Our venues


Illustrator Sally-Anne Hickman talks Manga

25 July 2017 by Cath Hurley

Manga Girls by Sally-Anne Hickman

Sally-Anne Hickman is an illustrator who began creating comics in 2001.

She will be delivering two Manga workshops for young people aged 13 years + and adults at the Gallery on 6 August and 9 September as part of the Edo Pop: Japanese Prints exhibition.

Read more…

Sankofa news

24 July 2017 by Laura

Women on a stall

The team were at Africa Oye in June, spreading word about the project

Project Curator, Mitty Ramagavigan updates us on the latest news from the Sankofa project: Read more…

The sun always shines at National Museums Liverpool!

24 July 2017 by Megan

Six long weeks to fill and entertain the kids is looming. But National Museums Liverpool has a fun-filled summer of events and activities planned for the whole family so there is no excuse to feel bored!

Read more…

Lessons in Nineteenth-Century Life Sciences

21 July 2017 by Donna

Over the last year I have had the pleasure of working alongside David Gelsthorpe, Curator of Earth Science Collections at Manchester Museum, in developing a new temporary exhibition – Object Lessons.

‘Object Lessons’, at Manchester Museum.

The exhibition at Manchester Museum showcases the wonderful private collection of 19th century natural science teaching objects and illustrations that has been assembled by art collector George Loudon.

All of the items on display were originally created to increase understanding of the natural world through education, demonstration and display. They resulted from collaborations between leading scientists and accomplished craftsmen. Over time many of these items have lost their educational function, but they can now be viewed from a fresh perspective and appreciated for their intrinsic and beguiling beauty.  George has built up his collection with an expert and detailed eye for the aesthetic and creative value of the objects.

The visual appeal and presentation of these objects is underpinned by the design of the exhibition. As natural sciences curators, David and I have also contextualised the displays into seven themes:

  • Teaching Museum
  • Understanding the Body
  • Unique Craftsmanship
  • Looking Inside
  • Recording the Extraordinary
  • Revealing the Microscopic
  • Framing Time

    Blaschka jellyfish glass model from World Museum’s collection.

These themes naturally developed as we discussed the origins of the objects. They were made during an era of rapid scientific discovery which needed to be creatively and visually communicated to large audiences.  Many of the objects embrace a number of the themes.

The exhibition is object rich, with over 200 items on display. George Loudon’s collection is accompanied by pieces from the scientific collections of Manchester Museum and World Museum, Liverpool. It has been a wonderful opportunity to display some of our amazing Brendel plant models and also to show for the first time our beautiful Blaschka glass sea-creatures. Amongst the more unusual items are wax models of scabies infested hands which were originally displayed in the Liverpool School of Hygiene Museum.

Object Lessons runs until 28 August 2017.

For more information on our Brendel models, click here.

Uncover the Secrets of the Underground Railroad – with computers!

20 July 2017 by Sarah

This is a secret symbol or quilt code to communicate ‘safe house’. It will be included in the Underground Railroad computer game. Credit: Belvedere Academy History Club

How do you create a “choose-your-own-adventure” computer game about a hidden history that was conducted in secret, out of sight and under the cover of darkness? This task was explored by five remarkable students from Belvedere Academy as they created a series of scenarios, each with choices and consequences based upon the Underground Railroad, the code name for a network of secret routes, places and people that aided fugitives in the United States escape from Slave States to Free States.

The project will be showcased on the 27th of July and the 23rd of August as part of the Museum’s 10th anniversary programme of free events and talks, including its Slavery Remembrance Day commemorations

In this special guest blog Gemma, one of the student collaborators, shares her experience of the project:

“The project that we are working on is to create a game to show what it was like for enslaved Africans to escape using the Underground Railroad. So far we have come up with different options for the game. In this project we hope to teach people more about the Transatlantic Slave Trade and the lives of escapees. We also want to teach people that we should all be treated equally and that no one is superior to another.

“A lot of people have been involved in the creation of this project: the Belvedere Academy History Club, the International Slavery Museum Education team and the artist Hwa Young Jung of Re-Dock. We all believe that this project is very important and the Transatlantic Slave Trade is an era of history that should not be overlooked or forgotten.

Students of the Belvedere Academy History Club, creating the “choose-your-own-adventure” computer game

“I am very interested in this project as I find history very interesting. I am particularly interested in this project as I think it is a very good way to get the message across. I believe that creating the game will attract a wide range of audiences and spread the word about the severe struggle that many enslaved Africans faced. I have most enjoyed creating my own character for the game. We looked at different resources and studied a few cases which really helped me to fully understand and enabled me to create a realistic character to feature in the learning game.

“To help us with the project, we took a trip to the International Slavery Museum. Once we got there we were taken on a very interesting tour with Yazz from the Education team where we got to see key artefacts that helped us with the game. In the Education centre we learned more about the Underground Railroad, saw more artefacts and then made our own versions of Quilt Codes which will be used in our game”.

Find out more about quilt codes in our Quilt Codes activity session on 22 July at 11am.

On the 27th of July, between 3-4pm on gallery, you can get hands on with objects from the Museum’s Underground Railroad handling collection in our first Underground Railroad handling session , where you will uncover more about how enslaved people escaped to freedom. And on the 23rd August, between 2-4pm on the Quayside Gallery, in our special Underground Railroad handling session for Slavery Remembrance Day, you can experience the computer game for yourself, as well as getting hands on with objects from the Museum’s Underground Railroad handling collection.


Festival of Archaeology

20 July 2017 by Liz

July is always an exciting time of year for the Museum of Liverpool archaeology team. It’s prime digging season, there are always lots of finds to catalogue, and it’s Festival of Archaeology! Read more…

The GBLA reunion at Merseyside Maritime Museum

19 July 2017 by Ben

Attendees at the recent GBLA Suez Canal 50th anniversary reunion event at Merseyside Maritime Museum

Here is a post from Cath Senker, co-organiser of a special reunion event held recently at the Merseyside Maritime Museum:

“In June 1967, at the outbreak of the Six-Day War, 14 merchant ships were passing through the Suez Canal. As hostilities erupted, they were ordered to halt in the Great Bitter Lake. Although the war was brief, after it finished, the Egyptian government refused the ships permission to leave. Those ships remained stranded in the Suez Canal until June 1975.

Four of them were British-flagged, including three from Liverpool shipping lines: MS Melampus and MS Agapenor from Blue Funnel Line, and MS Scottish Star from Blue Star Line. Over the period, 3,000 seafarers served on the trapped ships in the middle of a war zone, maintaining the vessels and protecting their valuable cargos. Although they came from both sides of the Iron Curtain, they formed a close community.  Read more…

Art Nouveau experience: Alphonse Mucha at the Walker

19 July 2017 by Simon Birtall

Reverie (detail), Alphonse Mucha © Mucha Trust 2017

I am in the extremely fortunate position at present of being a tour guide at the Walker Art Gallery’s exhibition of work by Art Nouveau master Alphonse Mucha, ‘In Quest of Beauty’. The exhibition presents visitors with a rare and privileged opportunity to spend time amongst the beautiful artwork of an artist and illustrator whose story is at once fascinating, moving and unexpected.

Read more…

Heritage Lottery Fund success for Galkoff’s project

18 July 2017 by Laura

Shop front

The Galkoff business opened around 1908, and the amazing tiles were added in 1933

Today, along with our partner Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM), we are sharing the extremely exciting news that Galkoff’s and the Secret Life of Pembroke Place has been awarded a grant by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

Thanks to National Lottery players £291,300 will support the next stage of the project which aims to protect and preserve the iconic tiled frontage of Galkoff’s and explore and the last remaining example of Liverpool court housing, situated nearby.

The gorgeous green tiles of Galkoff’s will be known to anyone who has lived or worked in the London Road area, or just passes through on that busy route into town. With the funding announcement today the project aims to carefully remove and conserve the historic tiles from the shop’s façade and recreate it within Museum of Liverpool, protecting it for future generations. We are also looking to use this great opportunity to work with Liverpool’s Jewish community, unlocking memories of Galkoff’s and build up a better picture of the city’s Jewish history.


Illustration by artist Sophie Herxheimer

We have done really interesting work on this already but with further funding we look forward to digging deeper. (If you can offer support to this part of the project we’d love to hear from you. Please contact Poppy Learman: poppy.learman@liverpoolmuseums.org.uk).

A few doors down from Galkoff’s is a real treasure to anyone with a love of urban or social history. The very last remaining example of Liverpool’s court housing reveals much about the conditions which were so common in the city throughout the mid 19th century. As the other strand of the project, HLF funding will allow us to carry out work based on geophysical surveys and archaeological digs to uncover remnants of this courtyard and understand more about people’s lives there.

We couldn’t have got this far without our wonderful and enthusiastic team of volunteers who have already uncovered some amazing stories of roller skating Victorians and more. We think this once bustling, vibrant street can reveal even more secrets and we are delighted to have this opportunity to find and share them with new audiences.

Shiranui Koemon: The grand champion Sumo wrestler

18 July 2017 by Frank Milner

Print of Shiranui Koemon ,the 11th Yokosuna

I’m very fond of certain Sumo wrestling prints -I especially like this one which shows Shiranui Koemon ,the 11th Yokosuna or Grand Champion (in the middle). He’s crossing the Sumida River in the city of Edo (now Tokyo) on his way to the Eko-in Temple where he going to fight. Read more…

About our blog

Welcome to the National Museums Liverpool blog! Written by our staff and volunteers, we’ll give you a peek behind the scenes of our museums and galleries.




We try to ensure that the information provided on our blog is accurate and that appropriate permissions to use images have been sought. The opinions in each blog are very much those of the individuals writing.