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It begins! The conservation of Murillo’s Virgin and Child in Glory

16 March 2017 by Olympia Diamond

Detail image before treatment of Virgin and Child in Glory, c. 1673

Upon viewing Bartolomé Esteban Murillo’s altarpiece Virgin and Child in Glory at the Walker, I admit, I was a bit overwhelmed by the subject staring down at me. However, after it arrived in our paintings conservation studio and was removed from its brightly gilded frame, the painting was subdued yet quietly powerful.  And in need of some care and attention…
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Victorian Treasures – A conservation perspective

10 March 2017 by David Crombie

Installing Perseus and Andromeda

My colleague Alex Patterson has described in a previous blog how this fantastic display of works from National Museums Liverpool’s collections formed part of a touring exhibition that went to four venues in Japan over 2015 and 2016. This sort of large touring show involves a huge amount of organisation by many different people, and is by far the largest exhibition loan of its kind that I have been involved with during my time at National Museums Liverpool. It is also a big undertaking from a conservation point of view, as there is so much to think about in terms of protecting so many key works.

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Walton Child Star – A life less ordinary

8 March 2017 by Kay

“She was extremely charismatic, headstrong and passionate”

Girl on stage

Josephine tap toe dancing on drum

Anne Hutchinson, 2016

For International Women’s Day we are featuring these wonderful items, which tell the story of local child star, Josephine Clitherow. They were recently kindly donated to the Museum of Liverpool by Anne, Josephine’s daughter.

Josephine was born in February 1916 and grew up in Walton, Liverpool.

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Surviving the TSS Yorkshire sinking

6 March 2017 by Ben

TSS Yorkshire painted by Ernest Barrett. 1987.118.3.37

TSS Yorkshire painted by Ernest Barrett. 1987.118.3.37

The maritime history department at Merseyside Maritime Museum have recently collected an object connected to the sinking of the TSS Yorkshire in 1939.

TSS Yorkshire was built in 1920 by Harland and Wolff in Belfast for the Liverpool based Bibby Line.  The ship was on her way to Liverpool from Rangoon as part of the allied convoy HG-3.  The Dixon family had joined the ship at Gibraltar, including brother and sister Cyril (aged 15) and Maureen (aged 8), and their mother and father.  On 17 October, 1939 the convoy was in the North Atlantic 160 miles off the north-west coast of Spain.  That afternoon the convoy was attacked by the German U-boat U-37.  Yorkshire was hit and sank with the loss of 58 lives.  Read more…

Before and after: Princess Emilia of Saxony’s makeover

27 February 2017 by Felicity

Hans Krell’s Princess Emilia of Saxony, following conservation work

Princess Emilia of Saxony has recently enjoyed a makeover, courtesy of our conservation team! The painting by the German artist Hans Krell has been restored and cleaned by paintings conservator Rebecca Kench. In this post, Rebecca talks us through some key moments from the conservation process, as illustrated by the images in the slideshow: Read more…

More Pride online!

23 February 2017 by Kay

Statuette of standing Hermaphrodite

Pride and Prejudice is our groundbreaking project to put online the social history collections held at the Museum of Liverpool, and the fine and decorative art collections at Sudley House, Walker and Lady Lever art galleries, that have an LGBT connection. We’re excited to launch the final themes today, coinciding with LGBT History Month and the OUTing the past event at the Museum of Liverpool this weekend.
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Activism shapes our collections

16 February 2017 by Mitty

Taking a closer look at our activism timeline at the Sankofa project launch event.

As part of the Sankofa Project we have started to explore Black activism in Liverpool. An activist is a person who campaigns to bring about political or social change. These words can definitely be used to describe Chief Bassey Duke Ephraim (also known as Bassey Orok Edem). I first became aware of him when speaking to the Zachary Kingdon , curator of African Collections. Zachary tells us more about Chief Bassey and his connections to Liverpool.  Read more…

Spotlight on: Roman Sculpture

2 February 2017 by Chrissy Partheni

Statue of Athena (the 'Ince Athena')

Statue of Athena (the ‘Ince Athena’)

Ancient marble sculpture is irresistibly attractive:  there are strong, ideal and sensual bodies, elaborate folds and drapery, complex hairstyles and realist or ideal faces to admire at.  For centuries Ancient Classical sculpture came to epitomise beauty, to connect physical beauty with spiritual one and often to promote virtue and good citizenship.  But is there more than meets the eye?

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Centenary of the sinking of White Star Line’s Laurentic

25 January 2017 by Ellie

Laurentic at Belfast

MCR/82/167 Copyright unknown, believed to be expired

As we continue to mark the centenary of the First World War, I wanted to highlight a Liverpool ship that was lost on 25 January 1917.

Laurentic (originally named Alberta) was built in Belfast by Harland & Wolff in 1908 for the Dominion Line. During construction, Alberta and her sister ship Albany were purchased by White Star Line and were renamed Laurentic and Megantic.  Laurentic departed on her maiden voyage from Liverpool to Canada in 1909, and over the next few years carried thousands of passengers across the Atlantic. Read more…

LGBT artwork marks Saint Sebastian Feast day

20 January 2017 by Lynn

St SebastianMarking the Feast of Saint Sebastian today, Lynn Wray serves up a slice of LGBT art history, from her work as researcher in our Pride and Prejudice research project.

“On the 20th January 287 AD, Saint Sebastian was killed by the Roman emperor Diocletian for his Christian beliefs. On this day, every year, people come together to celebrate the feast day of the Christian martyr. San Sebastian in Spain, is transformed with the sound of drums and barrels, as parades march through the city and flags are hoisted. To celebrate, today we offer our own small ‘Pride and Prejudice’ salute to the Saint. 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.