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A Liverpool link at the Beacon

21 September 2010 by Sam

woman standing by a painting of sailing ships in a rough sea

Curator Charlotte Stead with the Walters painting at the Beacon

Ian Murphy, curator of maritime history and deputy head of Merseyside Maritime Museum, has been to see a familiar face and painting in Whitehaven:


“I had a chance to visit the Beacon in Whitehaven recently where one of National Museum Liverpool’s paintings is currently on loan. ‘The Port and Harbour of Whitehaven’ by Sam Walters was part of the Beacon’s recent exhibition on the port’s maritime heritage, and it was great to see it displayed in its hometown.

Whitehaven and Liverpool had a similar rise to prominence in the 18th and 19th centuries and there were close links between the two ports. For instance, the Brocklebank family were central to both towns, building ships in Whitehaven that sailed from Liverpool, and there were regular passenger services between the ports. It was natural therefore for Walters – a Liverpool based artist – to paint the busy Cumbrian port.

The exhibition was organised by Charlotte Stead, the Beacon’s curator who is another link between Liverpool and Whitehaven, having previously been part of National Museum Liverpool’s maritime history department. The exhibition has finished now, but the painting will move to the Beacon’s permanent maritime galleries where it will be on display for the next two years.

The award winning Beacon is a fantastic venue and well worth a visit, with four floors of fascinating exhibitions covering Whitehaven’s history. It’s right next to the harbour and hosts a busy calendar of exhibitions and events; you can find more details on the Beacon’s website.”

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