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Timeless beauty

31 July 2013 by Laura

Make-up applied in front of painting

To celebrate our new book, ‘Pre-Raphaelite Treasures at National Museums Liverpool’ we asked So Coco Rouge to create a  makeover, inspired by the Pre-Raphaelite style! Sian-Louise Auld from the Liverpool beauty salon has given us some tips below on how you too can achieve this timeless look: Read more…

Telling Tales: the story continues

10 July 2013 by Emma

A ink drawing of women descending to earth using parachutes

Women descending to earth using parachutes. Courtesy of the artist.

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No its…a woman in a sari! There are so many stories that capture the imagination in World Museum’s summer exhibition, ‘Telling Tales: The Art of Indian Storytelling’, from the heroic Hanuman to the gorgeous, but every so slightly mischievous, Krishna. One of my personal favourites features not an heroic God from a Hindu epic, but instead an astronaut. Sunita Williams, the Indian-American astronaut, inspired one of the exhibition’s featured artists, Teju Ben to create a whole series of works on her adventures in space for our collection. Read more…

Pre-Raphaelite Festival

24 June 2013 by Louise

Picture of a painting showuing an angel leading Dante to his dying lover Isabelle

‘Dante’s Dream’, Rossetti, 1871

With ‘The Drawing of Edward Burne-Jones‘ now open at the Lady Lever Art Gallery Pre-Raphaelite art is some of the best loved around. Here at the museums, we’ve just published a new book, ‘Pre-Raphaelite Treasures at National Museums Liverpool‘. Written by Laura MacCulloch, the book gives a neat overview of the Pre-Raphaelite movement which began in 1848 and details some of the wonderful Pre-Raphaelite works in the National Museums Liverpool collection. Read more…

Pre-Raphaelite mini festival

30 April 2013 by Louise

A painting of people gathered around a dining table

A manifesto in paint – Millais’ Isabella

While the artworks that took their places on our gallery walls undeniably have their charms, it’s good to have some of our best Pre-Raphaelite paintings back from loan. Liverpool is blessed with a fine Pre-Raphaelite collection and tradition – we had our own Pre-Raph school – and it seems only fair to spread the wealth, as it were, and allow those who aren’t lucky enough to live here to borrow some of the highlights for a while.

Visitors to the Lady lever will no doubt have missed that perennial favourite, Holman Hunt’s The Scapegoat. The Walker, despite its positive embarassment of Pre-Raphaelite treasures, is definitely the richer for the return of Millais’ Isabella; a painted manifesto of the aims of the Brotherhood itself.

The return of these and other gems makes it a perfect time to visit our three galleries, and not least because we’re running something of a mini Pre-Raph festival to celebrate. Whether you’re relatively new to the genre, or know your Williamson from your Rossetti, there’s a gallery talk or tour for you, covering everything from an introduction to the Brotherhood to the crafting of a replica frame for The Scapegoat. Along with the forthcoming Edward Burne-Jones exhibition, and our extensive collection, there’s a lot to see. Read more…

The Art of Justice

12 April 2013 by Lucy

United for Justice mosaic

The United for Justice mosaic by Alan Wynne will be displayed in the Wondrous Place gallery

It’s the 24th Anniversary of the Hillsborough tragedy this coming Monday, 15 April.

24 years ago, 96 people lost their lives at the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forrest.

The city is marking the Anniversary this year with a number of commemorative events including the installation of a clock in Liverpool Town Hall, from National Museums Liverpool’s collections. The ornate ‘long case’ clock, made by Liverpool clock maker John Clifton in the 1780s, will be unveiled at the Town Hall on Sunday as a memorial to the 96. Its time will be frozen at 3:06pm – the time that the game was stopped on 15 April 1989. Read more…

Shark Fin Soup sculpture

28 March 2013 by Lisa

There’s a lot of variety in the artwork included in ‘New Works at the Walker’ and we think this helps make it a fascinating exhibition. You can see everything from sculpture and paintings to video installations and costume. Here’s the curator of the exhibition, Lucy Gardner, to tell us about one of the more unusual sculptures on display…


Woman looking into a suitcase containing shards of glass

This unusual sculpture is made from glass, mirror glass and leather suitcases.

“This wonderful, slightly surreal piece called ‘Shark Fin Soup’ was made by artist Johnathan Froud.

He cleverly uses mirror glass to create an illusion of space within the small confines of the suitcase. Froud is an artist know for using unusual materials to recreate and distort the reality with which we are all familiar. He wants to break away from restrictions, just as this shark fin has broken with convention by appearing to swim in this small case. Read more…

Competition time

14 March 2013 by Lisa

Picture of open book

Beth Tweddle has signed a copy of the Museum of Liverpool book that we’re giving away

Following Olympic gymnast Beth Tweddle’s visit to the Museum of Liverpool yesterday, we have a little competition for you to enter.

During her visit, Beth signed a copy of the fabulous Museum of Liverpool book, Liverpool- the Story of a City. The book is illustrated with the collections in the Museum and celebrates Liverpool’s rich history and the people who have made the city what it is today. Beth is undoubtedly one of those individuals, as shown in her dedication and relentless determination. Read more…

An inspiring International Women’s Day

8 March 2013 by Lisa

Etching of a woman having a 'back street' abortion

Etchingsfrom Paula Rego’s abortion series.

Happy International Women’s Day! This day is the perfect time to stop and think about which women might be inspiring to you. Outside of family and friends, one person who I find inspiring is Portuguese artist Paula Rego. Two years ago I visited her dedicated museum ‘Casa das Histórias’ (‘House of Stories’) and was blown away by her work. It spans from etchings to installations to dramatic, large-scale paintings.

I admire her (and her work) as she is not afraid to show the experiences of women, especially exploring subjects which are often considered ‘difficult’ or controversial. You also get an idea of her personal experiences too, which I also find inspiring as I think she must be quite brave to expose her feelings in this way. Her work often has a sense of fear running through it – a feeling she has recently admitted is still a constant in her everyday life.  Read more…

Women in Print

4 March 2013 by Laura

Kaylee Jenkinson tells us more about a new display at the Walker Art Gallery featuring prints by Bridget Riley, Thérèse Lessore, Paule Vezelay, Birgit Skiold and E.C. Austen Brown.


Temporary display

Women in Print display.

“Friday 8th March is International Women’s Day (IWD) – a day for celebrating the achievements of women across the world.I have been working on ‘Women in Print’ a new display at the Walker (Room 8) featuring five artists who I have fallen in love with over the past few months! The Walker has a huge collection of works on paper – over 8,000 in fact – many of which are by women artists and have never been on display before.

One print from the display, ‘Coffee Bar’ (early 20th Century), was made by Thérèse Lessore who was married to the artist Walter Richard Sickert. Before they were married, Sickert loved her work so much that used to secretly make his friends buy her prints, paintings and porcelain for him – so that he didn’t appear too keen! Read more…

Something cheap at the Walker Art Gallery

28 February 2013 by Karen

Cover of the Something Wild...at the Walker Art Gallery book

Get your copy before they sell out

To celebrate World Book Day on 7 March we’ve a very special book offer. Something Wild… at the Walker Art Gallery follows Keith and Ali on their adventures around the Gallery. It’s a fab book with some lovely illustrations – the type of book kids and adults both love. From Monday 4 to Sunday 10 March you can snaffle a copy for just £1 (usual price £3.99) from any of our venues. 

And as if that wasn’t enough, we’ve also got a weekend of special tie-in events. On Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 March Big Art will be holding special storytelling sessions and craft activities, all linked to the book. And as ever, the events are free. More details on our website.

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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.