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Looking back on back houses

6 April 2018 by Liz

Patchin Place, Greenwich Village, New York. ‘Court’ style houses filling a small side street area.

I was fortunate enough to make a research trip to New York recently, with my colleague Poppy Learman. This was supported by the Art Fund’s Jonathan Ruffer Curatorial Research Grant, and the Heritage Lottery Fund through the Galkoff’s and Secret Life of Pembroke Place project.

We visited numerous heritage sites, archives and museums. One of the highlights for me was meeting staff at Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, and discussed their work on New York’s back houses. The irregular street layout at the south tip of Manhattan, developed from the Dutch settlement street pattern, creates areas where courts and alleys developed, with some similarities to Liverpool court housing. A walking tour with Sarah Apmann enabled us to see examples of the Greenwich Village back housing. Read more…

The Qin terracotta warriors: a stunning discovery

29 March 2018 by Joe

On the anniversary of the discovery of the Terracotta Warriors in 1974, Senior Archaeologist Janice Li reveals more about the groundbreaking discoveries that followed:
Read more…

Of rights and resistance

28 March 2018 by Stef

Typeface and poster created by 3rd year student Tom Appleton that relates to the student gun protests in the USA

Typeface and poster created by 3rd year student Tom Appleton that relates to the student gun protests in the USA

To mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of civil rights hero Martin Luther King Jr, International Slavery Museum are hosting a two week public display of graphic design and illustration created by students and staff at Liverpool John Moores University in response to the museum’s civil rights and legacies of slavery collections.

Graphic Arts students Tom Appleton and Vicki Hesketh discuss the development of the project and what we can expect to see in their public display Of rights and resistance. Read more…

Tantalising tygs

27 March 2018 by Clare

It’s always fascinating delving through archive boxes from earlier, past excavations; you never quite know what you’ll come across! While searching through a box of finds from the 1980s Castle Hill excavation in Newton-le-Willows, I came across a few familiar pottery sherds which I recognised almost immediately as being similar to 17th century drinking cups I had excavated a few years ago at Rainford Tennis Courts, in the village of Rainford near St Helens.

These drinking cups were historically known as ‘tygs’ and were generally multi-handled cups made in the 16th–18th centuries. Read more…

Spring in Port Sunlight

23 March 2018 by Ann

Exterior of Lady Lever Art Gallery in the Spring

Exterior of Lady Lever Art Gallery in the Spring

There’s no better time to hop on the train and discover the beauty of Spring this Easter in Port Sunlight.  With two Merseyrail stations in the village (Port Sunlight and Bebington), grab the kids, pack a picnic and explore the tree and daffodil lined avenues while the kids are off school.  With the Lady Lever Art Gallery and Port Sunlight Museum and Garden Centre to explore, stay a day or stay all week we’ve plenty to keep you all occupied. Read more…

A transatlantic trip for John Gibson’s Tinted Venus

23 March 2018 by Lottie

Last year, the Walker Art Gallery received a request for the loan of John Gibson’s Tinted Venus from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. John Gibson was a neo-classical sculptor who worked from studios in Rome. He first showed this sculpture at the 1862 International Exhibition, where his use of colour on marble caused quite a stir.

While many were critical of this ‘new’ way of presenting sculpture, Gibson was in fact referencing the ancient Greek practice of fully painted statuary. Gibson went on to receive commissions for two more Tinted Venuses.

This particular sculpture hadn’t been on loan since the mid-1990s and required a thorough inspection in order for us to make an informed decision about whether it could be considered for international travel. Read more…

Autism Together

23 March 2018 by Laura

Man on boat

Alex, contributor on ‘Future Visions: Voices of the autism community’

A new film that marks the 50th anniversary of Merseyside-based charity Autism Together is now on display at Museum of Liverpool in The People’s Republic Gallery.

‘Future Visions: Voices of the autism community’ asks local people living with autism to think ahead to what they would like and hope to achieve in the next fifty years, and celebrates their successes so far.

Read more…

Easter at the Museums

22 March 2018 by Megan

Hop along to your local museum for a free dose of Easter fun! We have a fantastic selection of events, activities and new exhibitions there’s something for everyone to be ‘egg-cited’ about at National Museums Liverpool this Easter. Read more…

A meeting of minds

22 March 2018 by Liz

In the current television series, Civilisations, David Olusoga has explored the idea that art and creativity are always on the frontline when cultures meet. Olusoga observed that through history encounters between different peoples have been be for many reasons, and have resulted in peaceful exchange or violent clashes. 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.