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Win a mounted print of the RMS Olympic ship!

10 April 2012 by Lisa

RMS Olympic ship

White star liner Olympic – sister of Titanic – looking aft (1920). Reproduced by permission of English Heritage: BL24990/021

To commemorate the Titanic centenary, we’re offering you the chance to win an A3 mounted print of either Titanic’s sister ship RMS Olympic or the White Star Line’s Liverpool offices! 

One runner up will receive a copy of ‘Titanic and Liverpool’ by Alan Scarth and a photography book which accompanies our current exhibition at the Lady Lever Art Gallery.

To enter, you need to answer this question:

Which photographer(s) were commissioned by the White Star Line to photograph RMS Olympic in 1920?  Read more…

Getting to know the Ancient Greeks

2 April 2012 by Lisa

Here’s Education Demonstrator Angelica Vanasse to tell us about some of the fun school sessions that have been going on over the past few weeks at the Walker…


Children dressed up in costume at the gallery

Pupils from St Monica’s have fun learning about Greek mythology.

St Monica’s RC Primary School visited the Walker Art Gallery last month to learn about Greek mythology.  We looked at the painting ‘Atlanta and Meleaga’ by Charles Le Brun, which shows the legendary Caledonian boar hunt, as part of our introduction. Telling the tales behind the character’s lives and the story of the hunt, we discovered lots about the mythology behind the painting.  Read more…

Earth hour at our museums and galleries

26 March 2012 by Lisa

Earth Hour 2012

Earth Hour 2012 is taking place on Saturday 31 March at 8.30pm and here at National Museums Liverpool, we are proudly joining in! We will be switching off all external lighting at our museums and galleries where possible, including at World Museum and the Walker Art Gallery. Internal lights will be switched off at Museum of Liverpool.   

To get involved all you have to do is switch off your lights for one hour! More than 5,200 cities and towns in 135 countries worldwide switched off their lights for Earth Hour 2011

The lights at the following landmarks were also switched off in 2011: Eiffel Tower, Sydney Opera House, The Forbidden City, Buckingham Palace, Golden Gate Bridge and Christ the Redeemer statue. 

It is hoped that this event sends a powerful message for action on climate change and shows how great things can be achieved when people come together for a common cause.   Read more…

How many planets can you see?

5 March 2012 by Lisa

It’s planet-hunting time! Here’s John Moran from the planetarium to tell us what to look out for this month…


Planets in the night sky

Planetary conjunction with Venus and Jupiter. Image courtesy of Peter Vandevelde from the astronomie.be website.

During March there will be more planets on view that you can shake a reflecting telescope at! Even if you have an obstructed view of part of the sky there will still be a planet or two to look at in the part of the sky that you can see.

At around 9pm we will still have Venus shining bright in the extreme west of the sky; in the south there is Jupiter, south-east there is Mars and finally in the east we have Saturn. If that doesn’t get you excited then nothing will. It’s at times like this that I wish I had a telescope with ‘go-to technology’ – just press a button and it finds your target instantly. Plus, you can also hook it up to a laptop. Sounds brill doesn’t it? 

On the 13 March we have a planetary conjunction with Venus and Jupiter. This is when two or more planets come very close together in the sky from our viewpoint, at which point they will be less than the width of a full moon apart. So, if you look through a telescope or binoculars they will be in the same field of view as each other. Try and notice from now on these two planets as they draw ever closer to each other. Read more…

Toy stories at Sudley House

27 February 2012 by Lisa

Here’s one of our Education Demonstrators, Angelica Vanasse, to tell us about some of the fun family events that have been happening at Sudley House…


Children's mural of Noah's Ark

A Noah’s Ark wall mural made during the event.

Sudley House came alive with children and families and toys galore on last month with our ‘Toy Stories’ event.  Members of the education, communities and visitors teams from the Walker Art Gallery and Sudley House were on hand to deliver a fantastic range of toy-tastic activities inspired by the Victorian toys in the Sudley House collection.   Read more…

February – celestial gems in the night

17 February 2012 by Lisa

Here’s John Moran, Education Demonstrator at the Planetarium, to tell us what to look out for in the night sky this month.


Orian

Orion – image courtesy of NASA.

There are still plenty of easily observable planets for your viewing delight this month. I came out of my house at 7.30pm a few days ago and there were three bright planets which seemed to be set up for anyone who can’t see the whole of the sky. There was Venus in the east, Jupiter directly above and Mars in the west. It doesn’t get much better than that! 

If that’s not enough, then later on we have the appearance of the ringed beauty Saturn which follows behind Mars in the west a few hours later. Me and a few colleagues went up on the fifth floor balcony of the of the museum on Friday 3 February and everything looked perfect. I set up two telescopes to view all of these planets and as soon as I started getting lined up on Venus, the clouds came along and just blanketed everything out!  Read more…

Get your fashion fix here!

9 February 2012 by Lisa

Gold platform shoes

 Ready to hit the town…

I always think that the best way to finish off an outfit is with a great pair of shoes. These fantastic metallic snakeskin-effect leather shoes are my favourite from last year. They were great for a fantastic wedding I went to in November as well as for Christmas parties! They have a small platform as there have been loads of 70s influenced trends around lately.

If you like 70s fashion, we’ve got a fantastic exhibition of 1970s clothes on at the Walker Art Gallery right now – ‘Feathercuts and Flares’. There is a pair of red and silver crocodile-skin leather platforms on display (below) that definitely remind me of my shoes.  Read more…

Counting down to the planetarium blast off!

27 January 2012 by Lisa

It’s almost time to re-open the planetarium now that all the refurbishment has been done. Our planetarium staff have been getting to grips with all the new equipment and here’s John Moran from the team to tell us more.


John and Jenny get their hands on the new planetarium equipment.

John and Jenny get their hands on the new planetarium equipment.

Well we’re getting very close to opening day here in the planetarium. We’ll be open again from Monday 30th of January and my colleagues and I are now almost up to speed with operating the new projection equipment.

We have had plenty of opportunity to view what the new projectors are capable of and all I can say is wow! For the time being we won’t have a huge selection of shows, as we are in the process of creating new ones, so we do need our kind visitors to bear with us for a while. But what we have got will blow your socks off.

The first of our new shows will be ‘Chronicle of a journey to earth’. In this show an intergalactic traveller reaches our part of the galaxy looking for somewhere to settle and as he moves towards the sun he examines comets, planets, asteroids and earth. You will be able to follow the traveller’s path and see close up what today’s science has discovered about each of the components of our solar system.

With the new equipment we will also be able to run fantastic live presenter-led shows. We will be able to talk to visitors while we show constellations, the movements of the sun, moon, planets and deep sky objects. We will also be able to show the planets as close or as far away as we like.

We’re looking forward to running shows and seeing what the general public think of their new planetarium. Get ready for blast off folks, its going to be good.

Volunteer blog: photography fun!

27 January 2012 by Lisa

It’s great to hear that volunteering at National Museums Liverpool can really be a memorable experience for those involved. Here’s a blog by a recent volunteer who helped out in our Photography and Decorative Art departments…


Adrian in the Decorative Arts store

Adrian in the Decorative Arts store

My name is Adrian Foo-Gibney and for the last two weeks I have been on a Year 10 work placement with National Museums Liverpool. During my time here I have learnt many skills, ranging from hands-on skills like photography to communication skills. This was a great experience for me as I got along with all the members of staff and had fun as well as learning. Everyone was really friendly and made me feel comfortable.

During my first week in Photography I worked with David Flower. He taught me many skills and gave me lots of tips about photography. The things I learnt were really useful, as back in school I have taken the GCSE photography course. It will also help with my personal photographic skills.

I was given many jobs during the first week, including photographing hats, processing images and scanning negatives ready for editing.

In the second week I worked with Alyson Pollard in Decorative Arts where I got to work with my friend Joseph Evans who is also from my school, Calderstones. We worked together photographing men’s hats and suits and inputted all the data for them.

I have enjoyed my time working with the National Museums Liverpool and it was a privilege to be here. I would like to do a similar job when I leave school. This has been an amazing adventure for me and I will remember this placement for ages. Read more…

Behind the scenes – planetarium refurbishment

13 January 2012 by Lisa

Work has begun on our wonderful new planetarium! Here’s John Moran from the planetarium to tell us how it’s going so far…


Staff in the planetarium

The refurbishment of the Planetarium is now under way! Standing there watching as this historic part of the museum was being ripped out, which has been a part of my life for 7 years, I couldn’t believe how brutal everything seemed. Our star projector was stripped down to the bear bones and all the wires and connections were pulled out and snipped with wire cutters. I think I actually felt every cut!

But I know that the end result will be worth it. The shelving which surrounds the seats has now been removed, so this makes the Planetarium seem much bigger. When the work is finished it will look as though the dome is actually floating in mid-air. It’s going to be a fantastic experience for visitors! Watch this space for further progress reports. Read more…