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Posts tagged with 'collection'

London Fashion Week or fashion on your doorstep?

18 September 2015 by Lisa

1970s evening dress by John Bates.

Detail of a 1970s evening dress by John Bates.

London Fashion Week kicks off on 18 September 2015! I’ve been avidly scrolling through #LFW on Twitter and Instagram to get my fashion fix as I can’t be there in person.

If you can’t make it down to London either, then you can at least check out our fashion displays at the Walker Art Gallery and Sudley House.  Read more…

Our paintings on tour in Japan

1 April 2015 by Lisa

Man and two children riding a horse.

‘A Dream of the Past: Sir Isumbras at the Ford’ by Millais, which will go on tour to Japan.

We think it’s great to sometimes have the opportunity to show off our collections in other countries.

Our art gallery curators are excited to be working with a Japanese organisation to tour 68 works from the fine art collections to four exhibitions venues in Japan.

Read more…

Chinese travelling shrine

2 March 2015 by Tracey

Chinese shrine being cleaned.I have just started getting this intriguing object ready to go out on loan. This shrine is from Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, and is of a type typically used on junks by Chinese seafarers in the 18th century.  Read more…

New acquisition: a ‘Basaon’ oracle set from Senegal

4 February 2015 by Zachary

Owen Burnham demonstrating how the Basaon oracle is used.

Owen Burnham demonstrating how the Basaon oracle is used.

It is not often that I get offered a really well documented object as a donation to the World Museum’s African collection. Last month I was pleased to accept a unique addition to the collection consisting of a rare divination set, or oracle, from Senegal in West Africa. The oracle, called a Basaon, is used by the Balanta Kanja people of the Casamance region in Southern Senegal and is one of very few remaining oracles of its type.  Read more…

How our Henry VIII portrait inspired ‘Wolf Hall’ costumes

28 January 2015 by Felicity

Image of The Walker Art Gallery's Henry VIII portrait

The Walker Art Gallery’s Henry VIII portrait

The Walker Art Gallery’s Henry VIII portrait is one of the most recognisable paintings in our collection. It is derived from the Whitehall Mural, painted by Hans Holbein in 1537.

But did you know that the portrait was used as inspiration for the costumes in BBC drama series, ‘Wolf Hall’?

Clare Vyse, Assistant Costume Designer for the program, tells us how portraits of the king proved to be an invaluable resource when designing his costumes:

“We used all the available portraiture when researching King Henry’s clothes for Wolf Hall, but Holbein’s paintings were particularly influential because his work is so clear and detailed – they are such a valuable resource.

The Henry in our story is younger and slimmer than the one in this portrait, but in later episodes he wears an outfit that is based on this very painting. Read more…

Subtle beasts

7 November 2014 by Zachary

Bakongo Chief's staff collected by A. Ridyard in 1895. WML 9.7.95.41.

Bakongo Chief’s staff collected by A. Ridyard in 1895. WML 9.7.95.41.

Snakes hold a universal fascination, so it is not surprising that our new ‘Sssnakes Alive‘ exhibition at World Museum is drawing large audiences. We all know that some snake species are highly venomous, but people’s fascination with snakes cannot be explained by the fear factor alone.  Read more…

Drawing inspiration from the museum stores

21 August 2014 by Zachary

Atta Kwami sketching African artefacts in the museum store

Atta Kwami sketching African artefacts in the museum store. Image courtesy Pamela Clarkson.

Not all museum projects are part of a long-term plan. Some come about by chance and it was through a stroke of good luck that I was at World Museum when the Ghanaian artist and curator Atta Kwami paid a visit to the African displays in our World Cultures gallery a few months ago. On that occasion I was able to meet Atta over a coffee in the museum café to discuss his current work.  Read more…

Reconnecting with the ancestors at World Museum

30 June 2014 by Zachary

Patrice and Iva

Patrice and Iva in World Cultures Gallery with a portrait of their grandfather and great grandfather.

As curator of the African collections at World Museum I often take groups of visitors round our World Cultures Gallery. I also take individuals and smaller groups, with special interests, behind the scenes to show them our stored collections. Many are students or scholars involved in special research projects, and although they often get excited about what they find in our collections, their interests are mostly intellectual and aesthetic. But recently I had a visit that was rather different because it was from cousins Patrice Wellesley Cole and Iva Johnson.

Read more…

Magic at the museum

22 January 2014 by Zachary

Piece of stone

Irish type stone axe head (or ‘celt’) found in Parliament Fields, Toxteth Park, in 1866. This is probably the stone axe used to cure the Irish lad mentioned in the 1897 report.

World Museum is currently hosting the ‘Magic Worlds’ exhibition. It’s a fun and child-centred look at the miraculous, fantastical, illusional and folkloric – including everything from magicians to fairytales. The exhibition got me thinking about the role that ‘magic’ has played in the museum collection that I curate – the African collection. It’s true to say that there is a darker side to the long relationship that museums have had with all things ‘magical’.  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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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.