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A Mummy Cat’s Tale

10 June 2011 by Ashley Cooke

head of a cat mummy

Head of a mummified cat about 2000 years old

 

I’ve just given a tour of the Ancient Egypt gallery at World Museum for a group of 30 Egyptology enthusiasts from the University of the Third Age. They were impressed with our display of animal mummies but were shocked to hear of a grizzly tale involving cat mummies being scattered over the fields of Liverpool. On 10th February 1890 an estimated 180,000 mummified cats, weighing 19.5 tons, were sold at auction at the docks in Liverpool. Almost all were crushed and spread on fields like manure but a few were saved and remain in World Museum. They were discovered the previous year at Speos Artemidos in Middle Egypt, when a farmer fell through a hole into a catacomb completely filled with cat mummies. Read more…

A special bit of knitting…

10 June 2011 by Lisa

Where has the sun gone?! Everytime I get my sunglasses out, it seems to get colder and start to rain!

Knitted stockings

Knitted stockings: maybe a bit itchy?

Luckily it is Knitting in Public Day on Saturday (11 June), so I’m hoping that some of the World Museum staff taking part might make me something nice and warm! If you’d like to join them for a bit of furious needle action, then pop in from 2.30pm – there’s more information in our ‘what’s on’ listings. Read more…

Get snappy!

23 May 2011 by Lucy

Photographer Mark McNulty has been sending us some photos of the new Museum of Liverpool, from angles we haven’t seen before.

He was able to get this shot of the Museum and two of National Museums Liverpool’s historic ships in dry dock: the three-masted schooner De Wadden, and the pilot boat Edmund Gardner.

Photo of the Museum of Liverpool

Image taken by Liverpool photographer Mark McNulty of the Museum of Liverpool with De Wadden and Edmund Gardner historic ships. (c) Mark McNulty

Have you got any great pics of the Museum of Liverpool? If so, why not have a go at uploading them onto our flickr site? Read more…

Show Me the Walker

6 May 2011 by stepheng

Two male and one female competition judges

The three judges take a break.

 

I’m looking forward to BBC 2 screening Show Me the Monet from this Monday after organising and supervising the marathon filming sessions over a January weekend.

 

A film crew filled three of our galleries at the rear of the Walker Art Gallery to film this competition show being screened at 5.15 pm every weekday night from Monday 9 May to Friday 20 May.

 

In a nutshell it involves artists being grilled about their artworks by three critics – David Lee, Charlotte Mullins and Roy Bolton (pictured left to right). The aim is to be included in an exclusive exhibition at the Royal College of Art, next to London’s Albert Hall. Read more…

These boots were made for walking…

6 May 2011 by Lisa

When shopping for footwear, there is nothing more satisfying than getting a new pair of boots. This vintage brown leather pair that I’m wearing today are a particular favourite of mine - you can see them here – a bit Victorian I like to think!

So you can imagine my excitement at being introduced to this fab pair of boots, which will be on display later this month at the Lady Lever Art Gallery. They will be shown as part of ‘The Finishing Touch’, an exhibition of women’s accessories from our collections, dating from 1830-1940. Read more…

Music Matters

13 April 2011 by Lucy

Our press office volunteer Jack is back again, with his musings about collecting popular music…beyond the museum.


A Beatles-inspired lunchbox

One of the many collectables people may have associated with popular music

Collecting tickets from music concerts is an age old custom amongst many people including myself, in order to preserve the memory of the occasion or simply to say ‘I was there’. This in itself is nothing extraordinary. The question, however, is how significant these physical remnants are in relation to the music itself and why we, as music lovers, conserve them. How do we treat these objects, both personally and through our museums? Is it all about the music or are the relative keepsakes just as important? Read more…

Wait a minute Mr Postman…

8 April 2011 by Lucy

The Press Office volunteer Jack Poland has spotted a good story again. Here he tells us more about the child-sized post box that’s in our collections:


Fazakerley Cottage Homes were opened in 1889 to accommodate poor and orphaned children, housing up to 584 children at a time. In addition to the 21 cottages where the children lived, there were schools, farm buildings, gardens and a swimming pool. The homes also introduced another unique addition, which, after plans to install it in the Museum of Liverpool were revealed, has roused a fair amount of intrigue.

The object of interest is a child-sized post box which was specially made for the children to post their letters and cards. It was used up until the Homes’ closure in 1964 when it was thankfully rescued by a member of the Post Office staff and kindly donated to National Museums Liverpool.

Fazakerley Children's Home Post Box

This is the post box which children at the Fazakerley Cottage Homes used to post their letters. (c) Mark McNulty

Curator of community history Kay Jones attended the Fazakerley Cottage Homes Association annual re-unions in June 2009 and 2010 to find out more about this intriguing piece of local history. Read more…

British art gets a make-over at the Walker

21 March 2011 by Lisa

It’s a very exciting week this week as the newly refurbished room at the Walker Art Gallery, ‘British art 1880-1950′, is opening again on Friday. It will showcase pieces from our collections including works by LS Lowry and Lucian Freud, plus many works which have never been on display before!

I had a chat with our curator of British art, Laura MacCulloch, who told me more about what you can expect to see there:

Tell me about the different types of works which are being brought together in this room?
 
This work brings together paintings, sculptures and works on paper with furniture and ceramics all made between 1880 and 1950.  It’s a really exciting period to explore as artists begin to break away from the traditional, Victorian ideas about art and experiment with styles, colours and techniques. It’s great to be able to show fine and decoratvie arts together because it shows how artists working in all media experimented.
 
How does this room differ from the more ‘standard’ rooms of paintings in the Walker?
 
We are aiming to give our visitors more of the context surrounding the art. Between 1880 and 1950 there were huge political and social upheavals brought on by two world wars and increasing industrialisation. We have created an interactive timeline which includes lots of information and images relating to key historical and art historical events. There is more information on the timeline than we could ever fit on a label. Read more…

Beastly Goings-On

11 March 2011 by Eleanor

Have you ever wondered what could be eating our museum collections?
 
Although this might seem like a strange question, all kinds of organic materials such as leather, paper, wood and even textiles provide a feast for a variety of troublesome insects!  At the National Conservation Centre we have a range of high-powered microscopes which allow us to look up close at many of these beastly bugs. 
 
Insects such as the clothes moth, seen in the image below, lay their eggs on natural fibres such as wool.  When the clothes moth’s eggs hatch into larvae, they feed upon the wool fibres and can cause tremendous damage.  Many other insects would also happily munch or bore their way through all kinds of museum objects if left to their own devices!
 
Why not come down to the Clore Natural History Centre in World Museum next Tuesday 15th March, 2.15pm-4.15pm to find out more.  Two of National Museums Liverpool’s conservators will be presenting a series of microscope images and specimens of the curious creepy crawlies that munch on museum objects. Will you be able to guess which bugs do the damage? Read more…

GREEK TRAGEDY

28 February 2011 by stepheng

model ship on choppy sea

Image courtesy Liverpool Daily Post & Echo

This shipwreck happened just as I was starting my working life after leaving school and I still feel the sadness.

 

A ship sailed into new waters and sank due to a combination of terrible weather, bad luck and sheer stupidity.

 

I remember that people were particularly shocked because it involved holidaymakers enjoying the winter sun.

 

The big refrigerated truck loaded with oranges was driven on to the car ferry and parked next to the loading door. Read more…