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Posts by Alison Cornmell

West African Donors to World Museum

19 April 2012 by Alison Cornmell

Did you know that almost eighty Africans are known to have donated more than 500 objects to World Museum. Their donations helped to create one of the most important historical collections of African cultural artefacts in Britain.

A new display at World Museum shows photographic portraits of some of the West Africans who made donations to the museum between 1897 and 1916.

Most of them were taken by West African photographers. All the donors were friends or contacts of Arnold Ridyard, the steamship engineer who transported their gifts to Liverpool. Read more…


18 April 2012 by Alison Cornmell

This Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 April at World Museum you can build a Labyrinth.

For those born in the 80s you may get excited and think that David Bowie will show up with a host of Jim Henson puppets. Unfortunately this isn’t the case but what you can do is far more exciting.

From 11am – 4pm you can join in the Labyrinth event and, alongside staff and students from John Moores University, build a labyrinth in the museum. In Greek Mythology a labyrinth was to hold the Minotaur, a mythical creature that was half man and half bull. Luckily there won’t be a real mythical monster at the centre of the labyrinth you build. Read more…

An ostrich-like lifestyle

5 April 2012 by Alison Cornmell

There’s not long left before Age of the Dinosaur closes on 15 April at World Museum. Before it finishes we have one more blog by dino-expert Geoff Tresise. This blog tells us about about the Gallimimus.

A dinosaur’s teeth give valuable clues as to its diet and hence its lifestyle.  Predators have pointed biting teeth whereas herbivores have flatter teeth for grinding vegetation. 

However dinosaurs such as Gallimimus from Mongolia and Struthiomimus from North America had no teeth at all.  What did they eat and how did they live?  The fact that their bodies were very like those of ostriches provides a clue.

Gallimimus, the ostrich-like dinosaur seen in ‘Age of the Dinosaur’, lived in the late Cretaceous period.  It had strong hind-legs and stood about 2 metres tall with a long neck and small head.  It must have been a powerful runner.  Fast-running animals today (like antelopes and cheetahs as well as ostriches) live on grasslands but in the dinosaurs’ day there was no grass and so no grasslands. 

Gallimimus lived in a semi-arid landscape with only scattered vegetation. In this environment the Gallimimus diet might include fruit and seeds, insects, lizards and dinosaur eggs.  Even baby dinosaurs may have been on the menu.  If food was scarce, an opportunistic dinosaur would be likely to snap up anything edible. Read more…

Mysteries of the Codex to be revealed

28 March 2012 by Alison Cornmell

A man closely looks at a museum object

The Codex was carefully studied in order to reveal it’s secrets.

One of World Museum’s most prized objects, a rare Mexican deer skin book more than 800 years old, has been investigated by a team of Italian scientists to reveal its secrets.

As well as being the museum’s treasures it is also considered one of the world’s greatest treasures. The priceless object even took pride of place in the Royal Adademy’s ‘AZTECS’ exhibition in 2002.

The Codex Fejérvary-Mayer dates back to AD 1200-1521 and is an illustrated, painted book. Codices were written in pictograms, rather than words derived from an alphabet.  Histories, genealogies and tribute economies were recorded in the pages. They served both educational and ritual proposes and at the same time, they were objects of great cultural, literary and artistic value. Read more…

Pre-historic hysterics

21 March 2012 by Alison Cornmell

dinosaur puppet

Tiny the dinosaur © LosKaos Limited 2002-2010

Want to get involved in some free pre-historic hysterics this weekend?

On Saturday 24 & Sunday 25 March between 1-4.30pm you will have the opportunity to meet Tiny, a juvenile Stegosaurus at World Museum.

Tiny has wowed audiences up and down the country and the animated dinosaur is set to do the same in Liverpool. Using a combination of live sound, facial animatronics and extreme puppetry Tiny will really come to life.

The dinosaur will also be accompanied by a palaeontologist who will give a lively and informative natural history show. You will be encouraged to ‘get tactile’ with Tiny and have a go at being palaeontologists yourselves. Read more…

A small(ish) giant

12 March 2012 by Alison Cornmell

One of the stars of the show in the ‘Age of the Dinosaur’ exhibition is the Camarasaurus. Curator and dino-expert Geoff Tresise tells us more about this herbivorous dino…

animatronic Camarasaurus

One of the stars of the show, the Camarasaurus

The largest of all dinosaurs were the sauropods, giant plant-eating herbivores.  The commonest North American sauropod was Camarasaurus and this is the form seen in the Age of the Dinosaur exhibition.

Camarasaurus lived during the late Jurassic period 150 million years ago.  Fossils of adult and juvenile animals are found from the same localities, suggesting that, like elephants today, these dinosaurs lived and travelled in protective family groups.

Read more…

Go back in time on William Brown Street

5 March 2012 by Alison Cornmell

This Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 March 2012 from 11am – 4pm, William Brown Street will come alive with Historical Happenings. The Victorian street will be transformed into a time machine where visitors will be greeted by figures from the past, inspired by Horrible Histories on at the Liverpool Empire.

At World Museum families can get involved with free hands on activities including Saxon helmet making, flint knapping, heraldic shield making, as well as a trail around the medieval streets of Liverpool.  Visitors can watch a medieval falconer or listen to the ancient sounds of the Gold Lyre of Ur, a replica of a 4,500 year old instrument. There will also be a  chance to meet and chat with Ancient Romans, Greeks, Vikings and an English longbowman. Read more…

Grace Brown

1 March 2012 by Alison Cornmell

A lady sits with her fist in the air

A picture of Grace Brown taken in September 2011 © Lee Karen Stow

It is with great sadness that I tell you that Grace Brown, the head of the Sierra Leone women’s boxing team has passed away. She was 43.

Grace is featured in the exhibition ‘42’ Women of Sierra Leone at the International Slavery Museum, a display of work by photojournalist Lee Karen Stow. The exhibition documents the lives of women living in West Africa where women’s life expectancy is in the mid 40s.

Despite the obstacles, Grace and her female boxers had a dream of reaching London 2012 when, for the first time in the history of the Olympic Games, the ban on women’s amateur boxing will be lifted.

Sadly, and frustratingly, a lack of in-country sponsorship and support meant the women were not able to try for the early qualifying rounds in order to have a decent chance of reaching the Olympics.

At the same time, Grace fell seriously ill. She underwent a mastectomy and suffered a stroke. She became housebound, unable to train and box, and relied on the power of prayer to ease the pain.

In September 2011, Grace allowed Lee to photograph her, at her home, surrounded by her team mates (picture above). She raised a defiant fist and said quietly ‘Gold’, determined for her team one day to reach the Olympics and bring home the Gold medal.

Richard Benjamin, head of the International Slavery Museum says: Read more…

Dino-tastic Weekend

2 February 2012 by Alison Cornmell

If you’re looking for something different to do this weekend, look no further than World Museum.

To tie in with the current exhibition Age of the Dinosaur there is a jam-packed weekend of dinosaur themed events, talks and activities.

On Saturday from 11.30am – 4.30pm the whole family can have their picture taken with a dinosaur! Using green screen technology your picture will be superimposed onto a picture of a fearsome dino! (Prints will be priced at £2 or free on production of a ticket bought that day for the Age of the Dinosaur). Read more…

The final countdown

20 December 2011 by Alison Cornmell

It’s the 20 December which can only mean one thing, and not that we’re only five days away from Christmas.

No, today marks one month exactly until the deadline for artists to register for the John Moores Painting Prize 2012. This blog is for any artists out there or people who may know artists. Enter before 20 January 2012 and be in with a chance of winning the first prize of £25,000 or four further prizes, each of £2,500.

This is the biggest painting prize in the UK and has played a significant role in some famous artistic careers.  Previous winners have included David Hockney, Peter Doig and Lisa Milroy. Sir Peter Blake was a winner of the Junior section of the Prize in 1961 which he describes as “…a thrilling moment when I was told I’d taken first prize in the Junior section and it spurred me on.” Fifty years after winning the Junior section Sir Peter is now patron of the Prize.

Judges for this year’s competition are Fiona Banner who is from Merseyside, director of the Whitechapel Art Gallery Iwona Blazwick, Spanish born Angela de la Cruz, a former Turner Prize 2010 nominee, Turner Prize 2011 nominee George Shaw and creative director of the BBC, Alan Yentob. 

To enter the Prize or find out more follow the link – go on, it could be the start of something amazing! 
Read more…

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