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Posts tagged with 'conservation'

From New York to London via Port Sunlight

2 May 2018 by Ann

A first glimpse of the exhibition

We’re preparing to bring a little bit of city life to Port Sunlight  and the Lady Lever Art Gallery this week as we countdown to the opening of our spring exhibition Whistler & Pennell: Etching the city on Friday 4 May.

Profiling the work of American artists; James McNeill Whistler and Joseph Pennell who made London their home, the exhibition reveals their passion, innovation and influence upon an artistic technique that at the time was in decline.

Read more…

A transatlantic trip for John Gibson’s Tinted Venus

23 March 2018 by Lottie

Last year, the Walker Art Gallery received a request for the loan of John Gibson’s Tinted Venus from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. John Gibson was a neo-classical sculptor who worked from studios in Rome. He first showed this sculpture at the 1862 International Exhibition, where his use of colour on marble caused quite a stir.

While many were critical of this ‘new’ way of presenting sculpture, Gibson was in fact referencing the ancient Greek practice of fully painted statuary. Gibson went on to receive commissions for two more Tinted Venuses.

This particular sculpture hadn’t been on loan since the mid-1990s and required a thorough inspection in order for us to make an informed decision about whether it could be considered for international travel. Read more…

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…

Galkoff’s tiles saved!

6 December 2017 by Liz

Shop front

The gorgeous green Galkoff tiles were added in 1933.

If you’re travelling in to Liverpool via London Road, you might spot some activity around the old Galkoff’s Kosher butcher’s shop. As part of the Galkoff’s and the Secret Life of Pembroke Place project the beautiful green tiles from the building are being carefully removed by professional conservators, and will be cleaned and consolidated. Bringing the tiles indoors will ensure their long-term survival. Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) now own the building, and are working with the Museum of Liverpool to preserve the tiles. LSTM are giving the tiles to the museum for their preservation in public ownership in the collections of National Museums Liverpool. The tiles will be mounted and displayed in the Museum of Liverpool from late 2018 for a minimum of five years. Read 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…

Tell your own story at our ‘how to archive’ workshop

12 September 2017 by Mitty

family photograph

Rare picture that all of my siblings and both parents are in as one of us would usually be taking the picture. I still can’t keep my eyes open in pictures!

Heritage consultant Heather Roberts will be leading our Tell your story- How to archive workshop on Saturday – the latest of our fantastic free Sankofa project events. You can book your place by following the link here.

Heather tells us about some of the really interesting work she’s been doing in Manchester to support communities uncovering their own hidden histories:

“On the Hidden Histories, Hidden Historians project with Manchester Histories, I am working with five community groups on a wonderful archive project. I am guiding them through the process of finding, valuing and displaying their history.

One such organisation is Oldham Youth Council. They wish to reveal the heritage and histories hidden in their members’ families to highlight how diversity makes for stronger teams with shared goals. Read more…

Betty and her cookery books

1 June 2017 by Mitty

Betty with part of her cook book collection

Betty with part of her cook book collection

Whilst having a stand at the Granby Street Market, I was lucky enough to meet Betty Vandy and try some of her amazing food. I told her about the Sankofa project and she told me all about her cook book collection. I’ll let Betty tell you more.

“My books are almost as important as the food I cook. I started collecting my now nearing three hundred strong cook book collection well over twenty two years ago.

I remember my first significant purchases, a set of seven vintage cook books published in the 1960s, I paid five pounds and they were and still are in excellent condition. But more importantly the recipes are detailed, accurate and they work!  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…

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.

Read more…



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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.