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Making connections through online collections

18 May 2017 by Emma Martin

A chod pan is worn by Tibetan Buddhist monks or lamas during religious ceremonies. The five panels feature the tathagatas or the Five Celestial Buddhas.

Sometimes, correcting mistakes found in the museum’s records leads to new and completely unexpected connections. This recently happened to me. I’ve spent more than ten years working my way through the Tibet collections here at World Museum. As I document the collections I try and fill in some of the gaps in our knowledge: do I know who made the object (often I don’t)? Do I know who once owned the objects (sometimes I do)? How did they collect the object? What do we know about the collector who sold or donated the objects to the museum? Read more…

Revealing Murillo…treatment underway

10 May 2017 by Olympia Diamond

During treatment photograph. Varnish has been removed from the left sided of her face.

During treatment photograph. Varnish has been removed from the left side of her face.

The practical treatment of Bartolomé Esteban Murillo’s altarpiece Virgin and Child in Glory (1673) has been progressing at a steady pace. My initial examinations, discussed in my last blog, involved investigating the layer of varnish on the surface of the painting…

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The oldest Australian night parrot

9 May 2017 by Clem Fisher

Australian Night Parrot

The Australian night parrot specimen at World Museum.

National Museums Liverpool was founded in 1851 after the bequest to the people of Liverpool of an internationally important collection of birds and mammals belonging to Edward Stanley, 13th Earl of Derby, of Knowsley Hall near Liverpool. Amongst this unique collection is a little green-and-yellow parrot…

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Story of the sun god’s daughter

18 April 2017 by Scott Smith

Our handling team getting ready to move the Sekhmet statue.

The team getting ready to move the Sekhmet statue. © Pete Carr

It seemed no coincidence that the sun shone bright on the day that we moved our statues of the Egyptian goddess Sekhmet, daughter of sun god Ra, from World Museum’s atrium to their new home in our Ancient Egypt: A journey through time gallery.

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Gardens in Ancient Egypt

13 April 2017 by Jen G

Basket containing six persea fruits, Middle Kingdom, from Lahun.

When you imagine life in ancient Egypt, gardens probably don’t automatically spring to mind. Marion Servat-Fredericq from our Antiquities team explores the important role they played.

While photographing Egyptian objects for our new online database, I came across the remains of ancient Egyptian fruit which were left in tombs as funerary offerings for the deceased: pomegranates, grapes, figs, dates, persea fruit, dom palm fruit, but also barley, wheat and even lentil seeds! I was amazed Read more…

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…
Read more…

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.

Read more…

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…



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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.