Bluecoat Society of Arts was founded in 1927 following the efforts of the group of artists and art lovers who had occupied the building since 1907, the Sandon Studios Society, to save the building. This makes Bluecoat the UK's earliest arts centre and its constitution enshrines principles that continue to inform our work today: to maintain the historic building for the enjoyment of the people of Liverpool, and to support within it a community of artists and arts organisations, while presenting public exhibitions and events across the arts spectrum.

This collection provides a glimpse into the arts centre's founding years and includes a selection of material relating to later exhibitions, performances, the building's creative tenants and activities across the subsequent decades. There are many more images and documents to be explored on this website, including publicity material, annual reports and documentation of arts programmes.

Image: Martin Creed, Martincreedworks exhibition, 2000.

1927

Bluecoat Society of Arts minutes book, 1927 - 1929

1929

Bluecoat Society of Arts minutes book, 1929 - 1934

1896

Robert Anning Bell, Fanny Dove Hamel Lister in Fancy Dress, 1896, oil on panel, private collection

1930

Bluecoat Society of Arts Annual Report

1956

W.S.MacCunn

1956

Bluecoat Society of Arts history

1946

Bluecoat Society of Arts Annual Report

1963

Bluecoat 63 festival brochure

1967

Poster for Yoko Ono performance

1967

John Willett, Art in a City

1959

Bluecoat Display Centre

1980

Studio artist Stan Hill

1983

Bluecoat Society of Arts Annual Report

1997

Poster for Linton Kwesi Johnson performance

2000

April - June 2000 Events Brochure

2011

Democratic Promenade exhibition poster

2010

Bed-In at the Bluecoat

1995

Invitation card for opening of Cross Currents: New Art from Senegal

1980

Poster for George Melly talk on René Magritte

1979

Arts Alive feature on Bluecoat

1987

Press for Bluecoat's first exhibition exchange with Cologne

1925

Bluecoat Society of Arts cuttings book

1927

Deed of Constitution of the Bluecoat Society of Arts

1972

Bluecoat Gallery Visitors' Book, 1972-77