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Posts tagged with '18th century'

Getting dressed in the 18th century

3 August 2016 by Lynn

Mrs Paine and her Daughters (1975), Sir Joshua Reynolds (c) National Museums Liverpool

Mrs Paine and her Daughters (1975), Sir Joshua Reynolds (c) National Museums Liverpool

Costume curator Pauline Rushton explores what it was like for women to get dressed in the 18th century.

“Getting ourselves dressed in the morning is one of the everyday things we all take for granted, along with brushing our hair and our teeth. But what would it feel like to have someone else dress you every day? In the 18th century, provided you had enough money and could afford to pay servants, that would be the norm, especially if you were a woman. In any case, clothes could be so complicated that you wouldn’t be able to get into them easily without someone else’s assistance. Ideas about privacy and intimacy were different then too – it was normal to be touched by a servant if they were helping you wash or dress.

Read more…

When Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun met Emma Hamilton

9 July 2016 by Xanthe

painting of a woman holding a tambourine

‘Lady Hamilton as a Bacchante’ by Elisabeth-Louise Vigée Le Brun

We know quite a lot about Vigée Le Brun’s portrait of Emma Hamilton, and what she thought of Emma, because in the mid 1820s, towards the end of a long painting career of more than 50 years, she decided to write up her diaries and publish them as memoirs in 1836-37.

Vigée first met Emma when the artist arrived in Naples in 1790, having fled Paris with her 9 year old daughter, at the start of the French Revolution in 1789. Vigée was given refuge by the Queen of Naples, the sister of the French Queen Marie-Antoinette, whose favourite portrait painter was Vigée. When she fled Paris she left her art-dealer husband, Jean-Baptiste Le Brun, behind to protect the family house and studio contents. He was later forced by the French Revolutionary government to divorce her to retain their property. She spent the next 12 years travelling around the courts of continental Europe visiting cities in Italy, Austria and Russia, making a successful living by painting portraits of royalty, aristocrats and their courtiers.  Read more…

Scouse hair-rollers from the past

6 July 2015 by Liz

small ceramic bar

18th century wig curler found during excavations before the construction of the Crown Court in Liverpool

The HAIR exhibition in the Museum of Liverpool explores how Black hair styles have evolved and how they reflect wider social change and political movements. It considers the ways in which hairstyles have reflected status, identity and creativity from early African origins to the present. As an archaeologist this got me thinking about what we might be able to interpret about Black British people’s hairstyles from archaeological evidence.   Read more…

21st century design inspired by the past

19 March 2015 by Lisa

Porcelain letters with screen printed phrases

Porcelain envelopes with screen printed phrases by Faye Johnson.

A new display by design students from Liverpool Hope University has just gone on display at the Walker Art Gallery. ‘Back to the Future’ is a display of new work created by the students as a response to historic pieces in the collections of the Walker Art Gallery.  Read more…

Conserving the Walker’s Wright of Derby portraits

21 June 2007 by Sam

conservators working on 2 paintings

Find out what was revealed when two of the Walker’s portraits by Joseph Wright of Derby were conserved in our conservation studio.  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.