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Posts by Emma Martin

The Shipping Gallery at Liverpool Museum

4 October 2016 by Emma Martin

A model ship with sails being studied by two young boys in school uniform

The Leader model was the museum’s first ship model, acquired in 1862 for the Mayer Museum, the predecessor of Liverpool (now World) Museum.

In the final blog in our series on World Museum and the Blitz I asked Rebecca, Curator of Maritime History at the Merseyside Maritime Museum to tell us about the development of the now lost Shipping Gallery which was once described as “the department which probably holds the greatest public interest, particularly for the citizens of Liverpool” Read more…

All creatures great and small: netsuke at World Museum

9 September 2016 by Emma Martin

Emma and Helen installing netsuke on the new mount

Emma and Helen installing netsuke on the new mount

Last week we re-displayed some of our new Japanese netsuke in the World Cultures gallery in World Museum. This wonderful collection of carved toggles was given to the museum in memory of the well-known 20th century collector Jonas Goro Gadelius.

Each year we refresh the display bringing a new group of netsuke out from the stores. This year I chose the theme ‘mini beasts’ and we now have a new mount inspired by a bonsai tree. Read more…

An Interview with Dorothy Downes

10 May 2016 by Emma Martin

Oliva (front) is interviewing Ellie (left), Dorothy (middle) and Martin (right).

Olivia (front) interviewing Ellie (left), Dorothy (middle) and Martin (right).

This week Lolo writes about meeting a member of staff who remembers the work that went into rebuilding the museum after the Blitz:

Last week I wrote about the Kingston Brooch and how it avoided the Blitz and the train accident. I was inspired to write about the brooch after meeting Dr Dorothy Downes, who began working for Liverpool (now World Museum) in the 1960s. Last month, I had the pleasure to hear first hand Dorothy’s lively account of what happened to the museum as it began to rebuild after the war. Read more…

The Kingston Brooch – a very lucky evacuee

3 May 2016 by Emma Martin

The Kingston Brooch is one of the most elaborate pieces of Anglo-Saxon jewellery ever found in England.

The Kingston Brooch is one of the most elaborate pieces of Anglo-Saxon jewellery ever found in England.

On 3 May 1941, exactly 75 years go, Liverpool endured the heaviest bombing of the May Blitz. The bombardment, which ran from 1 to 7 May, saw Liverpool (now World) Museum almost destroyed.

Our online exhibition Bombed Out! World Museum and the Blitz commemorates the event. As devastating as the raid was, thankfully, as Lolo in this blog describes, there were some very fortunate evacuees! Read more…

Don Pedro: the elephant that died twice

22 April 2016 by Emma Martin

Don Pedro (the elephant) standing proud at the centre of the Upper Horseshoe Gallery before 3 May 1941

Don Pedro (the elephant) standing proud at the centre of the Upper Horseshoe Gallery before 3 May 1941

University of Manchester student Lolo is working on our new online exhibition that will be launched 3 May. Here’s his latest blog on some of the objects and specimens that feature in it.

“Many of you may already know that the King of Prussia Jug was one of the Blitz survivors. But not all the stories relating to the museum’s objects and specimens had a happy ending. There were also hundreds if not thousands of casualties. I was very upset when we heard about the sad story of Don Pedro, a male Indian elephant once in the zoology collection. They say cats have nine lives, but poor Don Pedro had just two. Read more…

What happened in the Ceramics Gallery during the Blitz?

7 April 2016 by Emma Martin

Museum staff picking up the pieces in the ceramics gallery after the Blitz

Museum staff picking up the pieces in the ceramics gallery after the Blitz

Lolo is working on the development of an on-line exhibition that explores what happened to World Museum during the Blitz. Here is his second blog, looking at the fate of the ceramics gallery.

The ceramics gallery was one of the galleries that suffered serious damage during the Blitz of May 1941. Rare pieces from the museum’s collection were still on display on the night of 3 May and as the museum crumbled many of the ceramics shattered into pieces. Read more…

Liverpool’s Tibet collection goes live!

15 March 2016 by Emma Martin

Meditation painting or thangka

Meditation painting or thangka sold to the museum in 1905 by Sergeant J Heaney on his return to Liverpool after participating in the Mission to Lhasa

It’s a little known fact that Liverpool has one of the world’s great Tibet collections. Liverpool doesn’t seem like the obvious choice for a Tibet collection; you might think of Liverpool’s maritime connections rather than it’s Himalayan ones. But 19th century missionaries, soldiers and explorers did sell or donate Tibetan objects to Liverpool having arrived in its port after a long journey from India. Read more…

Harris Jonas takes a look at our Japanese swords

11 March 2016 by Emma Martin

Harris (left) taking in the history of the blades with Mark (right).

Harris (left) taking in the history of the blades with Mark (right).

This week we had a visitor to the Japan collections. Ethnology volunteer Mark Jones tells us about it here.

“In a blog I wrote back in 2014, I discussed the different Japanese blades I’ve documented for World Museum’s Japan collection. This week I had the opportunity to meet Harris Jonas, a 6th Dan in karate and a senior instructor at the Liverpool Shotokan Karate Club (LSKC). Read more…

The night World Museum nearly died

26 February 2016 by Emma Martin

The upper horseshoe gallery was home to the natural history collections in 1941. In pride of place was Don Pedro, the Indian elephant

The upper horseshoe gallery was home to the natural history collections in 1941. In pride of place was Don Pedro, the Indian elephant.

Over the next few weeks Lolo, a student working at World Museum, will blog about the events of the 3rd May 1941 – the night World Museum nearly died. Here at the museum we are preparing to launch an on-line exhibition on the 3rd May. We will recount what happened that night 75 years ago and Lolo will also be writing blogs that reveal in more depth what happened to some of the museum’s objects. Read more…

Objects from the voyages of Captain James Cook

24 November 2015 by Emma Martin

16677-RI 28.18Liverpool’s ethnology collections hold a small number of objects relating to the voyages of Captain James Cook (1728-1779). Cook made three voyages to the Pacific and Americas collecting both new knowledge, and also objects and specimens. 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.