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1970s football fan culture in the picture

16 July 2019 by Kay

“Art College was a far more attractive idea than prison”

These fantastic artworks were recently kindly donated to the Museum of Liverpool. They were painted by Andrew Kenrick in the 1970s and evocatively capture football fan culture at the time. Andrew grew up in Hoylake and is a big Liverpool fan. He mostly painted these particular pieces whilst at Art College in London and when he worked as a teacher. He would travel back up to Liverpool for home games and attended away matches whenever he could.

Andrew tells us more about combining his love of football and painting –

“I always loved art and decided that Art College was a far more attractive idea than prison. I wasn’t evil or “off the rails” but had left a top academic school at 14 to live an alternative life. A couple of years travelling, hitch-hiking and sleeping rough enabled me to see the disadvantages of low paid jobs and the potential benefits of further education. I undertook a Foundation Couse at the (then) London College of Printing and then went to Hornsey College of Art to study Fine Art and History of Art. I painted and sculpted and became interested in the excitement of crowds and fights at football matches. I found that I struggled to render the movement of crowds in 3D so my degree show (1974) was mostly based on boxers and their movements.

Half of my family are Blue and the other half Red (my uncle is the editor of the Everton Fanzine). I always watched Liverpool whenever I could. I travelled back to Merseyside, stayed with family in Wallasey and hitch-hiked and cycled to matches. In 1975 I was living in Shepperton and teaching Art and Games in a school in Woking, Surrey. I was very interested in the theatre of football, the fans’ clothes, badges and scarves. It was this fascination and my own experiences that led to the first paintings.

My first painting was  ‘Walton Breck Road, March 1974’.

© Andrew Kenrick

In 1974 Leeds were running away with the title and their visit to Anfield on 16th March 1974 was their first defeat of the season. I had travelled with my friend Dick from Art College. We came up on Friday, stayed with my aunt and travelled to the stadium at about 9am. My recollection is that the turnstiles opened around noon and the stadium was full soon after. I wanted to capture the lively movement of the crowd and was very disappointed with how static this was. I took photos a few weeks after the game, but invented the crowd. Dick and I are just left of centre talking to a friend. He pointed out that I am taller than I painted myself (I was 6 foot 4). I moved the pie shop (Mitchell’s) from its actual location, because I wanted to include it and I think the shop on that corner was empty.  All of the other details are attempts to capture the pre-match excitement of that day. Some of the other figures are portraits from memory of individuals or groups. I made a second version of this painting, painted in a Futurist manner, which I always liked better. However, I am not sure if I still have it. It was very much influenced by Umberto Boccioni’s paintings of crowds in the streets.

‘Molineux, 4th May 1976′
Division One Championship. Wolverhampton Wanderers v. LFC

© Andrew Kenrick

I always collected newspaper cuttings from matches and scoured football magazines for photos of the crowds. Although we could hear ourselves on Match of the Day and there were sometimes references to chants or particular songs, photos of crowds were rare. I found this one soon after the match and pinching the idea of using popular culture for images from Peter Blake and Walter Sickert. I used it with many modifications. In those days, crowds often went onto the pitch and that day the crowd was bubbling onto the pitch at every goal and at the final whistle a party began on the pitch. I found the photo before I travelled to Molineux and made studies of the background when I was there. On the day of the match, I stayed high up in the South Stand with my brother.”

‘Rome, 25th May 1977′

© Andrew Kenrick

The city was awash with Reds. I took photos of many groups and this is a composite of several of my photos. I used images of red cars to emphasise the takeover. I saw battered vans from Runcorn pull up and disgorge crowds of lads who kissed the ground before joining the party.  Strange to consider what an all male experience it was in those days. There were few women at any matches and although I took my wife (I married in 1972) to some games, I was never completely confident about her safety in large crowds of inebriated fans.

‘Wembley, 1978’
European Cup Final. Liverpool v. Bruges.

Liverpool did it again the following year and I was there. 10th May 1978, I was less ambitious in this painting, but tried to capture the atmosphere of old Wembley. I was teaching Art and Games at a Boys’ Grammar School in Blackpool at this time. I had a friend who had travelled to Belgium and bought 20 tickets but the disadvantage was that it was in the Bruges End of the ground. It was the day of the Town Sports and Ted Schools. The Head of Games put me on “car park duty” which meant I was free at lunchtime. I hired a Ford Escort for the day (I was a cyclist) and…and this is the mad part, I took four Sixth Form boys with me. They had tickets and were sworn to secrecy.

© Andrew Kenrick

Kenny Dalglish scored the winner at the other end and I was standing with a group of my friends. Whilst we celebrated the defeat of Club Brugge it was dark and dingy and there were quite a large number of miserable Belgians standing around us. I have another painting of my friends in Wembley before the darkness; Dave, Mick, Doctor John but again no Big Ron!

I was pleased with the atmosphere in this painting and prepared some others of the Kop seen from the side but never really settled on a composition.”

Many thanks to Andrew for very kindly donating his paintings and sharing his memories.

Etching the City

12 July 2019 by Megan

Last week we installed Whistler & Pennell: Etching the City at Sudley House. Alex Patterson, Exhibition Curator tells us more about the exhibition and what to look out for.

The exhibition was first displayed at Lady Lever Art Gallery in 2018. It was a great success and was seen by over 65,000 people. This amazing response encouraged us to share the exhibition with our Sudley visitors too. It is also a fantastic opportunity to see these works in a different context. Read more…

Painting by John Moores 2018 artist Pete Clarke added to the Walker’s collection

8 July 2019 by Andrew

Artist Pete Clarke in his studio

Artist Pete Clarke blogs about his painting doubt and distance… of lost content, which was exhibited at the Walker Art Gallery as part of John Moores 2018. It is one of two works from the show purchased by the Walker for its permanent collection. The other is David Lock‘s El Muniria.

Read more…

Why we need Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill

5 June 2019 by Sarah

Stamped bills

This week’s guest blog has been written by artist Dano Wall, who designed a stamp which puts Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill. Dano kindly allows us to use the stamp in some of our public education sessions at the Museum. Find out how and why he came up with this fantastic idea, as he writes:

On April 20, 2016, then-U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announced plans to add Harriet Tubman to the front of the revised twenty-dollar bill, moving President Andrew Jackson to the rear. Lew instructed the Bureau of Engraving and Printing to expedite the redesign process, and the new bill was expected to enter circulation sometime after 2020. Read more…

Father’s Day at National Museums Liverpool

4 June 2019 by Megan

The countdown is on. Father’s Day is round the corner and it’s safe to say most of us need a plan!

Don’t panic though National Museums Liverpool has something for even the pickiest of pas. So if he is a car enthusiast, art lover, astronomy nerd or would love a Sunday feast overlooking our beautiful waterfront take a look below at what we have on offer. Read more…

PSS – Perspectives and partnerships: the story of a display

24 May 2019 by Kay

L to R: Lesley Dixon (Chief Executive of PSS), Sarah Nicholson (artist), Kay Jones (Curator of Urban Community History)

A newly commissioned artwork to celebrate the 100th birthday of social enterprise PSS (Person Shaped Support) has recently been unveiled in the Museum of Liverpool. The team here at the Museum work with lots of different groups and organisations to create exhibits which tell diverse stories of the city. Find out more about the Our City, Our Stories programme.

We were approached by PSS in 2018 to work in partnership to commemorate their innovative work. We were delighted to support their funding bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund (now the National Lottery Heritage Fund). Happily, it was successful.

PSS wanted the proposed display to creatively reflect their organisation, its people and values. Read more…

A final look at a fresh perspective

1 May 2019 by Jacob Spruce

Sadly this weekend is your last chance to visit the fantastic Fresh Perspectives exhibition at the Lady Lever Art Gallery which closes on Bank Holiday Monday, 6 May. GCSE and A-level students from five local secondary schools are exhibiting an inspirational array of artworks. Whether that’s a ceramic flamingo or an oil portrait, the level of talent on show this year is incredible.

To mark the end of this vibrant exhibition students from Birkenhead School who created a series of print and collage pieces on the theme of travel, will be running a free family printing workshop on Saturday 4th May between 1-4pm in the Activity Rooms. Families are welcome to drop in and have a go and make their own artwork using maps and bird imagery. Read more…

Exploring a fresh perspective

24 April 2019 by Siobhan

Five Wirral schools have been selected to show their work in the biennial exhibition Fresh Perspectives at the Lady Lever Art Gallery.

This unique opportunity allows local students a chance to display their work in a national gallery and enables our visitors to enjoy the work of the artists, makers, designers and creatives of the future.

With the exhibition half way through it’s run we thought we would take a closer look at the work and the views of the students and teachers from two of the schools involved. Read more…

Fun-tastic February half-term

15 February 2019 by Megan

For families looking for a fun-packed half-term, National Museums Liverpool has lots of free events for everyone to enjoy. Read more…

Vote for us!

13 December 2018 by Sarah

Our ‘Am Not I a Man and a Brother’ painting has been shortlisted for Art Fund Wok of the Year 2018. Shown here as it was acquired, and before conservation work. Image courtesy of National Museums Liverpool.

Fantastic news! Our new painting ‘Am Not I a Man and a Brother’ at the International Slavery Museum is on the shortlist of 10 works to be Art Fund Work of the Year 2018.

The annual poll aims to find the public’s favourite Art Funded work of the year, and to celebrate a year of helping museums and galleries acquire great art. You can help and support us by voting!

‘Am Not I a Man and a Brother’ is a significant acquisition for the Museum- and the UK.

It is the first painting in our collection to show the powerful and resonant iconography of abolition. The artwork dates from around 1800 and the artist is unknown. The foot of the canvas reads, ‘Am Not I a Man and a Brother’, a variation on the more common version, ‘Am I Not a Man and a Brother’. 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.