stuffed seal balancing a turning globe, a glitter ball and water-filled condoms, a comment on ecological catastrophe.
In 2008, Richard DeDomenici handed out balloons at Bluecoat saying “Bored of Art,” and in the nearby shopping streets of Liverpool One, others bearing the words “Bored of Shopping.”
Bluecoat commissioned Those Environmental Artists (TEA) to respond to Liverpool’s city centre in transition in 1991, their sculptural interventions including one in Chavasse Park.
The Sandon Studios Society Music Group was particularly active in the 1960s, including concerts at Bluecoat of work by Peter Maxwell Davies and Elisabeth Lutyens, whose Music for Wind was premiered by The Sandon Ensemble. In April 1964, in the Metropolitan Cathedral crypt, which had been designed by her father, Sir Edwin Lutyens, the ensemble performed her Encomion, written specially for the occasion.
In June 1988, London-based Nigerian artist Sokari Douglas Camp's solo exhibition Alali opened at Bluecoat, the same week that Tate launched its Northern gallery at Albert Dock.
On 25 July 1800, 107 children ran away from the Blue Coat School. 194 years later, artist Susan Fitch reflected on this with an installation of small paper coats, painted blue, on the courtyard railings.
For 1992 commission project Trophies of Empire, which explored legacies of slavery and imperialism, South Atlantic Souvenirs & Trouble presented a cabinet of merchandise - packaged tea, sugar and cigarettes – highlighting the products of British colonialism.
Artist John Carson visited US towns immortalised in song, bringing his singing performance about them, American Medley, to Bluecoat in 1984.
In March 1972, British sculptor William Turnbull created an installation of geometric tubular metal in Bluecoat's front courtyard as part of the Peter Stuyvesant Foundation's City Sculpture Project, taking place in cities across the UK.
On 27 June 1796, Nicholas Ashton succeeded Blue Coat School founder Bryan Blundell's son, Jonathan Blundell, as school treasurer - the Blundell family had had an almost century-long association with the school.
Wirral-born artist Graham Ashton showed drawings and a large wooden sculpture in his 1980 solo exhibition at Bluecoat, Family Sculpture. He was later commissioned by Liverpool's 1984 International Garden Festival to create an outdoor piece comprising an oval concrete pit, titled Dry Dock.
Many events have been broadcast by the BBC from Bluecoat, including a 1951 concert by trad jazzers, The Merseysippi Jazz Band, and Yoko Ono's performance in 2008, shown outdoors on the Big Screen. In 2017, Elaine Mitchener's Sweet Tooth was recorded for broadcast by Radio Three, and Front Row was presented live from the venue.
In Peter McRae's 1988 Bluecoat live art commission, the artist presented a performance installation, Avenue of Heroes, on St George's Plateau, in which women, clad in white, sitting atop white plinths, held white flags - a comment on the site's exclusively male bronze statues.
Leading architect, Sir Edwin Lutyens visited Bluecoat for lunch in May 1928, one of hundreds of guests to patronise the Sandon Dining Room in this period.
North Face, an exhibition organised by Moviola (who later became FACT) at Bluecoat in 1990, focused on the North's changing urban environment and processes of deindustrialisation and regeneration, and featured video installations by Isabella Emslie, Dick Powell & Mike Stubbs, Ivan Unwin and Sarah Haymes.
Bluecoat's garden was transformed in Summer 1984 by Manchester's SIGMA studios, part of outdoor exhibition series, Sculpture in a Garden.
For 1978 Bluecoat exhibition The Liverpool Nude, curated by Pam Holt, Granada TV presenter Tony Wilson did a report whilst naked - discovering at the end of the shoot that his clothes had vanished.
Young people's art group, Yellow House carried cargo from Albert Dock to Bluecoat in Philip Courtenay's 1992 Lode performance and installation about globalisation. This was revisited as RE:Lode in Bluecoat's tercentenary exhibition In the Peaceful Dome.
A print of the Blue Coat School, dated 1718, by H. Hulsbergh was sold to raise money for the building’s completion. It shows several features since disappeared, or never realised, such as a chequerboard paved courtyard.
For the 2006 Liverpool Biennial, Bluecoat curated Humberto Velez's The Welcoming at Albert Dock, involving migrant communities using song and dance to welcome a new group of refugees.
The foundation stone of the Bluecoat building was laid on 3 May 1716.
The secluded courtyard outside Bluecoat's Sandon Room was reputedly once a swimming pool used by members of the Sandon Studios Society, Bluecoat's founding artistic group. This was commemorated in the 2017 performance installation POOL by Mary Prestidge and Philip Jeck, held in the same courtyard.