Mrs Anne Goodison was a collector of Egyptology at the end of the Victorian period. She amassed approximately a thousand pieces and her collection illustrates every aspect of Egyptology from the everyday life through to items of extreme beauty. She was not an archaeologist or professional Egyptologist, but a very keen collector who bought most of her collection through a gentleman by the name of Reverend Greville Chester. He is an interesting character himself who travelled to Egypt to purchase pieces for Liverpool Museum, The Ashmolean and the British Museum to name but a few. She proudly displayed her collection in a dedicated museum room in her home at Beech Lawn, Waterloo.
She also moved in some wonderful social circles. The Goodison’s owned a holiday home in Coniston and she became good friends with the next-door neighbour, John Ruskin. One of her prize pieces was a 7th century Greek urn that was a birthday gift from him.
The Goodison name will also be familiar to those who follow the football. Anne’s husband George was a civil engineer and one of his commissions was to relay the sewage system in the Everton area. As a thank you, a road was named after him and some years later a football ground was built on it and it took the name, Goodison Park.
When Mrs Goodison died in 1906, George sold the collection, which was eventually presented to Bootle Museum. The objects where meticulously catalogued by Professor Newberry of the University of Liverpool and they finally went on display in 1910. Then in 1974, the museum was closed and the objects where transferred to the Atkinson. It took until 2014 for them to be given their own designated display and today approximately 350 pieces can be seen on display.
These few objects that will be going on display at the Smithy when we re-open give just a tantalising taste of the wonderful collection that Mrs Goodison amassed during her lifetime.