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The evolving story of Poppies: Women and War

19 May 2016 by Sam

close up detail of a bright orange poppy

© Lee Karen Stow

There is not long left to catch the incredibly moving and inspiring exhibition Poppies: Women and War, which closes on 5 June 2016 at the Museum of Liverpool before going on tour. Photographer Lee Karen Stow reflects on the exhibition and her plans for the future in her latest blog:

“As the Poppies: Women and War exhibition comes to a close at the Museum of Liverpool, so the poppy flowers begin to bud and bloom in the gardens and fields of England. I’ve planted a few seeds and plants myself this spring, to see and capture the pink, tangerine, blue and black poppies.

For this story is evolving. Read more…

On the Waterfront photography competition winner

4 May 2016 by Sam

children running on the ferry as it goes past Liverpool's waterfront

The winning photograph – ‘Ferry Cross The Mersey 1972’ by Bernard Rose

Our competition to find a photograph to display as part of the On the Waterfront exhibition at Merseyside Maritime Museum attracted almost 500 entries. This meant that our three judges –  the exhibition curator Sarah Starkey, Ian Murphy, deputy director, Merseyside Maritime Museum and exhibition officer Katherine Lloyd – had a very tough but thoroughly enjoyable job to whittle these down to just one winning photograph for the exhibition.  Read more…

Lusitania families reunited

3 May 2016 by Sam

two women

Joyce Percival and Mary Jones at the Lusitania commemoration in 2015

Every year on 7 May Merseyside Maritime Museum marks the anniversary of the tragic loss of the Lusitania with a commemoration and minute’s silence at the quayside, by one of the ship’s propellers which is now part of our collection.

For the centenary of the sinking in 2015 there was also a special service at Liverpool Parish Church Our Lady and St Nicholas. The service included an unexpected twist for Mary Jones, who attended in memory of her great grandfather Michael Cooney, a fireman in the engineering department on board the Lusitania who lost his life in the tragedy, along with his son, also called Michael. Read more…

Bainbridge Island’s Japanese American community

18 April 2016 by Sam

picture of a girl behind rows of barbed wire

Depiction of a girl on the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial © Lee Karen Stow

As part of her ongoing research for the Poppies: Women and War project, photographer Lee Karen Stow has travelled to America. In her latest blog post from her travels, she tells of an encounter with a woman whose life was turned upside down as a result of the Second World War:

“Unexpectedly, whilst visiting Bainbridge Island in America’s Pacific North West, I met Kazuko ‘Kay’ Nakao. Now 97 years old, Kay was one of 227 Japanese-Americans forcibly removed by armed US Army soldiers from their homes on the island one morning in March 1942, to be interned in concentration camps Read more…

Remembering some remarkable women

7 April 2016 by Sam

rows of headstones in Arlington National Cemetery

© Lee Karen Stow

Photographer Lee Karen Stow has travelled to Washington DC in America for the latest stage of research for her ongoing Poppies: Women and War project. She has met and photographed many women on her travels and was also keen to pay tribute to those who are no longer with us. This brought her to Arlington National Cemetary, as she explains:

“At Arlington National Cemetery in Washington DC, the final resting place for more than 400,000 military service people and veterans, a handful of notable women are buried. Read more…

Boaty McBoatface and other unusual ship names

28 March 2016 by Sam

sketch of a ship in the river Mersey

Sketch of the unpronouncable Tyrrhenia leaving Liverpool by EW Barrett, 26 January 1924. Accession number 1987.118.4.14

Just across the river from Merseyside Maritime Museum, Camell Laird shipyard in Birkenhead has produced many well-known ships over the years – HMS Ark Royal and Mauretania II to name just two. However a ship is currently being built there which is arguably more famous than any of these – quite an achievement when it isn’t due to be launched until 2019. But then this is the £200million research vessel that the British public want to call Boaty McBoatface. Read more…

Real life super heroes – Natasha Jonas

10 March 2016 by Sam

Natasha Jonas wearing her boxing gloves

Image © Kelly Irvine

With the upcoming Afro Supa Hero exhibition we’ve been talking about real life super heroes and the people who inspire us. The Liverpool boxer Natasha Jonas is a great inspiration to me – here’s her story, in her own words:

“I come from an unconventional, freakishly large family who were all born, raised and live in Toxteth. In the house I grew up in I was the eldest of all the girls, but had two elder boy cousins. I adored these two older lads, they were my heroes. I was with them all the time – climbing trees, playing football, bmx-ing – and from that I gained a real love of sports.

The first time I watched the Olympics on TV I was 4. I was totally amazed and screamed for my mum to come and watch it with me. By the end of the programme I told her, with a matter of fact face “Mum, I’m going to be there”.  Read more…

Women of the Vietnam War

7 March 2016 by Sam

nurse in a hospital with patients

1st LT Diane Carlson Evans at a hospital in Vietnam, 1968. Courtesy of Diane Evans

Photographer Lee Karen Stow will travel to Washington DC soon as part of the continuing  Poppies: Women and War. project. You can find out about the evolving project in her upcoming talk on Saturday 19 March, as part of our International Women’s Day events. Here she tells the story of some of the women she is going to meet:  Read more…

Remembering Concepcion Picciotto

25 February 2016 by Sam

tent surrounded by protest signs and banners

Protestor Tent outside the White House, Washington DC. Copyright Lee Karen Stow

Photographer Lee Karen Stow talks about her continuing work on the Poppies: Women and War project – something which you can find out more about in her free talk and exhibition tours on Saturday 19 March, as part of our International Women’s Day programme of events:

“My work for the Poppies: Women and War project has not ceased since the images were hung on the walls of the Museum of Liverpool. Stories of women and war, and peace, are coming at me more strongly than ever, so I have decided to pursue them.

Perhaps because the women themselves are reaching a time in their lives when they want to share what they have experienced. Read more…

Send our supa Christmas e-cards!

22 December 2015 by Sam

Christmas super hero illustration

Afro Supa® Santa

I love Christmas and I love counting down the days in December on our online advent calendar. However, as I tick off the days to Christmas, no matter how organised I’ve been and no matter how early I start my pressie shopping and card writing, I can never shake off that feeling at the back of my mind that I might have forgotten something or someone… There are just never enough hours in the day once you’ve opened that first box of mince pies and surrendered to the festive season.

Yesterday was the last posting date for sending Christmas cards first class in the UK post. But don’t worry if you haven’t written all your cards yet, for help is here – Afro Supa® Santa could save the day!

This very festive super hero is a special addition to our range of free Christmas e-cards for 2015. Not only does he bring Christmas cheer but also news of a fantastic exhibition for the New Year. 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.