Our venues


Sylvania sunset

22 November 2010 by Stephen

ship model in a display case

Image courtesy of the Liverpool Daily Post and Echo.

I often smile at magazine advertisements in glossy magazines promoting First Class or Business Class on long-haul flights.

They show the traveller under a blanket stretched out on a seat that folds back like a sunlounger. A porthole with the blind down indicates that the slumberer is above the clouds heading for somewhere exotic.

If it was anywhere else most people would be reluctant to endure such cramped sleeping arrangements.

I believe there is no comparison between air and sea travel with regards to  comfort – by and large, ships are the most comfortable way to travel. Read more…

Object Detectives

19 November 2010 by Eleanor

My name is Ellie and I am a new addition at the National Conservation Centre in Liverpool.  I am here on a year long internship in Objects Conservation and Public Engagement, funded by ICON (Institute of Conservation) and the Heritage Lottery Fund

While I am here I will post regular updates on the blog to provide a glimpse of what is happening behind-the-scenes at the National Conservation Centre, as conservators look after and investigate fascinating objects from the collection. Read more…

John Moores catalogue signing session

19 November 2010 by Karen

You might have already seen that on Thursday night (25 November) the 2010 John Moores Painting Prize winner, Keith Coventry, will be discussing his work with previous juror and independent art critic Sacha Craddock.

Both Keith and Sacha have kindly agreed to do a signing session after the event. Keith will signing copies of the JM2010 catalogue, and Sacha will be signing copies of the 2008 exhibition catalogue in which she features as a juror. Catalogues cost £9.95 and £5 respectively. Read more…

Lighten our darkness

15 November 2010 by Stephen

detail of ship model

Image courtesy of the Liverpool Daily Post and Echo

I have been out at sea in the middle of the night on a few occasions and it is fascinating how different the heavens can look.

On one occasion I slept on deck on the Liverpool to Dublin ferry watching the shooting stars as I nodded off.

Everything is much darker out at sea in huge contrast to many places on land with widespread man-made light pollution.

Modern ships may be equipped with the latest radio and satellite navigation devices but light is still essential on the open seas in the pitch dark. Read more…

We are the champions! (2)

12 November 2010 by Lisa

Wirral Tourism Awards group photo

Staff celebrating their plaudits!

We’re really excited as the Lady Lever Art Gallery is on the glory trail with two major award wins! Last week was hugely successful for the gallery as the venue scooped two awards at the Wirral Tourism Awards.

Lady Lever Art Gallery was crowned ‘Attraction of the Year’ at the prestigious event. The hardwork of the staff at the Lady Lever was also rewarded when Cliff Bowden, a Visitor Host at the gallery, won the ‘Outstanding Customer Care award’. What a great effort! Read more…

Moving up to the Himalayas

12 November 2010 by Emma Martin

Monastery in the hills

Bhutia Busty Monastery with Kanchendzonga in the background.

Following the mad panic that always ensues at the end of a bout of archive fever, I managed to complete a good chunk of my research in the Delhi archives and have now moved up to the Northeast of India and to the mountains of West Bengal and Sikkim.

The work here is a little different in that I’m now trying to find the descendants of some of the men I have been reading about in the archives and also get a feel for the area Charles Bell worked in. My first stop was Darjeeling, where I spent a couple of days visiting places where Bell and the 13th Dalai Lama had stayed and visiting a photography studio that had a number of interesting historical photograph taken at the time Bell was there. The area is surrounded and dominated by the Khangchendzonga range, this is the third highest mountain in the world and as the temperatures have dipped for winter, there is a good covering of snow on the mountain tops. This is the perfect time of year to visit as the day are warm, and the views, as you can see, are very clear out to the mountains.  Read more…

Alice’s voyage

12 November 2010 by Sam

detail of an old document

Curator of maritime archives Sarah Starkey explains why this document is helping to build up a picture of the history of the slave trade and the ships involved with it:

“This image is a detail from a recent offer to the Maritime Archives and Library. It is part of the ship’s articles for the ship ‘Alice’, on a voyage from Liverpool to Africa and the West Indies in 1760, which indicates a slave trading voyage

The document is missing the list of crew signatures which would usually be attached. The articles were their contract for the voyage and they signed to agree to the conditions of service listed, such as food provided, when wages would be paid and what share of the profits would be allocated.

The articles also state that the Alice carries a Letter of Marque, this means that the ship was a privateer (a pirate with a licence from the government) and could capture merchant vessels from other nations and their valuable cargos. This could be a very profitable enterprise. Read more…

People power for painting prize!

11 November 2010 by Laura

Visitor Choice cards

Thousands of visitors have already voted for their favourite painting.

There is only one week left to vote for your favourite painting in the John Moores Visitor’s Choice prize at the Walker Art Gallery.

Angela Samata, John Moores project manger, explains how tight the voting is at the moment: “This year we have 45 very different paintings for visitors to choose from. The quality and variety of paintings in the exhibition has ensured the votes are close and we have quite a task ahead of us to count them! We are grateful to Rathbones for sponsoring the Visitors’ Choice prize, which encourages intense debate and interest in contemporary painting”. Read more…

Three weeks in the Delhi Archives

11 November 2010 by Emma Martin

Photo of high rise building

National Archives of India, New Delhi

Working through the vast archives of the National Archives of India is a lonely business. Very few people in the world get as excited as you do about the details and stories you find and so when elation strikes having found information on a Tibetan man you knew very little about, it’s not possible to run round the archives telling everyone you meet about your exciting discovery. 

The disease only found amongst archival researchers is commonly known as ‘archival fever’ and there is no known cure. I’ve had several of those experiences during the past three weeks of intensive scanning of catalogues and documents from the Foreign and Political records of British India in the early 20th century. It is here that I have gained a much clearer picture of Sir Charles Bell, his networks and his personal commitment to Tibet. Read more…

The Art of Protest

11 November 2010 by Laura

Artist talking infront of painting

Nicholas Middleton talks about his painting

Nicholas Middleton’s “Protest, April 1st 2009” has been a popular painting in this year’s John Moores Painting Prize. Visitors have been astonished by the level of accuracy and detail in the stunning photo-realist painting. As one visitor put it: “So alive! Can not believe it is a painting!”

The judges this year certainly also felt the painting stood out, making it one of the five prizewinners.

Nicholas came to the gallery on Wednesday to talk about his work and this painting in particular. I was really interested to hear that he had actually been at the protest and had taken the photograph himself. I had presumed it was a photograph he’d found but knowing he was there, and part of the crowds of people attempting to make their voices heard, gives an extra dimension to the work. 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.