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A little history of LGBT+ love

14 February 2018 by Scott Smith

Saint Valentine’s Day, our National day of love is celebrated by couples around the world. It just so happens that it falls under February, the month that we celebrate LGBT History Month – a month-long annual observance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history. So, we thought we’d take the opportunity to highlight some LGBT+ relationships from history that we think you should know about.

The artworks and objects discussed here are part of National Museums Liverpool’s collections and all relate in some way to intimate relationships between members of the same sex, both real and fictional, which go beyond platonic friendship in some way. All of these partnerships offer, in their own way, an alternative to the type of heterosexual relationship that continues to be socially dominant. Read more…

The art of love

13 February 2018 by Ann Bukantas

Love threads its way though many of the artworks in the Walker Art Gallery’s collection, and across the years, artists have explored the themes of romance, passion and heartbreak in paintings. Let’s go find a little love this Valentine’s Day, and see how different artists have tackled the subject across the centuries.

Dante’s Dream

Dante's Dream by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 1871

Read more…

Fresh Perspectives: Call out to Wirral secondary schools

13 February 2018 by Siobhan

Young people admiring their artwork in teh Fresh Perspectives art exhibition at the lady lever Art Gallery

Opening of the Fresh Perspectives exhibition at the Lady Lever Art Gallery

April 2019 will see the return of the biennial schools exhibition Fresh Perspectives: Art from Wirral schools at the Lady Lever Art Gallery.   Fresh Perspectives is a fantastic opportunity for schools to nurture and promote the talents of their students, for young people to engage with arts and culture outside of the classroom environment and to support those with an interest in further education in the arts, offering them an insight into creative careers.   This will be the fourth occasion that the exhibition has taken place but for the first time schools will have the opportunity to apply to have their students GCSE and A Level work included.

Read more…

A Valentine to seafarers

12 February 2018 by Jen

Off-white tile with red printed design showing a woman embracing a sailor with sailing ship in the background.

British Delftware tile, ‘The Sailor’s Farewell’, from National Museums Liverpool’s Decorative Arts collection – M2234 i

Here at the Maritime Museum our curatorial team are busy researching the content for our new Sea Galleries, set to open in 2019 and looking at the lives and experiences of seafarers. I’ve become particularly interested in the effects of separation from one’s family and home, and have been reading through a collection of journals in the Maritime Archives kept by a Captain Porter in the 1860s aboard his ship the Jamna. Read more…

‘Troublesome ladies’ and #Vote100

6 February 2018 by Charlotte

Today marks 100 years since the Representation of the People Act was passed in 1918. This law allowed some women to vote for the first time, but it only applied to women over the age of 30 who had property rights or a university education. The Act also enabled all men over the age of 21 to vote for the first time too.

The campaign for women’s suffrage, or the right to vote, began to gain momentum in the mid 19th century. The Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) was founded in 1903 by former members of the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies (NUWSS) frustrated by the campaign’s slow progress. Led by Christine Pankhurst, the WSPU sought to attract attention to their cause in new ways. Their motto was ‘Deeds, not words’ and their actions became increasingly disruptive and violent in the years that followed. They committed acts of arson, damaged public buildings and even planted bombs, while others targeted famous works of art in public galleries and museums.  Read more…

Hidden treasures on display for the first time at the Walker

5 February 2018 by Nicola Scott

Slaves of Fashion: New Works by The Singh Twins has just opened at the Walker Art Gallery, and thanks to this unique collaboration between National Museums Liverpool and The Singh Twins, you can see some star objects that have never been on display before!

It is not new for artists to take inspiration from museum collections, but what is different is the extent of The Singh Twins’ research. They have viewed hundreds of objects, which have contributed to many ideas for their artworks.

We began in 2014 when I planned a visit to our stores with the artists. The exhibition tells stories from the history of Indian textiles, so I was looking for items made in India or inspired by Indian design. I was thrilled to discover exquisite hand-embroidered pieces and stunning, woven shawls – I realised these had never before been seen by the public. The Singh Twins went on to work with colleagues in other departments too. The objects they discovered have informed some of the main themes for their artworks, and you can see many referenced within the actual artworks themselves! I was delighted to put some of these on display for the first time in Slaves of Fashion.

A selection of our textiles, jewellery and books on display for the first time

Shawl or ‘Phulkari’, India 19th century


Shawl or ‘Phulkari’, India 19th century

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The grid is the thing

5 February 2018 by Ann Bukantas

Noel Forster’s A Painting in Six Stages with a Silk Triangle (detail)

What unites the paintings in our new display of past John Moores Painting Prize winners since 1957 is of course the fact that they have all won the UK’s most prestigious painting prize, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. But across this diverse group of canvases from different decades, other common links start to emerge, and this week we have mostly been spotting the variety of grids in the room!

Read more…

17 March 2018: One-day Conference: Slaves of Fashion: Archives, Art and Ethics

2 February 2018 by Ann

To accompany The Singh Twins’ major new exhibition Slaves of Fashion: New Works by The Singh Twins at the Walker Art Gallery, National Museums Liverpool and the University of Liverpool School of Histories, Languages and Cultures are hosting a one-day conference, open to the public to explore the issues raised by The Twins’ new artworks.

Read more…

10 Decades On: Liverpool Women 100

2 February 2018 by Kay

Gallery

Taking Liberties on display in The People’s Republic

2018 marks 100 years since the passing of the Representation of the People Act. After a long hard fight, some women over the age of 30 were given the right to vote for the first time. The Act also granted men over the age of 21 the vote. It would be another 10 years until this was equalised for women over the age of 21 in 1928.

The campaign in Liverpool saw both militant and peaceful tactics employed to win the basic right to vote. Women were jailed and force fed in Walton Gaol, bombs were planted around the city and windows smashed.  Read more…

Sapphic Suffragettes

31 January 2018 by Kay

Hilary McCollum

Courtesy of Hilary McCollum

Our final blog post in the run up to our exciting OUTing the Past: The 4th National Festival of LGBT History conference, 3 February, is from Hilary McCollum.

Hilary is a feminist activist, writer and campaigner from northwest Ireland. She will be presenting, ‘Sapphic Suffragettes: The key role of lesbians in the fight for Votes for Women’.  Read more…



About our blog

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.