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Knock knock!

22 April 2013 by Sam

hand written poem

Liverpool’s creative talent is celebrated in the displays and exhibitions at the Museum of Liverpool. One exhibition in particular has inspired a poetic response, as Claire Hunter, assistant curator of urban history, explains:

“We have had a very creative response to the ‘Liverpool Doors’ exhibition, which is currently on display at Museum of Liverpool.

‘Liverpool Doors’ is an artistic collaboration between legendary poet Roger McGough, book artist Mark Cockram and students from Liverpool John Moores University’s School of Art and Design. Doors from across the city were kindly donated to Roger in order to create this unique display of art and poetry. Read more…

Dickens’s model daughter

9 April 2013 by Sam

painting of a man in uniform comforting a woman

‘The Black Brunswickers’ by Millais

So you’ve heard of the author Charles Dickens – of course! But did you know that there is another famous member of the Dickens family? Charles’s daughter Kate was the model for the well known painting ‘The Black Brunswickers’ at the Lady Lever Art Gallery.

The painting depicts an imaginary scene in which a woman says goodbye to a soldier as he leaves for battle. It’s a painting full of emotion, the woman seems to be holding the door closed to stop her man from going. Or was she secretly looking forward to some ‘me time’ after he left so that she could settle down to read the latest Dickens novel…
Read more…

Dan Snow to lead Battle of the Atlantic events

5 April 2013 by Sam

Dan Snow

Image courtesy of Dan Snow

Our waterfront venues have a packed programme of events for this year’s River Festival, which includes activities to mark the 70th anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic.

A highlight of the programme will be a talk by TV presenter and historian at Merseyside Maritime Museum. Dan explained to us why the events are so important to him:

“It is extremely exciting to be coming to Liverpool to mark the official anniversary of a desperate and hugely important battle that raged from the first day of the war to the last. The Battle of the Atlantic was nothing less than a long running attritional struggle for national survival. Britain’s enemies, as so often before in our history, attempted to shut off supplies to our island nation on which we depended. Had they succeeded the war would have been over, a starving population, and a weaponless army would have given the government no option but to sue for peace, on the enemy’s terms. Read more…

Easter 1945 – a time of austerity

28 March 2013 by Sam

old photo pf a shop window display

Anne Gleave, Curator of Photographic Archives, has found this photo in the Stewart Bale collection which shows a very different Easter display to the ones in shops today:

“There are 195,445 photographs in the Stewart Bale collection and this is one of them; a window display for Easter 1945 in the former department store Owen Owen on Clayton Square, Liverpool, which was commissioned by Owen Owen Ltd, April 1945.

I’m guessing that the passer-by’s attention was supposed to be grabbed by the words ‘Easter Harvest’ in large rustic letters in each of the three windows, hopefully to draw them closer to investigate and read the explanatory text panels about this strange phenomenon (how could harvest be at  Easter! But wait a minute…) Read more…

Half marathon breakfast at the museum

15 March 2013 by Sam

Superlambanana and outdoor cafe seating at the Museum of Liverpool

Copyright Mark McNulty

Much has been written about the loneliness of the long distance runner. But what about the friends and families who support those runners? You get up at the crack of dawn, become a mobile cloakroom service when your runner takes off the warm layers of clothing and emergency waterproof that they wore on the train over, you cheer them off, and then what? You find yourself in town  with time to kill before your runner reappears across the finish line and suddenly realise just how little is open at the crack of dawn on a cold Sunday morning. Yes, I speak from experience. Read more…

Beth Tweddle cast as a work of art

13 March 2013 by Sam

Beth Tweddle with her sculpture

Olympic gymnast Beth Tweddle doesn’t seem to have stood still since winning a bronze medal at London 2012. She became queen of the ice on Sunday, skating to victory in Dancing on Ice with a breathtaking Bolero. This morning she was back home in Liverpool to unveil a new sculpture, with has literally cast her in a much stiller moment.

The limited edition sculpture, ‘Olympian Series II – Beth Tweddle MBE’, which belongs to a private collector, is on temporary display at the Museum of Liverpool. If you come to see it then do pop upstairs to the Wondrous Place gallery, where there is a Locker Stories display about Beth’s gymnastic career. Read more…

Our most successful year ever

12 March 2013 by Sam

people around a big cake

The Museum of Liverpool’s first birthday celebration in July was just one of the events that brought in crowds in 2012

Museums in Liverpool are the most popular in England outside London, according to the 2012 visitor figures issued by the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA).The Museum of Liverpool attracted more than 1 million visitors, and was the most visited museum in England, outside of London.

This wasn’t the only success story though. The number of visitors to the Walker Art Gallery increased by 40%, mainly due to the popular exhibition ‘Rolf Harris: Can you tell what it is yet?’ The International Slavery Museum saw a 9% increase and visitor numbers to the Lady Lever Art Gallery increased by 7%. Read more…

Appeal for old football shirts

12 March 2013 by Sam

group of smiling young people

Young people who trained in Capoeira with Daniel on his last visit to Brazil

Here’s an appeal from Vikky Evans Hubbard at the International Slavery Museum:

“Daniel Baird, who runs our fabulous Capoeira Club on Saturday mornings, is off to train in Brazil soon. While he is there he works with groups of young people in the favelas, helping his ‘Mestre’ (master or trainer) train them in Capoeira.

Capoeira teaches discipline, self respect and respect for others as well as elements of self defence, dance, music and African Brazilian cultural identity and is a powerful tool in the fight to keep young people of the favelas off the streets and way from drugs and crime.

Daniel will be visiting a group he has previously trained in the Quinta de Boa Vista e Lapa favela in West Rio and would like to take some gifts for the kids in the ghetto there. Read more…

Credit crunch art – and film posters!

1 March 2013 by Sam

photo of a boy and cat inthe pose of the Life of Pi film poster

Image courtesy of Empire magazine

I love this fantastic recreation of the Life of Pi poster, spotted on the Empire magazine facebook page. The cat’s face makes it for me – I think if I asked my cat to pose like a tiger to recreate a film poster then she would look at me with exactly the same expression!

This reminded me of our own Credit Crunch Art project, in which we asked people to create their own versions of art from National Museums Liverpool’s collections. We have had some fantastic entries, which you can see in the Credit Crunch Art Flickr group. Below is my homage to Gainsborough. Read more…

‘The Stowaway’

15 February 2013 by Sam

young actors dressed in Victorian costume

Over the last three months the International Slavery Museum education team have been working with a group of young actors from the Street Life Foundation. The group used the painting by William Windus, ‘The Black Boy’, on display in the International Slavery Museum, as the starting point for a new play ‘The Stowaway’ written by group leader, Caroline Ihiekwe.

As part of their research the group worked closely with the education teams at the Maritime Museum and Museum of Liverpool, to find out what everyday life was like in Victorian Liverpool and how it affected children and young people of all classes. Mark, a member of the Street Life acting team, tells us more: 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.