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Posts tagged with 'decorative arts'

Book sale bargains

3 January 2013 by Karen

A brightly coloured teaset

A divine Clarice Cliff ‘tea for two’ set from Age of Jazz.

As January is synonymous with sales and spring cleaning we thought we’d kill two birds with one stone and have a bit of a clear out in our book warehouse. So if you fancy bagging yourself a bargain then check out the offers on our online shop.

It’s an eclectic selection and there are some great books, my personal favourites being ‘When Time Began to Rant and Rage…’ which is a fab book of Irish figurative work and totally worth a fiver, Age of Jazz: British Arts Deco Ceramics as I’m a sucker for a deco teaset, and British Watercolours and Drawings from the Lady Lever’s collection.

If you’ve still not got a John Moores catalogue then now is the time to buy one as they’re reduced to £7.50. And if you buy it from the Walker shop you get the John Moores China version for free. Read more…

Work Experience Report

17 April 2012 by volunteer

Below, James tells us all about his work experience with our Decorative Arts department. Over to James…

“I’m James and I’m a Year 10 student at King David High School in Liverpool. I spent a week on work experience at NML, in the Decorative Art department, and it has been brilliant. I came here not knowing what to expect and ended up having a great time. I found that my enjoyment for history, which I’m studying for my GCSE, helped greatly. I most enjoyed handling the objects and being able to connect with them. I documented information I had collected on the toys and costume and where I had re stored them. I also enjoyed going to the Walker Art Gallery and Sudley House as I had never been to these places before. I realised that I was interested in silver and ceramics even though I’d never had a chance to look at them closely before. I particularly enjoyed sorting the toys and moving them about. I found all the collections really interesting and stimulating. Read more…

Volunteer blog: photography fun!

27 January 2012 by Lisa

It’s great to hear that volunteering at National Museums Liverpool can really be a memorable experience for those involved. Here’s a blog by a recent volunteer who helped out in our Photography and Decorative Art departments…

Adrian in the Decorative Arts store

Adrian in the Decorative Arts store

My name is Adrian Foo-Gibney and for the last two weeks I have been on a Year 10 work placement with National Museums Liverpool. During my time here I have learnt many skills, ranging from hands-on skills like photography to communication skills. This was a great experience for me as I got along with all the members of staff and had fun as well as learning. Everyone was really friendly and made me feel comfortable.

During my first week in Photography I worked with David Flower. He taught me many skills and gave me lots of tips about photography. The things I learnt were really useful, as back in school I have taken the GCSE photography course. It will also help with my personal photographic skills.

I was given many jobs during the first week, including photographing hats, processing images and scanning negatives ready for editing.

In the second week I worked with Alyson Pollard in Decorative Arts where I got to work with my friend Joseph Evans who is also from my school, Calderstones. We worked together photographing men’s hats and suits and inputted all the data for them.

I have enjoyed my time working with the National Museums Liverpool and it was a privilege to be here. I would like to do a similar job when I leave school. This has been an amazing adventure for me and I will remember this placement for ages. Read more…

Desperate Sudley Wives

12 December 2011 by Stephen

Big dress


Sudley House in Mossley Hill, Liverpool, was the home of Victorian shipowner George Holt who amassed a huge fortune as one of the proprietors of Lamport & Holt.


Despite his wealth, he was a modest man who did not go in for lavish entertainment. He was married with one daughter and the family were not ones to splash the cash on themselves.


In fact, they were among Liverpool’s greatest philanthropists and gave away most of what they acquired – including Sudley House. Read more…

Men in hats!

15 August 2011 by Lisa

Which country do you think is the most stylish? France? Italy? Japan? We reckon that Spain should be giving the rest of the world some pointers after seeing this fashionable crew of students who recently came to visit our Finishing Touch exhibition!

A group of male students in ladies hats

They would fit right in at the races, wouldn’t they?

The group visits Liverpool and the surrounding area every year and they decided to really get in the spirit of the exhibition by trying on the hats that are in the exhibition’s resource area. We think they look fab!

They were staying in the region for a month as part of an English language program and cultural experience and told our Curator of Decorative Arts, Alyson Pollard, that they thoroughly enjoyed their visit and are looking forward to coming back again soon. Read more…

We need photos of your flares!

10 August 2011 by Lisa

People in 1970s clothes

Lovely 1970s gear!

Ah flares. Make mine high-waisted in a dark blue denim please, with sailor-style buttons! (I still can’t quite say goodbye to my skinny jeans though.) Our upcoming exhibition at the Walker, ‘Feather cuts and flares’, will also be embracing 70s fashion by showing costume including bohemian pieces and shimmering glam rock platforms.

The clothes are ready to go on show but Dave Moffat, our Assistant Curator of Decorative Art, is on the look out for images to be used in the exhibition. Read more…

Experiencing the world of museum work!

11 July 2011 by volunteer

Work experience student carrying our administration work in office

Caitlin busy during her work experience.

Caitlin from Chesterfield High School is currently in the middle of her work experience at National Museums Liverpool. Below, Caitlin tells us what she has done so far…

“My name is Caitlin, during my two week work experience I have been in many departments in National Museums Liverpool. I wanted to do my work experience here because I’m interested in history and wanted to see if a career in museums was for me. As well as learning new skills in the office, which will be useful for me in the future; I have taken part in meetings regarding upcoming exhibitions and spent a day in Decorative Arts, where I handled objects and witnessed the problems and work that goes into creating a new exhibition. Read more…


7 July 2011 by Eleanor

Telescopic handheld fan

 Chinese Export Hand-held Fan

National Museums Liverpool’s conservation studios have been a hive of activity over the past few months, as conservators have been busy preparing objects for the new Museum of Liverpool, which opens in just 12 days’ time. 

Recently I have been lucky enough to conserve a number of handheld fans which will be exhibited in the new museum’s Global City gallery.  When I found out that I would be conserving fans, I expected to encounter paper and perhaps some plastic or wooden sticks, but I was in for a much bigger treat!  Lacquer, ivory, tortoiseshell, silk, feathers, gold pigment and mother of pearl were just some of the materials that I came across.  Read more…

A helping hand in the dec arts department

3 June 2011 by Lisa

Here’s Caitlin Allan, one of our most recent volunteers, talking about her work experience in the Decorative Arts Department…

Caitlin in the Decorative Arts stores

My name is Caitlin and I have had my work experience at National Museums Liverpool for two weeks. In the first week I visited the Lady Lever Art Gallery for the first time. I was shown around the gallery and learned a lot about the story of the gallery and its collections. I was then asked to choose three pieces from the gallery that really caught my eye and to do some research on them and write up my findings. 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…

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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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