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Posts tagged with 'conservation'

Object Detectives

19 November 2010 by Eleanor

My name is Ellie and I am a new addition at the National Conservation Centre in Liverpool.  I am here on a year long internship in Objects Conservation and Public Engagement, funded by ICON (Institute of Conservation) and the Heritage Lottery Fund

While I am here I will post regular updates on the blog to provide a glimpse of what is happening behind-the-scenes at the National Conservation Centre, as conservators look after and investigate fascinating objects from the collection. Read more…

Art Merseywide showcases local talent

22 September 2010 by Sam

people discussing paintings on a gallery wall

Olwen McLaughlin, Editions Gallery, Liverpool, Louise Hesketh (Halton) and Chris Kerfoot (National Museums Liverpool) selecting works at the Wirral Spring exhibition, Williamson Art Gallery, Birkenhead

While the Biennial attract artists from all over the world to exhibit in Liverpool, the next exhibition to open at the National Conservation Centre on Friday, Art Merseywide, gives talented local artists the opportunity to show their work. With artworks selected from open exhibitions held in Liverpool, Halton, Knowsley, St Helens, Sefton and Wirral over the last year, Art Merseywide gives what exhibition organiser Louise Hesketh, of the Brindley Theatre and Arts Centre in Runcorn, describes as “a candid snapshot of the thriving local art scene”. Read more…

Last Lewis’s Event this Sunday

27 August 2010 by Lucy

From tomorrow, there are only three full days left for you to visit the National Conservation Centre’s popular exhibition Lewis’s Fifth Floor: A Department Story.

The hair salon on the fifth floor

This image of the hair salon on the fifth floor is in Stephen King’s exhibition. Image (c) Stephen King.

This exhibition by Liverpool photographer Stephen King has been a real success, having received over 37,000 visitors since it opened in February.

Sadly, the store closed at the end of May, but it’s been lovely to see so many people coming to the exhibition to relive memories of the fifth floor and often uncover its hidden secrets for the first time, unaware that this closed floor ever existed. Read more…

Another chance to x-ray your toys

24 August 2010 by Sam

visitors looking at x-ray images on a computer screen

If like me you are curious about what’s inside your treasured posessions and how they work – but not curious enough to break them in order to find out – then you need to go to the X-Ray your toys session at the National Conservation Centre tomorrow afternoon.

I popped along to the last session with my trusty Rubik’s cube, which conservator David Crombie x-rayed from a couple of different angles in order to reveal the clever way that the pieces are held together but can still be moved round into all sorts of colourful combinations. Read more…

Free Talk – Forgotten Murals

16 August 2010 by Lucy

The well-loved icon of Liverpool department stores Lewis’s, sadly closed its doors for the last time at the end of May. Prior to that for around the last 30 years the store was mainly recognised for its shopping culture, but until the early 1980s it was much more than a place where you might buy a dress or new handbag.

Before the 80s the store also offered three restaurants and what was at one time the world’s largest hair salon on the fifth floor, until it was closed to the public in the 80s and used as a storage floor ever since. Read more…

X-ray your toys in our lab!

29 July 2010 by Sam

x-ray image showing the outlines of a set of figures, one inside the other

X-ray of a set of Russian dolls

Have you ever wondered what’s inside a Rubik’s cube – or any other toys? This Friday staff at the National Conservation Centre will be hosting an ‘X-ray your toy’ event, as a fun way to show children how we use science to examine our collections. The X-ray equipment includes a digital X-ray reader, and is used by conservators to look beneath the surface of paintings, or inside corroded lumps of archaeological iron.

We’re inviting children of all ages to bring along a favourite toy, and we’ve already booked in a Transformer, a toy calculator, a pair of Ben 10 walkie-talkies, and a Pixel Chicks game, alongside the Rubik’s cube. Watch this space for a gallery of unusual X-ray images – and you can see some toys that we’ve already x-rayed on Flickr.

The X-ray your toy event will be taking place 12.30-3.30pm on Friday 30 July, in the Reveal gallery at the National Conservation Centre. If you miss this, there’s another chance at the same time on Wednesday 25 August. Full details of all our events and activities are on the website. Read more…

Funding for trainee development

17 June 2010 by Lynn

Rose Hardman reports on funding that will enable fantastic new opportunities for conservation trainees.


Heritage lottery fund

We were delighted to receive the news recently that the Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded £350,700 to help National Museums Liverpool and the North West Fed deliver training opportunities for 12 Positive Action Trainees.

The money, awarded under the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Skills for the Future programme, will give trainees a chance to learn about heritage conservation and audience development.

National Museums Liverpool’s six trainees will spend two years looking at conservation techniques with the Institute of Conservation as a key partner. We will begin advertising for placements at National Museums Liverpool in 2012. Read more…

Full steam ahead for the Museum of Liverpool

23 April 2010 by Sam

painting during conservation, with yellow varnish over one side

‘RMS Oropesa’ by Arthur Burgess during conservation treatment

Paintings conservator Beth Courtney sent me this great picture showing the incredible transformation of one of the paintings in her care. I’ll let her explain:


“‘RMS Oropesa’ by Arthur Burgess came into the paintings studio to be conserved before going on display in the new Museum of Liverpool. The reason it needed treating was obvious: it was covered in an extremely discoloured varnish that was distorting the appearance of the colours.

Our eyes and brains work together to make sense of things and often a slightly yellow varnish doesn’t make much difference to how we perceive the relationships between colours so we can still tell which areas are white, blue or green. But when a varnish becomes very discoloured our brains can’t remove enough yellow to compensate for the discolouration. Although we know that sky is probably a shade of blue, it becomes difficult to tell whether it ought to be bright or stormy. Read more…

Something for Thursdays

21 April 2010 by Kay C

Thursday afternoons are never going to be the same again…

I am really excited about our new Spring 2010 Public Lecture Series, which kicks off tomorrow (April 22). It’s being held at the Treasure House Theatre, World Museum, and features a selection of subjects from our museums and galleries’ collections and exhibitions, from archaeology to contemporary slavery.

For the next four Thursdays, our curators will be talking about some of the fascinating things they have researched. Read more…

William Brown gets a 150th anniversary outing

8 April 2010 by Lisa

Do remember our previous post about the William Brown bust getting a good spring clean? This was part of our World Museum 150th anniversary celebrations on the blog, and we’re continuing the series this week with an update about the bust by our Executive Director of Collections Management, John Millard.


White marble bust of a man's head and shoulders

William Brown in his new home

For as long as anyone can remember a marble bust of William Brown has languished in a store at the Walker Art Gallery, and it didn’t look very happy.  It got some careful attention at our National Conservation Centre and now it has finally been put on show.

The bust features in a special display in the atrium of World Museum.  It commemorates the 150th anniversary of William Brown handing over Liverpool’s museum and library building to the Lord Mayor of the city in 1860.  Brown spent £40,000 on the building of the museum and library, and the street was renamed William Brown Street in thanks for his generosity. 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.