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Artists’ books ago-go

17 November 2011 by Alison

It’s artists’ books ago-go this weekend in Liverpool.

On Saturday 19 November from 11am – 5pm the foyer space at the Bluecoat will hum with artists selling hand-made books direct to the public at the Artists’ Book Fair. Here visitors can embrace a revival of paper craft and bookbinding. Artists and book art publishers will include Liverpool Art Prize 2009 People’s Prize winner Elizabeth Willow, Craig Atkinson of Café Royale and many others.

Meanwhile on William Brown Street the Walker Art Gallery is displaying The Art Books of Henri Matisse an exhibition of art books by one of the greatest artists of the 20th century. On until 15 April 2012 the exhibition also displays a number of artists’ books from the Walker Art Gallery’s permanent collection by artists such as Ed Ruscha, Derek Boshier, Gilbert & George, Tom Phillips and Jeff Nuttall.

So not only can you buy an artist book at the Bluecoat but you can learn about them at the Walker. What more could you ask for?!

Fluorescent pink images of women on the page of a bookOne of the art books at the Walker is pictured here -’Oscar Christ and the Immaculate Conception’, 1970 by Jeff Nuttall © Jeff Nuttall Read more…

An Eggs-Traordinary Mistake!

15 November 2011 by Alison

Our ‘Age of the Dinosaur‘ exhibition has been open since 22 October and dino-excitement is everywhere at World Museum!

Here curator and dino-expert Geoff Tresise talks about one of the smaller stars of the exhibition, the Oviraptor.


In 1929, American scientists found a rich trove of dinosaur bones in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia. Most were those of the small horned dinosaur Protoceratops. More exciting still was the discovery of nests of dinosaur eggs – the first ever found. There were also a few fossils of an odd-looking dinosaur which had no teeth, and was thought to have fed on dinosaur eggs. 

It was given the name Oviraptor which means “Egg Thief”. This seemed proved when an Oviraptor skeleton with a crushed skull was found near a nest of eggs – the would-be thief seemingly trampled to death by the angry parent dinosaur.

However in the 1990s this belief was challenged by two startling new discoveries.  A dinosaur egg was found containing the tiny bones of an unhatched embryo.  Unexpectedly this embryo proved to be that of Oviraptor, not Protoceratops. Then an Oviraptor fossil was found crouched over a nest, seemingly killed while trying to protect its eggs during a sandstorm.  The supposed “egg thief” was in reality the devoted parent.

Visit the ‘Age of Dinosaurs’ exhibition to see Oviraptor defending its nest here threatened by a giant predator. Read more…

Banner’s banner

7 November 2011 by Alison

Your starter for ten. What do artists Tracey Emin, Gary Hume and Fiona Banner all have in common?

For those of you who read the papers this weekend you’ll know that they all designed official posters for London’s 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games.

But they also have links with the Walker Art Gallery’s John Moores Painting Prize. Here’s your bonus question -  how are these artists linked to the prize?

If you know your John Moores Painting Prize history you’ll know that in 2006 Tracey Emin sat on the jury, as did Gary Hume in 2010, and Fiona Banner will sit on the jury panel to judge the winner of John Moores 2012. Read more…

Feeling Jazzy?

4 November 2011 by Alison

As far as I’m concerned Sunday’s were made for lie-ins and Come Dine With Me marathons. But I know that is a pretty lame way to spend a weekend. So that is why I’m excited to hear that the Walker Art Gallery is hosting a live jazz event every first Sunday of the month between now and April.

Inspired by the art book Jazz in the new exhibition The Art Books of Henri Matisse visitors can enjoy old time traditional jazz performed live on gallery.  Read more…

The Walker has Soul

28 October 2011 by Alison

This summer photographic artist Marta Soul captured a couple embracing in the sculpture gallery at the Walker Art Gallery.

The Spanish photographer used two models to stage the photograph for an exhibition going on display in LA at the Kopeikin Gallery.

The exhibition entitled Idilios opens tomorrow (Saturday 29 October) which means that gallery visitors on the other side of the Atlantic will not only enjoy Marta’s work but also see how beautiful the sculpture gallery is at the Walker Art Gallery.

Idilios (Spanish lyrical word for ‘romances’) shows a series of romantic situations representing the experiences of one woman with different men. These idealised scenes are about the experience of romantic love; the kiss representing immediate satisfaction, a search for pleasure in a symbolic act devoted exclusively to seduce us, as advertising does. What emerges is a reflection about the ephemeral concept of love and happiness.

Marta Soul said: “All the settings for my collection of recent photographs are based on experiencing vivid emotions, so the sculpture gallery at the Walker Art Gallery is ideal for my work.” Read more…

Blake’s a busy bee

27 October 2011 by Alison

The ‘Godfather’ of British Pop Art, Sir Peter Blake has been busy lately. Not only was he recently announced as the first ever patron of the John Moores Painting Prize he will also be designing the Brit Awards statuette for next years ceremony.

Brit award bosses see Sir Peter as being synonymous with the best of British music, which is why he was chosen to design the prize. Not only did he design the cover for The Beatles album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band he also designed album covers for Paul Weller and Oasis. Read more…

Marvel at Matisse: Family Fun Week

21 October 2011 by Alison

It seems like only yesterday that it was the summer holidays and already the October half-term is here. So if you fancy being creative this half-term with the kids, the Walker Art Gallery is putting on a week full of activities from 24-29 October in conjunction with the first UK public showing of The Art Books of Henri Matisseexhibition. 

Fun activities include:

A world of words 
24, 27 October
1pm & 2pm
An interactive workshop of poems and movement. Bring art to life through play, imagination and words. (Collect a ticket on the day, ages 3+).

Big top at the Walker 
25, 26 October
12 noon- 4pm
Explore the exhibition, be inspired by the circus images, have fun with members of Circus Zapparelli and learn some circus skills. (ages 5+).

Jazzy prints 
27, 28 October
1pm, 2pm & 3pm
Get hands on and have a go at making your own print in our artist-led session. (Collect a free ticket on the day, ages 7+).

Helen Maher music 
28, 29 October
1.30-3.30pm
Enjoy a performance of French accordion music.

A page from Matisse's art book‘Le Clown’ (‘The Clown’), plate I of XX from the illustrated book Jazz, 1947. Bank of America Merrill Lynch Collection. © Succession H. Matisse/DACS 2011 Read more…

Matisse and friends

19 October 2011 by Alison

Over at the Walker Art Gallery excitement is mounting for the opening of the new exhibition The Art Books of Henri Matisse opening this Friday 21 October.

The Walker Art Gallery team have been working hard on getting the exhibition ready for the public including volunteer curator Emma Sumners. Emma has been curating a small display of artists’ books going on display in the exhibition to compliment the Matisse artists’ books.

The artists’ books from the Walker Art Gallery’s permanent collection going on display include works by Derek Boshier, Gilbert & George, Tom Phillips, Jeff Nuttall and Ed Ruscha.   Read more…

Paris’ Fashion Week

17 October 2011 by Alison

Liverpool is well known for its glamorous girls and fashionable fellas so it’s no surprise that the city hosts an annual fashion week.

From Tuesday 18 – Saturday 22 October 2011 there will be 40 catwalk shows over five nights at venues across the city centre, with live entertainment from fresh talent every night.

In the weeks leading up to Liverpool Fashion Week many local designers  were busy preparing for the biggest fashion event in the North West including new designer Paris G. Read more…

Teddy bears’ picnic

18 August 2011 by Alison

If you go to Sudley House, you’re sure of a big surprise. This Saturday 20 August from 11am – 4pm the venue is hosting a teddy bears’ picnic.

So why not bring your favourite teddy bear, a rug and a picnic, and join staff for a day of free teddy bear themed fun.

During the day there will be craft activities including mask making, colouring and playing with Play-Doh. There will also be hourly, ticketed storytelling sessions and Katrina Riozzi from Small Stories Theatre Company will also be encouraging children to become explorers and go on a ‘bear hunt’ in the grounds. Read more…

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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.

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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.