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Sheep and Lambs celebrate their 150th birthday at Sudley!

21 September 2016 by Simon Birtall

painting of sheep in a field

‘Sheep and Lambs’ by Rosa Bonheur, currently on display at Sudley House

One of the joys of working at, and visiting, Sudley House is the chance to see, nestling amongst paintings by the likes of Turner, Gainsborough and Reynolds, paintings by a number of 19th century artists less familiar to the average visitor, but whose work and personal stories I often find both surprising and inspiring.

George Holt, the 19th century ship owner and philanthropist whose collection of artwork Sudley is home to, saw it as his duty to support contemporary British artists. Read more…

Carry the Lady Lever Art Gallery in your pocket with our new app

13 September 2016 by Ann

Lady Lever Art Gallery app

Lady Lever Art Gallery app

As part of the consultation period prior to the redevelopment of the Lady Lever Art Gallery’s  South End galleries we asked visitors about how they would like to see Lord Lever’s collections interpreted.  We were keen to explore the use of technology in our displays but were mindful that many people were wary of too much intervention wanting to keep the galleries as they were. However, 99% of those surveyed said that they owned a smartphone and 71% were interested in a venue app and would consider downloading one.

We set to work planning how we could enhance a visit to the Gallery using digital content but not at the expense of the physical experience and so it was decided to develop a simple app which gave visitors, particularly families, an alternative method of exploring the collections in the new galleries and in the comfort of their own homes.

 

Read more…

Talk Tuesday: John Moores 2016 artist, Nicholas Middleton

29 July 2016 by Lisa

Nicholas at the John Moores 2016 exhibition.

Nicholas at the John Moores 2016 exhibition.

What inspires our John Moores Painting Prize artists? Nicholas Middleton is an artist who has been selected five times for the John Moores over the past 12 years – this year his painting ‘Figures in an Arch’ has been chosen for the exhibition.

We caught up with him to find out more about how he works, ahead of his ‘Talk Tuesday’ event happening at the Walker Art Gallery on Tuesday 2 August. Read more…

“The limitations of painting I find quite beautiful” – Michael Simpson, first prizewinner, John Moores 2016

15 July 2016 by Lisa

Artist Michael Simpson (right), receives the £25,000 first prize from juror Ansel Krut.

Artist Michael Simpson (right), receives the £25,000 first prize from juror Ansel Krut.

Last week was one of the most exciting of the year for the Walker Art Gallery, with the announcement of the winner of the prestigious John Moores Painting Prize. 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…

A teacher’s view at the Lady Lever Art Gallery

8 July 2016 by Ann

Warm up drawing exercises on gallery in a Draw to Explore sessionAre you an Early Years practitioner or Primary or Secondary teacher? Why not start the next academic year by joining the Education team at the Lady Lever Art Gallery in Port Sunlight on Wednesday 7 September, 4 – 6pm for our Teachers’ view event Read more…

Michael Simpson wins the John Moores Painting Prize 2016!

7 July 2016 by Felicity

Squint (19), 2015, by Michael Simpson is the winner of the John Moores Painting Prize 2016

Squint (19), 2015, by Michael Simpson is the winner of the John Moores Painting Prize 2016

The Walker Art Gallery has announced the winner of the prestigious John Moores Painting Prize 2016 is artist Michael Simpson with his painting Squint (19). Michael (b.1940, Dorset) receives the £25,000 first prize for his work, which is one of a continuing series of paintings by the artist. Read more…

Watch live! John Moores Painting Prize winner announcement

5 July 2016 by Lisa

John Moores Painting Prize 2016Excitement is building as our team gears up for the announcement of the overall winner of the John Moores Painting Prize at the Walker Art Gallery on Thursday 7 July.

Painters submitted work in their thousands and it’s hard to believe that it is now down to just five shortlisted artists, one of which will win the overall prize of £25,000. Read more…

Picasso linocuts preview evening

17 June 2016 by Ann

Artwork from the Picasso poster campaign

Artwork from the Picasso poster campaign

Join us at the Lady Lever Art Gallery in Port Sunlight on Wednesday 22 June from 5pm for an exclusive opportunity to view Picasso linocuts, ground-breaking prints on loan to the Gallery from the British Museum, before the exhibition opens to the public on Friday 24 June 2016.

Read more…

‘Liverpool patronage was a little Galapagos’ – exploring the relationship of the Pre-Raphaelites and Liverpool by Rupert Maas

19 May 2016 by Ann

The Scapegoat, 1854-5, William Holman Hunt © Lady Lever Art Gallery, National Museums Liverpool

The Scapegoat, 1854-5, William Holman Hunt © Lady Lever Art Gallery, National Museums Liverpool

Pre-Raphaelitism has long been associated with Liverpool.  The collections of National Museums Liverpool’s art galleries, namely Sudley House, Lady Lever Art Gallery and the Walker Art Gallery include a large number of Pre-Raphaelite works. Many, such as Dante’s Dream by Rossetti and the Scapegoat by Holman Hunt hold an iconic status across the globe. The history of how Liverpool and Port Sunlight came to house these collections is fascinating and diverse and carries an inspiring message of patronage and cultural enlightenment. While there have been many exhibitions exploring the movement’s history, Liverpool’s role had until recently not been explored. 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.