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Lewis’s Fifth Floor: A Department Story

Lewis’s fifth floor: a department story is a photography exhibition running at the National Museum Liverpool until 30th August, 2010.

It is the first solo exhibition by Liverpool photographer Stephen King and it reflects his visits to the ‘lost’ fifth floor of Liverpool’s iconic Lewis’s department store, which has been closed to the public since the early 1980s, when it was turned into a storage floor. King’s photographs record three restaurants and what was at one time the world’s largest hair salon, and the faces of 40 current and ex-employees.

Included in the exhibition are images of the cafeteria which once seated 600 people, with its Grade II listed unique hand-painted ceramic tile work still standing the test of time. Created by Carter’s of Poole, the 65 metre long mural is inspired by a mural at the 1951 Festival of Britain which celebrated the best of British design. The Lewis’s mural features condiments, utensils, vegetables and cutlery.

Other features typical of 1950s style were designed to inject vibrancy into the post-war years that saw Liverpool’s population, along with the rest of the UK, emerging from destruction and deprivation. The fifth floor flaunted bright colours and light.

Read more on the museum website.


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