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“He was a fine fellow”: Henry T Wilde and Titanic

17 April 2018 by Michelle

Henry T Wilde about 1900. Images are not to be reproduced without permission.

Sunday 15 April marked the anniversary of the sinking of RMS Titanic. At the time of her sinking she was the largest passenger ship in the world and the dramatic circumstances of her demise reverberated around the globe. In 1910 one ship in every 100 was lost, yet by 1912 technological advancements in shipbuilding led Titanic’s owners White Star Line to believe she was unsinkable.

This was not to be the case. Four days into her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York she struck an iceberg south-east of Newfoundland, and sank two hours and forty minutes later with the loss of over 1500 lives.

The sinking of Titanic is as famous as it is tragic and as such the individual impact of the disaster can be overshadowed by the catastrophic nature of the event.

Last week I was able to re-display some of Chief Officer Henry Wilde’s personal effects in our exhibition Titanic and Liverpool: the untold story. On display are his White Star Line cap, a pair of epaulettes and three letters; two to his eldest daughter Jennie and one to his children’s nanny. We are very privileged and honoured to be able to display these items and I would like to share his story with you.  Read more…

A letter from William Herschel

8 March 2018 by Alan Bowden

 

1896 Lithograph of William and Caroline Herschel grinding a telescope mirror. Caroline is supplying the grinding paste from the tea cup - not tea.

1896 Lithograph of William and Caroline Herschel grinding a telescope mirror. Caroline is supplying the grinding paste from the tea cup – not tea!

Lord Leverhulme was a collector in the broadest sense of the word, known for his collections of Victorian paintings, sculpture, eighteenth century furniture, tapestries, Wedgwood jasperware and Chinese ceramics.  In his collection at the Lady Lever Art Gallery there are also fascinating historic documents which he collected.

In light of International Women’s Day on 8 March we have been enjoying a beautifully written letter which has brought into focus the life of a remarkable woman of science who lived in the eighteenth century. The woman is Caroline Lucretia Herschel, sister to the better known William Herschel (1738-1822), Royal Astronomer to George 3rd. William shot to fame when he discovered the planet Uranus in 1781 from his home in Bath. He used a telescope he had designed and constructed himself. Read more…

Out of the rubble

19 February 2018 by Ashley Cooke

One of my favourite parts of being a curator is the detective work done in storerooms, archives and libraries. I really enjoy making a match between an object and an archive reference. This is incredibly useful when you’re curating a collection that was devastated by a fire in the Second World War. Many objects salvaged from the ruins of the museum were no longer marked with an accession number – the unique number that links object with documentation. Objects were reassigned new numbers but they had lost their ‘identity’.  Without the original number we can’t easily identify an object in the archives that record its history. Their ‘biography’ was stripped away by the fire. We don’t know who donated it to the museum or where and when it was excavated. Sadly, without that background story, it becomes a little bit less of an object. Read more…

The year of the dog

15 February 2018 by Scott Smith

February marks the start of the new lunar year, and it’s during this time that millions of people across the world will gather to celebrate Chinese New Year. Starting on 16 February, we’ll have seven days of joyous festivities filled with fireworks, lanterns and revelry as the city is lit up in red.

This year is the beginning of the Year of the Dog, defined by the Chinese zodiac cycle. Dogs are the eleventh sign in the zodiac and are seen as independent, sincere and decisive. Honest and loyal, dogs are the truest friends and most reliable partners. Those born in 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006 all fall under the year of the dog.

To celebrate man’s most faithful of friends, we’ve pulled together a list of dogs from across National Museums Liverpool’s collections and exhibitions.

‘Table d’Hote at a Dogs’ Home’ by John Charles Dollman

Read more…

17 March 2018: One-day Conference: Slaves of Fashion: Archives, Art and Ethics

2 February 2018 by Ann

To accompany The Singh Twins’ major new exhibition Slaves of Fashion: New Works by The Singh Twins at the Walker Art Gallery, National Museums Liverpool and the University of Liverpool School of Histories, Languages and Cultures are hosting a one-day conference, open to the public to explore the issues raised by The Twins’ new artworks.

Read more…

10 Decades On: Liverpool Women 100

2 February 2018 by Kay

Gallery

Taking Liberties on display in The People’s Republic

2018 marks 100 years since the passing of the Representation of the People Act. After a long hard fight, some women over the age of 30 were given the right to vote for the first time. The Act also granted men over the age of 21 the vote. It would be another 10 years until this was equalised for women over the age of 21 in 1928.

The campaign in Liverpool saw both militant and peaceful tactics employed to win the basic right to vote. Women were jailed and force fed in Walton Gaol, bombs were planted around the city and windows smashed.  Read more…

Ten missing animal mummies come home!

23 January 2018 by Ashley Cooke

Just before Christmas ten animal mummies were returned to World Museum after 40 years. The excitement all started in late October when I got an interesting message about a box of crocodiles and a cat from Hannah who works on the information desk at World Museum (it was like Christmas come early AND it was actually my birthday that day). Read more…

A golden touch for The Scapegoat

15 December 2017 by Ann

As one of the most recognisable works from the Lady Lever Art Gallery’s collection and among William Holman Hunt’s most famous paintings The Scapegoat often attracts a lot of attention.  In art gallery circles this results in frequent requests to loan the painting for exhibitions across the world.  It is our role at National Museums Liverpool to ensure above all that artworks are accessible to as many people as possible, and that they are preserved for generations to come to enjoy as we do today.

Here we give an insight into how we care for such famous and well loved works of art from the perspective of Roy Irlam our frames conservatorRead more…

Finishing touches to Murillo

5 December 2017 by Olympia Diamond

Installation of Bartolomé Esteban Murillo’s altarpiece Virgin and Child in Glory at the walker Art Gallery

Installation of Bartolomé Esteban Murillo’s altarpiece Virgin and Child in Glory (1673) at the Walker Art Gallery

The practical treatment of Bartolomé Esteban Murillo’s altarpiece Virgin and Child in Glory (1673) finished in August, marking the end of a year-long major conservation project, which you can track in my previous blog posts.

The final phase of treatment involved retouching damages and losses on the oil sketch and Virgin and Child in Glory (1673).

The dramatic history of the painting, including the cutting and removal of the central section of the Madonna and Child, meant that two pieces from the same artwork had separate histories, and thus visually aged differently.

Read more…

A taste of Ancient Greece

27 November 2017 by Chrissy Partheni

Travel through time, from prehistoric Crete and the Minoans to the Mycenaean palaces and tombs of the Peloponnese with our Ancient Greek collection.  Through the stories of our diverse range of objects you can discover the different phases of Ancient Greek history, including the sanctuaries of Artemis Orthia in Sparta, Hellenistic Ephesus and even lands as far as the Roman Cyzicus (now in Turkey), as well as learning how the interactions of ancient Greeks with other cultures facilitated the development of new ideas.

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.