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New acquisition: a ‘Basaon’ oracle set from Senegal

4 February 2015 by Zachary

Owen Burnham demonstrating how the Basaon oracle is used.

Owen Burnham demonstrating how the Basaon oracle is used.

It is not often that I get offered a really well documented object as a donation to the World Museum’s African collection. Last month I was pleased to accept a unique addition to the collection consisting of a rare divination set, or oracle, from Senegal in West Africa. The oracle, called a Basaon, is used by the Balanta Kanja people of the Casamance region in Southern Senegal and is one of very few remaining oracles of its type.  Read more…

Everybody Razzle Dazzle

2 February 2015 by Lucy

Image of Sir Peter Blake

Sir Peter Blake, seen here in his studio

We are really excited to be involved in a new project announced today, to ‘dazzle’ one of the Mersey Ferries, and even more so because it involves Sir Peter Blake.

Peter Blake is perhaps most famous for designing the cover of The Beatles’ album, ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ (1967). However, he has been a prolific artist during his career and his status in the art world far exceeds Sgt. Pepper’s.

Sir Peter is a leading figure in the development of British pop art, and became the first Patron of the John Moores Painting Prize – held every two years at the Walker Art Gallery – in 2011.  Read more…

Planning your wedding? Our wedding co-ordinator’s top tips

30 January 2015 by Stacey

Copyright Phil Whitby

© Phil Whitby

Congratulations, you’re engaged! After the celebrations with family and friends have subsided you are now starting to realise the enormity of  planning the perfect day for you and your other half. Here is Jenna, our wedding co-ordinator, with some top tips for making sure you have everything covered for a perfect weddingRead more…

My labour of love for John Gilbert, legendary bird expert

28 January 2015 by Lynn

Paradise parrot

Gilbert discovered the Paradise Parrot, sadly now extinct, on the Darling Downs of southern Queensland in 1844.

Clem Fisher, Senior Curator of Vertebrate Zoology talks about her obsession with and extensive research into the work of John Gilbert, ornithologist, curator and explorer.


I first became interested in the collections of John Gilbert when I started work as “Trainee, Natural History” in Liverpool Museum (now World Museum Liverpool) in 1975.

Read more…

Guest blog: how our Henry VIII portrait inspired ‘Wolf Hall’ costumes

28 January 2015 by Felicity

Image of The Walker Art Gallery's Henry VIII portrait

The Walker Art Gallery’s Henry VIII portrait

The Walker Art Gallery’s Henry VIII portrait is one of the most recognisable paintings in our collection. It is derived from the Whitehall Mural, painted by Hans Holbein in 1537.

We were thrilled to hear that the portrait inspired Clare Vyse, Assistant Costume Designer for BBC/ Company pictures’ Wolf Hall – one of this year’s most talked about new dramas!

In this guest blog, Clare tells us how portraits of the king proved to be an invaluable resource when designing his costumes:

“We used all the available portraiture when researching King Henry’s clothes for Wolf Hall, but Holbein’s paintings were particularly influential because his work is so clear and detailed – they are such a valuable resource.

The Henry in our story is younger and slimmer than the one in this portrait, but in later episodes he wears an outfit that is based on this very painting. Read more…

Young Archaeologists in action

26 January 2015 by Liz

Young archaeologist washes finds on site in Rainford

Young archaeologist washes finds on site in Rainford

The Museum of Liverpool hosts the Mersey and Dee branch of the Young Archaeologists’ Club. The club is open to anyone aged 8-17 who fancies learning a bit more about the past and the work of archaeologists. Read more…

Community collaboration at the Lady Lever Art Gallery

22 January 2015 by Ann

WMO Christmas event Dec 2014 resizedIt’s been a busy few months at the Lady Lever Art Gallery since receiving the great news that our bid for a Heritage Lottery Fund grant for the South End redevelopment was approved!

As part of the South End redevelopment project at the gallery, the Education team is working on a wide range of projects with schools, communities, and families. Working closely with local communities is a key aspect of the Education team’s ongoing activities at the gallery and the South End redevelopment project.  Read more…

House of Memories leads to MBE

16 January 2015 by Dawn

Carol_RogersIn this post, Carol Rogers, Executive Director Education and Visitors, reflects on the professional journey that led to an MBE in the New Year honours:

“When I developed the idea for House of Memories in 2011, I did not anticipate that we were launching an award winning dementia awareness programme that would make a real impact to the lives of people living with dementia, their carers and their families Read more…

Liverpool’s anniversaries in 2015

15 January 2015 by Liz

dock wall excavation

The structure of the dock wall was revealed during excavations in advance of construction of the Liverpool One shopping centre

As we move into a new year I often think about the events which will shape the year. What will 2015 bring for me, for my family and friends, for Liverpool, and around the world?

In the past, years ending with ‘-15′ have sometimes incorporated momentous occasions for Liverpool, so we mark several centenaries this year. 1715 is probably the most significant and celebrated of these – the year that Liverpool’s first dock opened. Read more…

Black Germans and the Holocaust

14 January 2015 by Sam

German wartime identity card with portrait photo of a Black woman

The International Slavery Museum will be marking Holocaust Memorial Day on Tuesday 27 January with a special free guest lecture by Professor Eve Rosenhaft from the University of Liverpool, who will be talking about the experiences of the Black German community during the Holocaust.

Eve tells us more:

“When Hitler came to power in 1933, there were a several thousand people of African descent in Germany. They included African Americans, African-Caribbean and Africans passing through, working or recently settled, but the core of Germany’s Black community was made up of men from Germany’s former colonies – East Africa, Togo, and especially Cameroon – with their German-born wives and ‘mixed-race’ children.

This talk focuses on those families. While Hitler was still hoping to recover colonies in Africa, the Nazis hoped to make use of them for political propaganda. Read more…

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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.