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Art criticism in the Pre-Raphaelite era

26 February 2016 by Lisa

Ann bukantas pre-raphs

Ann Bukantas being interviewed about ‘Pre-Raphaelites: Beauty and Rebellion’ for BBC North West Tonight.

Our Pre-Raphaelites exhibition seems to have got journalists very excited. We’ve seen national previews, a four-star review in the Liverpool Echo and a flame-haired beauty adorning the cover of The Big Issue North!

While Pre-Raphaelite art is very popular today, it was not always warmly received by the media of its time, with the movement’s bold and imaginative work often regarded as challenging or outrageous.

‘They were the punk rockers of their day – subversive, rule-breaking, dangerous’ – Mark Brown, The Guardian, 2016

Here our curator, Ann Bukantas, looks at some of the art critics and publications that surrounded the Pre-Raphaelite movement: Read more…

Pride and Prejudice project – first objects revealed!

24 February 2016 by Kay

feather-boas300Today, in celebration of Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) History Month, we are excited to launch our online collections which showcase items with LGBT connections, from across our fine and decorative art, Art Galleries and Museum of Liverpool collections.

The items are wide ranging – from fun feather boas from Garlands nightclub to magnificent Renaissance artworks. They form just a small selection of the first set of items we have discovered as part of the Pride and Prejudice project. This two year funded project involves unearthing, researching and publishing objects which relate to LGBT history and culture. Read more…

The Pre-Raphaelites, definitely beautiful and most certainly rebellious!

4 February 2016 by Ann

The English Boy, 1860, Ford Madox Brown © Manchester City Galleries

The English Boy, 1860, Ford Madox Brown © Manchester City Galleries

The countdown has begun to the opening of our breath-taking exhibition Pre-Raphaelites: Beauty and Rebellion on 12 February at the Walker Art Gallery. Installation of the works is underway and the excitement is building..

Among the 120 paintings to be displayed are familiar faces including Manchester Art Gallery’s The English Boy and Rossetti’s glorious Monna Vanna from the collection at Tate.  There’s also wonderful pictures by local artists who were influenced by the Pre-Raphaelite ideals. Burd Helen by William L. Windus (pictured below) and painted in 1856, is a lovely example, and was described by John Ruskin as “a great Pre-Raphaelite painting”, he went on to state it was “thoughtful and intense to the highest imaginative power”. Read more…

Artist, Rae Hicks: “…it gave me a huge boost of confidence and validation”

2 February 2016 by Lisa

Artists clapping at a private view

From left to right: Angela Samata (John Moores Painting Prize) and artists Rose Wylie, Rae Hicks, Mandy Payne, Juliette Losque and Alessandro Raho.

A prize-winner at the John Moores Painting Prize in 2014, artist Rae Hicks has been speaking to us about his experience of being part of the John Moores and the effect it has had on his career:  Read more…

Symbolism in Art

19 January 2016 by Megan

WAG-304---Love's-Palace-bloHave you ever wondered what something in a painting means, or what the artist intended to say?

Take the image on the left, a detail from J.M. Strudwick’s ‘Love’s Palace’ (in the Drawing Room at Sudley House). Can you see the bubble? Do you know what it means? Read more…

John Moores 2016 – meeting the jury

8 December 2015 by Lisa

In Gillian Carnegie's studio.

In Gillian Carnegie’s studio.

We’ve had more than 2,500 entries into the John Moores Painting Prize this year and we’re now looking forward to the first stage of judging for this £25,000 prize. Nicola from the John Moores team went down to London last week to meet some of the jury and here’s what she got up to…  Read more…

6 Christmas gifts you’ll want on your list

13 November 2015 by Lisa

christmas-felt-wreath-decorationsStarted your feverish browsing for Christmas gift ideas? Fear not, yule* have no problems finding the perfect gift in our online shop, with prices to suit all budgets! We’ve picked our top 6 gifts to get you started…

*see what we did there?  Read more…

National Adoption Week

20 October 2015 by Lucy

Image of the projection

Mary McCartney’s image projected onto the Museum of Liverpool

On Monday 19 October, the Museum of Liverpool took part in a nationwide campaign to mark the beginning of National Adoption Week, which runs from 19 – 25 October.

The Museum played host to a giant projection of an image by celebrity photographer, Mary McCartney, who recently took the official portrait of the Queen.

The image of a small boy captioned ‘Too Old at 4?’ illuminated the exterior of the building, which could be seen from the Strand, drawing attention to the fact that this is the average age of children waiting the longest for adoptive families.

The image has also been projected on other iconic buildings across the country, including City Hall in London, the Blackpool Tower, as well as other locations in Bristol, Manchester, Leicester, Bolton, Birmingham and Newcastle.

There are 660 children waiting for adoptive parents in the North West, and 35 of these children are in Liverpool.

Janet Dugdale, Director of the Museum of Liverpool said:

The exterior of the Museum of Liverpool lends itself really well to projections, and as an iconic building on the waterfront, we really hope that this provides an opportunity for the National Adoption Week message to be seen. We are a family-friendly museum, so our young visitors are extremely important to us. The work that First4Adoption is doing to help find happy homes and families for children is extremely important, so we’re really pleased that the Museum of Liverpool can act as a positive platform to help raise awareness to the people of Liverpool.

For more information, go to www.first4adoption.org.uk/nationaladoptionweek or call First4Adoption on 0300 222 0022.

 

 

Jet the dog – Liverpool superhero (to curators and small boys!)

19 October 2015 by Kay

man in uniform with a black dog

Painting of Jet by Alfred Kemp Wiffen, 1949. Presented by Mrs Babcock Cleaver in 1967, accession number WAG 7004

Jet has always been a hero close to my heart. I was initially introduced to his story whilst working on my first exhibition here at National Museums Liverpool – Spirit of the Blitz at Merseyside Maritime Museum in 2003. We included the bronze bust and oil painting shown here of Jet, from the Walker Art Gallery collections, which took pride of place. The exhibition even had a specially designed Jet the Dog children’s trail. We also interviewed his owner’s daughter, Lillias Ward about Jet’s wartime heroics Read more…

Mastering Heritage Studies with Liverpool Hope University

9 October 2015 by Paula

Seeing first hand how to identify pests that can damage objects

Seeing first hand how to identify pests that can damage objects

For the third year running, National Museums Liverpool is joining forces with Liverpool Hope University to deliver their Masters in Museum and Heritage Studies and Art History and Curating. Through a unique series of practical workshops and hands-on sessions students get an insight into the day to day work of museum staff 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.