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A tale about a toboggan from the Archives!

29 January 2019 by Vicki Caren

document next to computer screen showing info on George Ashworth Cobham Jr

This guest blog comes to you from Helen Ritchie, a University of Liverpool student currently undertaking a Masters in Archives and Records Management (MARM). Helen has reflected upon her recent placement here at the Maritime Archive and Library, which included the discovery of an unexpected tale:

“I was delighted to have the opportunity to complete a two-week volunteer placement at the Merseyside Maritime Museum.

During my time at the Maritime, I have witnessed what it takes to be an archivist within a museum setting and the constraints that the sector often endures such as funding and space management.

The collection I was asked to catalogue belongs to the Bryson-Cobham family collection which includes a large number of personal and business correspondence relating to the Cobhams Read more…

Museum of Liverpool celebrates Year of the Pig

28 January 2019 by Claire

Folded lucky money envelopes made by volunteers as part of the Pigsy Challenge project

A Lucky Pigsy sculpture celebrating Chinese new year is to go on display at the Museum of Liverpool from 1 February.

During Chinese New Year celebrations, which mark the beginning of the new lunar year, Liverpool’s Chinatown really comes to life. 2019 is the Year of the Pig, the 12th animal of the Chinese zodiac. In ancient folklore, it is believed that the pig is 12th zodiac sign because he was the last animal to cross the river in the Jade Emperor’s Great Race. Read more…

Our Favourite Queen Anne cameo

22 January 2019 by Charlotte

The cameo portrait of Sarah Churchill

Have you seen the new blockbuster film The Favourite? Featuring Olivia Colman as Queen Anne, the film is loosely based on the true story of the Queen’s romantic relationship with Sarah Churchill, the Duchess of Malborough, and later, her cousin Abigail, Baroness Masham.

Coleman has already won a Golden Globe for Best Actress for her performance and the film is tipped to win big at both the Baftas and Oscars where in each case it leads the award nominations.

The Guardian describes the film as ‘a souped up and sweary quasi-Restoration romp full of intrigue and plotting – with wigs, clavichords and long corridors to storm down’ and I can’t wait to see it!

If you’ve seen it, or even if you haven’t, you might be interested in visiting the Lady Lever Art Gallery where you can see a small cameo portrait of Sarah Churchill.

If you can’t make it to the gallery, you can read more about Queen Anne, Sarah and Abigail as part of our online project Pride and Prejudice, which brings together art and social history items with an LGBT+ connection.

What do you think of the film?

Trans-Verses: Poetry themes in The Glad Rag and Cross-Talk Magazines

22 January 2019 by Kay

Cross Talk magazine

Cross Talk magazine

In the lead up to our OUTing the Past Festival of LGBT History at the Museum of Liverpool, 23 February, we will be sharing blogs from our wonderful speakers.

First up is Valerie Stevenson, Head of Academic Services at Liverpool John Moores University. She tells us more about her talk, Trans-Verses: Poetry themes in The Glad Rag and Cross-Talk Magazines.

“At Liverpool John Moores University we recently acquired a small archive of books, magazines and personal papers from the family of Peter Farrer, who lived in Liverpool for many years and was an authority on the history of cross-dressing. His collection of dresses was shown in the exhibition Transformation: One man’s cross-dressing wardrobe at the Walker Art Gallery and Sudley House. The archive includes runs of two magazines: The Glad Rag, published by the UK Transvestite/Transsexual Support Group and Cross-Talk, by The Northern Concord. Both magazines contain a mix of factual advice and creative writing in the form of short stories and poems.

The Glad Rag magazine

The Glad Rag magazine

Looking through these magazines, it is clear how important they were as a means of communication in the decades before most people had access to email or the Internet. The poems stood out to me because of their intensity of feeling on themes such as identity and the pain of existence. In my paper, I will provide an introduction to the Peter Farrer Archive, which is available to anyone for research purposes, and identify the recurring themes in this group of poems. I found them extremely moving and worthy of further analysis to explore how they compare with more recent collections of trans poetry.”

If you would like to find out more you can hear Valerie speaking on the poetry themes in The Glad Rag and Cross-Talk Magazines at approx 11:30 am on 23 February at the Museum of Liverpool.

http://blog.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/2019/01/outing-the-past-festival-of-lgbt-history-2019/

OUTing the Past! Festival of LGBT History 2019

21 January 2019 by Kay

Rainbow coloured light bulb Come and join us this LGBT History Month at The Museum of Liverpool, 23 February, for our OUTing the Past Festival of LGBT History. This year we are one of 18 venues in the UK and Ireland, Norway, Sweden and New York! Speakers will be coming from around the UK , including some home-grown talent.

It will be a bumper day of diverse talks and a performance to end the day on a high (more details will be revealed). Why not combine it with a last chance to see our fabulous exhibition Tales from the city, which explores the lives and experiences of Liverpool’s LGBT+ community from 1967 to today? There are also a range of tours and drag tales to enjoy before the exhibition closes 31 March.The festival and exhibition are free and everyone is welcome.

Museum of Liverpool interior. (C) Pete Carr

Museum of Liverpool interior. (C) Pete Carr

OUTing the Past Festival of LGBT History –

11am Christian Owens – From Small Town Boy to ‘Visible’ City Cop

11.30 Val Stevenson – Trans-Verses: Poetry themes in The Glad Rag and Cross-Talk Magazines 1970s – 1990s

12 noon Pierrette Squires – Bisexual representation in museum collections – how you can help your history to be represented.

12.30pm Adam Hodgson – UNISON: Our Proud History – from lone voices to collective action for LGBT equality

1pm Chris D’Bray – Queering a Post-Modern Music Hall.

2pm Hilary McCollum – Public and private lesbian worlds in the 1920s

2. 30pm Steve Boyce – Sex, Crime and Punishment throughout history.

3pm Addea, G – Scrumming Together & Tackling Homophobia

3.30pm Natasha Walker – Better Connected – The History of Switchboard

Location – Education room 3, Floor 1.

 

Liverpool is Burning! House of Suarez

18 January 2019 by Kay

Vogue Ball 2017. Image  courtesy of Fotocad

Vogue Ball 2017. Image courtesy of Fotocad

“It’s always been my dream to create a Vogue Ball since I was first introduced to the vogue dance style in the ‘80s. To see the growth and passion of the Ball reach so many people is truly amazing and beyond my expectations!”
Darren Suarez, 2019

Read more…

Redesigning the National Museums Liverpool website: research

15 January 2019 by Scott Smith

The website steering group in action

The website steering group in action!

Redesigning a website is often a long and arduous process. Re-designing a museum website is on a whole different level. From collections to retail and development to marketing, every department is a stakeholder. Aside from that, museum websites are massive. Ours has thousands upon thousands of pages which makes the idea of completely updating it slightly terrifying. Read more…

Beauty and Virtue in Mexico City

14 January 2019 by Chrissy Partheni

Togate and Faustina

Just before Christmas we opened the exhibition ‘Beauty and Virtue: 18th century English collecting of classical art’ at the National Museum of Anthropology – the largest and most visited museum in Mexico City. It’s taken two years of careful planning and has involved the work of different NML teams and an ongoing collaboration with our Mexican colleagues from INAH. Showcasing the diversity and richness of our collections,  the core of the exhibition is from the sculpture collections of Henry Blundell, alongside paintings from the Walker’s and Lady Lever Art Gallery’s collections, including works on papers and Wedgwood material. They serve well to introduce the theme of 18th century Grand Tour and also help demonstrate the influence classical antiquity had on artists’ education and training, and the new ways artists reimagined the ancient classical world.

Read more…

Volunteer helps uncover the secret life of Pembroke Place

10 January 2019 by Rachel O'Malley

Liz Stewart and Susan Bennett

Liz Stewart and Susan Bennett

Volunteers are an integral part of National Museums Liverpool, and without them, important work would not be able to take place.

This month, I had the pleasure of meeting Susan Bennett who has been volunteering at the Museum of Liverpool with Liz Stewart since 2016; they have both recently worked on the Galkoff’s and the Secret Life of Pembroke Place project, which has driven Susan to further her research… but more on that later. I could have talked with Susan and Liz all day, Susan’s stories are fascinating and she has had quite a life! Read more…

Digging Up ‘Little Hell’!

20 December 2018 by Liz

Looking back on 2018, this has been a fascinating and fun year at the Museum of Liverpool. One of my professional highlights of the year has been the excavation we undertook in July at Oakes Street (between London Road and Pembroke Place). As part of the Galkoff’s and Secret Life of Pembroke Place project the Museum of Liverpool archaeology team worked with Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine to see what was hidden under their car park.  With the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) we’d been able to undertake extensive map and desk-based research, which had told us that this was the site of some courtyard housing, but you never know what you’ll actually find when you start digging! 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.