top of page



The John Moores Painting Prize was established in 1957 and fully sponsored by Sir John Moores himself.  The prize was originally intended to provide a platform for contemporary British art and to position Liverpool as a rival to London's increasingly dominating art scene. Its first exhibition was held at the Walker Art Gallery, six years after the gallery's reopening after its closure during World War II. Having originally been intended as a one-off event – its success saw it become a biennial. The competition quickly gained recognition as one of the most prestigious and valuable art prizes in the UK, attracting entries from some of the country's most talented painters.


The first prize was awarded in 1957 to Jack Smith for his work "Creation and Crucifixion", and subsequent winners have included David Hockney, Peter Blake, and Richard Hamilton, among others. The John Moores Painting Prize has continued to evolve over the years, with changes to the judging panel, prize money, and eligibility criteria. In 2018, the prize celebrated its 60th anniversary with a special exhibition at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool, which has been the home of the prize since its inception. Today, the John Moores Painting Prize remains a vital part of the UK's contemporary art scene, showcasing the best in contemporary painting and providing a platform for emerging artists to gain recognition and exposure.

bottom of page