I appear rather proprietorial in this photograph taken in the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool. The woman gazing over my shoulder is Hazel Trudeau, an influential artist, wife and model for her husband the British portraitist Sir John Lavery, whose portraits turned her into a 1920s society celebrity. The man is the Liverpool self-taught lawyer and reluctant banker William Roscoe (1753-1831), who played a part in the emancipation of women. He promoted the publication of his friend Mary Wollstonecraft’s Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792), arguing for co-educational equality with men. Roscoe also campaigned for the political emancipation of Catholics and the abolition of the slave trade, making a crucial speech as MP for Liverpool in 1807. Above all Roscoe is known as the ‘grandfather’ of culture in Liverpool, a pioneer collector of early Renaissance Italian and north European art, who ensured that it was on display to the public in Liverpool from 1817 onwards, almost a decade before the National Gallery was established in London. I see my role in the Walker, which houses some of Roscoe’s collection, as following in his tradition, using my knowledge to inform and enthuse our visitors and make art accessible to a diverse audience.