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Posts tagged with 'collections'

When Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun met Emma Hamilton

9 July 2016 by Xanthe

painting of a woman holding a tambourine

‘Lady Hamilton as a Bacchante’ by Elisabeth-Louise Vigée Le Brun

We know quite a lot about Vigée Le Brun’s portrait of Emma Hamilton, and what she thought of Emma, because in the mid 1820s, towards the end of a long painting career of more than 50 years, she decided to write up her diaries and publish them as memoirs in 1836-37.

Vigée first met Emma when the artist arrived in Naples in 1790, having fled Paris with her 9 year old daughter, at the start of the French Revolution in 1789. Vigée was given refuge by the Queen of Naples, the sister of the French Queen Marie-Antoinette, whose favourite portrait painter was Vigée. When she fled Paris she left her art-dealer husband, Jean-Baptiste Le Brun, behind to protect the family house and studio contents. He was later forced by the French Revolutionary government to divorce her to retain their property. She spent the next 12 years travelling around the courts of continental Europe visiting cities in Italy, Austria and Russia, making a successful living by painting portraits of royalty, aristocrats and their courtiers.  Read more…

A teacher’s view at the Lady Lever Art Gallery

8 July 2016 by Ann

Warm up drawing exercises on gallery in a Draw to Explore sessionAre you an Early Years practitioner or Primary or Secondary teacher? Why not start the next academic year by joining the Education team at the Lady Lever Art Gallery in Port Sunlight on Wednesday 7 September, 4 – 6pm for our Teachers’ view event Read more…

The centenary of the Somme battles

30 June 2016 by Karen O'Rourke

old photo of a young man in uniform

Portrait photograph postcard of Private Harry Grace, King’s Regiment. Written on the reverse, ‘Signaller Harry Grace, Killed in France 1st July 1916, 18th Service K.L.R. “Pals” (2nd Batt).’ Private Harry Grace was a scoutmaster and prominent member of Richmond Baptist Youth Group. He was 19 when he was killed by a shell at the Somme.

One hundred years ago this week, on 1 July 1916, British Forces suffered their worst casualties ever in one single day. Communities all over Britain will come together on Friday 1 July to commemorate the anniversary of what is often called, ‘the bloodiest day in British military history’. At the Museum of Liverpool our latest exhibition First World War: Charity and Liverpool’s Home Front, looks at some of the organisations that were instrumental in helping both the casualties who came home from the war, and also the families of the men who did not.

That first day of the Somme saw 19,240 British men killed in action, a further 40,000 were wounded or taken prisoner. The British front line stretched from Gommecourt to Maricourt – around 18 miles of trenches. South of Maricourt, the French Army held the line. The battle was a tactical one, meant to divert German troops from a much larger battle, being fought against the French further east at Verdun.  Read more…

80th birthday celebrations for Carl Davis

9 June 2016 by Kay

Union Jack waistcoat in museum display

Carl’s Union Jack waistcoat, 2010

Today, BBC Radio 3 are recording a special 80th birthday performance for Carl Davis. Carl will discuss his career in film and conduct some of his best loved scores including his music for The World at War, The Far Pavilions and Pride and Prejudice. Read more…

Collecting our past

24 May 2016 by Liz

University of Liverpool Continuing Education Department and Merseyside Archaeological Society members investigate Rainford's early industries in 1979

University of Liverpool Continuing Education Department and Merseyside Archaeological Society investigate Rainford’s early industries in 1979

As National Museums Liverpool celebrates its 30th birthday I sit in the museum store and pause for a moment’s thought about the ways archaeology and our collecting has changed since Liverpool’s museums gained their national status in the mid 1980s. Working with the regional archaeology collection at the Museum of Liverpool I see, recorded in the collections, the ways in which the practice of archaeology has changed over the last 30 years.

By the time National Museums Liverpool was created in 1986 interest in archaeology was a widespread Read more…

‘Liverpool patronage was a little Galapagos’ – exploring the relationship of the Pre-Raphaelites and Liverpool by Rupert Maas

19 May 2016 by Ann

The Scapegoat, 1854-5, William Holman Hunt © Lady Lever Art Gallery, National Museums Liverpool

The Scapegoat, 1854-5, William Holman Hunt © Lady Lever Art Gallery, National Museums Liverpool

Pre-Raphaelitism has long been associated with Liverpool.  The collections of National Museums Liverpool’s art galleries, namely Sudley House, Lady Lever Art Gallery and the Walker Art Gallery include a large number of Pre-Raphaelite works. Many, such as Dante’s Dream by Rossetti and the Scapegoat by Holman Hunt hold an iconic status across the globe. The history of how Liverpool and Port Sunlight came to house these collections is fascinating and diverse and carries an inspiring message of patronage and cultural enlightenment. While there have been many exhibitions exploring the movement’s history, Liverpool’s role had until recently not been explored. Read more…

LGBT collections online – our first themes go live!

17 May 2016 by Matt

MOL.2015.99.24

To mark International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHO) we have launched the first sections of our LGBT online collections page as part of our Pride and Prejudice project.  The first goal of IDAHO is to raise awareness of discrimination against LGBT people worldwide and use that awareness as a way of promoting activism and dialogue. The second goal is to promote a highly visible, global LGBT event, which in 2014 was celebrated in over 130 countries, including 37 where same-sex acts are still illegal. Read more…

We’re 30!

12 May 2016 by Lucy

If you’re from Liverpool, you’ll know that the museums and galleries in this city have been around for a long time…165 years to be precise! However, we can still lay claim to celebrating our 30th birthday, because it was actually 30 years ago in 1986, that we were established as a national museums service. Read more…

The one and only: Lady Seanne

9 May 2016 by Matt

VoteWorking in a museum it isn’t that often that you see a familiar face pop up from out of the collections, but whilst I was busy doing research for the Pride and Prejudice project I got the feeling I was being watched. The same face peering back at me, a face I knew I recognised but couldn’t quite place. Then it hit me, that’s Shaun!

I’d met Shaun, better known around Liverpool as Lady Seanne, in 2012 when we were both working on the play, ‘Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens’.

Now that I knew Lady Seanne was represented in our collection it gave me the perfect reason to re-connect with Shaun over a drink in The Lisbon, all in the name of research of course! Read more…

Online collections – Lusitania and Liverpool’s First World War at sea

6 May 2016 by Ellie

Dry-point etching on paper of RMS Lusitania

1987.306 Lusitania in the Mersey, by W L Wyllie

This time last year, RMS Lusitania was a focus of local, national and international attention as we marked 100 years since the sinking of this famous Cunard ship on 7 May 1915. 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.