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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…

Listen impossible – making the Lady Lever even more interesting

19 August 2017 by Dave Moffat

Lady Lever Art Gallery

Lady Lever Art Gallery © Pete Carr

It’s often difficult to improve on something which is already amazing.  Even before the recent redevelopment of the south end galleries, the Lady Lever was a truly beautiful and inspiring place to visit.  A magnificent collection of objects, some incredible paintings, furniture and ceramics, housed in a purpose built gallery, situated in an idyllic village.

We’ve had plenty of positive feedback from our visitors about the redevelopment and we’re very proud of what we’ve accomplished.

How could you make all that, better?

Well, another  way we help our visitors engage with our collections is through our audio guides.  Read more…

Shipping posters online

7 June 2017 by Ellie

Shipping company poster

Pacific Steam Navigation Company poster 1984.269.1

As part of our ongoing efforts to make the collections of Merseyside Maritime Museum more accessible, you can now find out about some of our posters on our new works on paper collection pages.

The first works to be featured are the Liverpool shipping posters that were previously displayed in our Sail Away exhibition (May 2014 – April 2016). They were selected from over 100 posters in our collection, illustrating the history of more than a century of sea travel. Read more…

The pitfalls of recreating a pit burial

30 May 2017 by Alex Blakeborough

The final put burial display.

The final pit burial display.

What colour should the sand be? This was just one of the many things we had to think about when installing the pit burial case for the new Ancient Egypt gallery.

Read more…

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…

Read more…

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…

Read more…

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.

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.