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National Adoption Week

20 October 2015 by Lucy

Image of the projection

Mary McCartney’s image projected onto the Museum of Liverpool

On Monday 19 October, the Museum of Liverpool took part in a nationwide campaign to mark the beginning of National Adoption Week, which runs from 19 – 25 October.

The Museum played host to a giant projection of an image by celebrity photographer, Mary McCartney, who recently took the official portrait of the Queen.

The image of a small boy captioned ‘Too Old at 4?’ illuminated the exterior of the building, which could be seen from the Strand, drawing attention to the fact that this is the average age of children waiting the longest for adoptive families.

The image has also been projected on other iconic buildings across the country, including City Hall in London, the Blackpool Tower, as well as other locations in Bristol, Manchester, Leicester, Bolton, Birmingham and Newcastle.

There are 660 children waiting for adoptive parents in the North West, and 35 of these children are in Liverpool.

Janet Dugdale, Director of the Museum of Liverpool said:

The exterior of the Museum of Liverpool lends itself really well to projections, and as an iconic building on the waterfront, we really hope that this provides an opportunity for the National Adoption Week message to be seen. We are a family-friendly museum, so our young visitors are extremely important to us. The work that First4Adoption is doing to help find happy homes and families for children is extremely important, so we’re really pleased that the Museum of Liverpool can act as a positive platform to help raise awareness to the people of Liverpool.

For more information, go to www.first4adoption.org.uk/nationaladoptionweek or call First4Adoption on 0300 222 0022.



Jet the dog – Liverpool superhero (to curators and small boys!)

19 October 2015 by Kay

man in uniform with a black dog

Painting of Jet by Alfred Kemp Wiffen, 1949. Presented by Mrs Babcock Cleaver in 1967, accession number WAG 7004

Jet has always been a hero close to my heart. I was initially introduced to his story whilst working on my first exhibition here at National Museums Liverpool – Spirit of the Blitz at Merseyside Maritime Museum in 2003. We included the bronze bust and oil painting shown here of Jet, from the Walker Art Gallery collections, which took pride of place. The exhibition even had a specially designed Jet the Dog children’s trail. We also interviewed his owner’s daughter, Lillias Ward about Jet’s wartime heroics Read more…

Kongo figure at the Met Museum, New York

19 October 2015 by Zachary

Mangaaka Nkisi nkondi “power figure”), Kongo, Mayombe, Dem. Rep. Congo. About 1900. Gift of O Sonnerburg through A. Ridyard.

Mangaaka Nkisi nkondi “power figure”), Kongo, Mayombe, Dem. Rep. Congo. About 1900. Gift of O Sonnerburg through A. Ridyard.

Last month Mangaaka (, one of World Museum’s most impressive Kongo figures from Central Africa, joined 146 other Kongo-related exhibits in a major exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum in New York. The ‘Kongo: Power and Majesty exhibition tells the story of Kongo history and creativity over 500 years. Mangaaka is displayed in the final hall of the exhibition, which includes a dramatic display of fourteen other magnificent Mangaaka figures borrowed from various institutions in Europe and the U.S.A.   Read more…

Cataloging the John Moores Painting Prize

16 October 2015 by Felicity

A range of John Moores Painting Prize catalogues can be seen alongside a selection of first prize winning works in room 11 at the Walker Art Gallery

A range of John Moores Painting Prize catalogues can be seen alongside a selection of first prize-winning works in room 11 at the Walker Art Gallery

We’re now getting into the final weeks of call for entries for the John Moores Painting Prize 2016. Alongside the exhibitions, the John Moores catalogues are one of the most hotly anticipated aspects of the prize. In this blog, Ann Bukantas, Head of Fine Art at National Museums Liverpool, tells us what makes them so iconic. There’s also an opportunity to win a copy of the 2014 catalogue, signed by first prize-winning artist Rose Wylie, by clicking here. Read more…

Park pipes

15 October 2015 by Jeff

Three 'Morgan' stamped pipes excavated at Calderstones Park

Three ‘Morgan’ stamped pipes excavated at Calderstones Park

The Museum of Liverpool archaeologists have been analysing finds from our excavations at Calderstones Park, which ran in spring, in partnership with the Reader Organisation. During this finds work I have noticed some interesting parallels between the clay tobacco pipes found there and at the Manchester Dock, the site under the Museum of Liverpool. Read more…

A visit to Tate – Glen Ligon : Encounters and Collisions

15 October 2015 by Richard

Glenn Ligon - Untitled 2006

Glenn Ligon Untitled 2006
© Glenn Ligon; courtesy Thomas Dane Gallery, London

In this guest blog, produced for Tate Liverpool, I talk of my recent visit to the gallery’s major exhibition curated by one of America’s most distinguished contemporary artists, Glenn Ligon (b.1960, New York) – Glenn Ligon: Encounters and Collisions.

My first guest blog for Tate Liverpool also happens to be during UK Black History Month (rather than US Black History Month which is in February).  Dr. Carter G. Woodson, often referred to as the father of African American history, established what was originally called ‘Negro History Week’ in 1926.   The week became a month, February chosen as it contains the birthdays of influential figures such as Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. It was against this backdrop that I visited Glenn Ligon: Encounters and Collisions at Tate Liverpool. Read more…

Thrown out of his village: now bringing hope to thousands

15 October 2015 by Alison


Kumar Swamy is South India Director for the Dalit Freedom Network and is responsible for oversight of a range of on the ground education, healthcare and economic programmes run for the benefit of Dalit communities in India. These trafficking prevention projects are helping to bring about real change – not only freeing Dalits from modern forms of slavery, but freeing them from the factors that make them so vulnerable to exploitation and abuse in the first place. Here Kumar tells us of the challenges he faced growing up as a young Dalit boy in India, and of the work going on to bring about meaningful and long-lasting change in the country he loves. Read more…

Appeal – is this you in the photograph?

13 October 2015 by Kay

Mother and sons with Jubilee decorations

Silver Jubilee street party, June 1977, Old Swan, Liverpool

Our display Growing up in the city: in photographs features a range of fantastic photographs depicting Liverpool childhoods from the 1870s to the 1990s, from the Museum of Liverpool’s collections.

After searching through many postcards, photographs and glass plate negatives in our stores, it was a hard choice to select the final 25 images. I could have included so many more – especially as I wanted to ensure that lots of different children and childhoods were represented.

One of my favourites is this image of a young mum, with presumably her two young sons in Old Swan – Ulster Road, we believe. It was taken in June 1977 by local photographer, Harold Douglas Avington. Read more…

Women’s Suffrage in Liverpool – the campaign for the right to vote

9 October 2015 by Kay

sculpture of woman holding a 'votes for women' sign

Statue of Mary Bamber – A Revolutionary Woman

On 12 October a new film Suffragette is released. If you’re interested in the local campaign to give women the right to vote you should visit our display, Taking liberties – women’s suffrage in Liverpool. The display was created in partnership with the 1918 Club, a local discussion forum for women established in 1918 by Eleanor Rathbone, a prominent politician and campaigner.

1918 is a significant year for many reasons, but particularly as this was the year that the campaign to give women the right to vote gained success with the Representation of the People Act, which gave the vote to tax-paying women over the age of 30.

Many prominent Liverpool people fought for this basic right. Read more…

Mastering Heritage Studies with Liverpool Hope University

9 October 2015 by Paula

Seeing first hand how to identify pests that can damage objects

Seeing first hand how to identify pests that can damage objects

For the third year running, National Museums Liverpool is joining forces with Liverpool Hope University to deliver their Masters in Museum and Heritage Studies and Art History and Curating. Through a unique series of practical workshops and hands-on sessions students get an insight into the day to day work of museum staff Read more…

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