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Lusitania: ‘If business demanded’ it

19 June 2015 by Sam

Large ship being led into docks by 3 small tugs

The Mauretania being manuevered around the Liverpool docks by tugboats. © J Kent Layton Collection

This is the 7th blog post in a series by J Kent Layton, maritime historian and author of ‘Lusitania: an illustrated biography’, to accompany the exhibition Lusitania: life, loss, legacy at Merseyside Maritime Museum:

“As the winter months began to wind down in early 1915, bookings were increasing on the North Atlantic again. Fears were beginning to subside, and with the threat of naval dangers at sea seeming more remote to prospective passengers, there was apparently less reason not to travel. As a result, Cunard began to see an increased need for passenger capacity. Indeed, on her 202nd crossing, headed east from New York on 1 May, the Lusitania’s second class spaces were overbooked, and overall it was her longest east-bound passenger list since the war’s outbreak.  Read more…

Victory for the Lusitania

29 May 2015 by Sam

old photo of the Lusitania cruise liner

The Lusitania approaches the Prince’s Landing Stage in Liverpool for the first time. © J Kent Layton Collection

This is the fourth blog post in a series by J Kent Layton, maritime historian and author of ‘Lusitania: an illustrated biography’, to accompany the exhibition Lusitania: life, loss, legacy at Merseyside Maritime Museum.

“Saturday 7 September 1907 was an unforgettable day in the annals of maritime history: the Lusitania was to begin her maiden voyage from Liverpool, England that evening. Excitement was running high and bookings for the crossing were strong.

Britishers, alarmed at the way their maritime prestige had been usurped by German liners during the preceding decade, were keen to see their new greyhound take back the Blue Riband. Read more…

Remembering the Lusitania on the 100th anniversary

7 May 2015 by Sam

Ellie signing a large picture of the Lusiitania

A signature canvas commemorating the Lusitania will be a ‘living’ work of art. Lustania exhibition curator Ellie Moffat was one of the first to sign it.

Every year Merseyside Maritime Museum pays tribute to the 1,191 people who lost their lives on the Lusitania, with a commemoration by the ship’s propeller on the quayside on 7 May, the anniversary of the sinking. The event brings together many of families affected by the loss of the Lusitania, reflecting what a huge impact the tragedy had on Liverpool, where most of the crew were based.

We have been working closely with many of the Lusitania families, particularly over the last year in preparation for the major exhibition Lusitania: life, loss, legacy. I was fortunate to meet some of them at the opening of the exhibition and was moved to see their pride in how their relatives’ stories had been portrayed. Read more…

Lusitania – to save the company

5 May 2015 by Sam

painting of an ocean liner

The German liner Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse of 1897 © J Kent Layton Collection

This week we are marking the centenary of the sinking of the Lusitania with a series of events, including a memorial service at Liverpool Parish church and a commemoration at the Lusitania propeller on the waterfront on Thursday 7 May. See our Lusitania events page for full details.

To explain why the loss of the Lusitania was such a significant event, J Kent Layton – maritime historian and author of ‘Lusitania: an illustrated biography’ – has written a series of blog posts about the history of the ship. Read more…

Restoring the Falaba painting

30 April 2015 by Sam

David Crombie with a painting on an easel with with patches of paint loss

Working on removing excess fill from the losses to bring the levels in line with the rest of the paint surface – there were a lot of big losses!

This is the last of a series following the conservation of the painting ‘Falaba’ by Gerald M Burn, to prepare it for display in the Lusitania: life, loss, legacy exhibition. In previous posts I have described the structural treatment, cleaning and lining of the painting.

Once the painting was safely re-stretched onto the wooden stretcher, the two main things left to do were to fill in the paint losses and then inpaint (or retouch) the losses to match the surrounding original paint. Filling was carried out with fine chalk mixed with a water soluble synthetic resin, giving a paste that could be applied the areas of paint loss – this was done with a small palette knife which helped to imitate some of the texture of the original paint.

Once this had dried out, the excess filler could be removed with small cotton wool swabs wetted with water. After that, I could adjust and improve the fill texture as necessary. Then came the exciting stage Read more…

Ten years of World Museum

28 April 2015 by Sam

lots of people in the museum

Crowds getting their first look at the new atrium on Friday 29 April 2005

Just before 5pm on the afternoon of Thursday 28 April 2005, the very last visitors left through the old entrance of what was then know as Liverpool Museum and walked down the steps to William Brown Street. A fairly insignificant event but this did mark the end of an era.  Read more…

Remembering the role of Mersey ferries in the First World War

23 April 2015 by Sam

ferry decorated with colourful geometric patterns

The dazzled Mersey ferry Snowdrop

On Sunday Ben Whittaker, curator of maritime history and technology at Merseyside Maritime Museum, is taking part in events to mark the role that the Mersey Ferries played in the First World War, as he explains

“Today, Thursday 23 April, is St George’s Day, and on this day 98 years ago the Mersey ferries Iris and Daffodil took part in the daring First World War raid on Zeebrugge Harbour.  Read more…

Dazzle ferry exhibition

2 April 2015 by Sam

artist Sir Peter Blake on the colourfully decorated ferry

Sir Peter Blake, patron of the John Moores Painting Prize, on the Snowdrop dazzle ferry

This morning the dazzled Mersey ferry Snowdrop, painted with an amazing dazzle inspired design by Sir Peter Blake, sailed across the river for the first time. From the fantastic reaction of the commuters, tourists and press on board today it looks set to become a popular attraction on the river.

There’s more to the dazzle ferry than the colourful exterior though, as Merseyside Maritime Museum curator Ben Whittaker has co-curated an on board exhibition with Tate Liverpool. Read more…

L8 Create – tell us your Liverpool 8 stories!

1 April 2015 by Sam

two men by a wall of photgraphs and social media comments

Othello De’Souza-Hartley and Marc Boothe in the L8 Create area of the L8 Unseen exhibition

Opening on Friday 3 April at the Museum of Liverpool, the L8 Unseen exhibition reveals the stories and experiences of a diverse range of people from the Liverpool 8 community. The exhibition aims to uncover the spirit and heritage of the area through filmed interviews and striking large-scale photographs taken by renowned photographer Othello De’Souza-Hartley. Read more…

Picturing Venice in a different light

23 March 2015 by Sam

painting of gondolas under a cloudy grey sky in Venice

‘Grey Venice’ by Charles Napier Hemy

Our photographer Keith Sweeney has taken these fascinating pictures as part of his behind-the-scenes work preparing for a new exhibition. He explains:

“This painting, ‘Grey Venice’ by Charles Napier Hemy from the Walker Art Gallery’s collection, is one of many pictures of Venice from our collection that has been considered for inclusion in the upcoming Picturing Venice exhibition, which opens at the Lady Lever Art Gallery on 1 May.

Read more…

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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.