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Posts tagged with 'exhibition'

Rethinking Disability Symposium

6 March 2018 by Laura

People in exhibition

Visitors in The Blind School exhibition

We’re looking forward to hosting Rethinking Disability on Friday 9 March. A symposium for the museums and galleries sector, the aim is to bring together individuals committed to creating to bringing about real and lasting change.

Esther Fox, Head of Accentuate said:

“We know that Museums and Galleries are wanting to support better access and representation for deaf and disabled people. We also know there have been significant strides towards this over the last 10 years. However we still have a long way to go and we are not at the point where inclusive practice is the norm. This event provides an opportunity for people to share, learn and most importantly challenge thinking, encouraging people to take more risks.”

The symposium is part of History of Place, a national project run by Accentuate, which explores 800 years of disability history through eight different sites around the UK.  Read more…

A proposal with Pride!

2 March 2018 by Kay

Navy uniform hat, paper flowers and wedding photo in museum display case

Navy uniform hat, paper flowers and wedding photo in museum display case

We have recently added some fantastic new items to our community case in the Tales from the city exhibition. This case enables us to reveal LGBT+ stories not represented in the exhibition, which people contact us about and would like to share.

The items were very kindly loaned by Emma and Ann Miller-McCaffrey and tell the story of their relationship.  Read more…

A journey through the Han Dynasty in ten objects

28 February 2018 by Jennifer Grindley

The Han Dynasty (206 BC – AD 220) was one of the longest surviving Chinese dynasties and rivalled the almost contemporary, but smaller Roman Empire. Following a period of civil war after the succession of Qin Shi Huang’s son in the Qin Dynasty, rebel leader Liu Bang defeated his rivals and became Han Gaozu, the First Emperor of the Western Han Dynasty. Spanning more than 400 years with only minor interruptions, the Dynasty was charaterised by significant advances in science, technology, mathematics, astronomy and literature which can still be felt in China today.

Explore this golden age of Chinese history through some of the objects that feature in our China’s First Emperor and the Terracotta Warriors exhibition:

Terracotta cavalrymen and horses

The rulers of the Han Dynasty followed in the footsteps of the Qin kings and showed a strong belief in gods, spirits and the afterlife. Discoveries so far suggest that, like the First Emperor of China, they had armies of terracotta warriors and horses to protect them, as well as servants, entertainers and animals. These cavalrymen and horses are two of more than 500 figures buried near the tomb of a general at Yangjiawan. Originally, the cavalrymen held the reins in one hand and a weapon in the other, and details of the saddles, harnesses and bridles were painted on the figures with bright colours.

Animal mask

People decorated many objects with images of wild and mysteries animals during the Qin and Han periods. In the Han Dynasty, the animal mask became a popular motif used to decorate the handles of various objects such as doors, vessels and coffins. This ornamental handle was probably attached to a coffin, and is missing a bronze ring which would have hung from the mouth of the creature.

Jade disc

A comparison of major tombs dating from the Spring and Autumn Period (771 – 476 BC) to the Han Dynasty, reveal a great increase in the use of jade between the third and second centuries BC. Jade was more valuable than gold as it was strongly associated with immortality, and its use was restricted to the highest members of society. Coffins of high-ranking individuals were embellished with protective jade discs such as this one which is the largest ever discovered in China. The hole in the centre of the disc is designed to allow the spirit of the deceased to travel in and out.

Pottery model of a well

Models of buildings and real-life objects such as houses, granaries, cooking stoves and wells were very popular in the Han Dynasty, and were produced specifically for burial in tombs. This was not the life-sized world of the scale created by China’s First Emperor, but miniature versions of the world the deceased had lived in. In modern China, many people still believe in the afterlife and worship their ancestors in cemeteries or at home. They buy miniature paper models of servants, horses, houses, cars, money and even iPhones as offerings for their relatives so they can enjoy their life in the next world.

Gold ingots

Emperors used gold ingots as gifts to reward their subjects or as gold reserves to store their wealth. Many ingots were stamped or engraved with inscriptions such as family names or good luck messages, and more than 400 gold ingots dating to the Han Dynasty have been found in China so far.

Pottery zun 樽 wine container

Containers of this shape were made to store liquors such as wine. Ancient Chinese wine was made from fermented grain and rice wine is still one of the most popular drinks in China today. This green glazed pottery ‘zun’ is decorated with cloud designs around the sides. Its lid is in the shape of a mountain; probably representing the mythical ‘Isles of the Immortals’.

Tomb doorway

It was common for wealthy individuals to have a stone door built at the entrance of their tomb which was carved with images of mythical creatures to guard against evil spirits. On the lintel at the top of this doorway, the sun is shown on the right as a red circle with a black bird, while the moon appears as a circle on the left. Together with the clouds depicted on the doorframe, they represent a celestial space high above the human realm. Images of dancing figures and chariots on the doorframe illustrate the activities at the tomb site during the ceremonial service. Two immortals in black at the top on each side of the doorframe are poised ready to guide the deceased to heaven.

Coins with Greek script

Bearing Parthian-style Greek inscriptions on one side and decorated with a Han-style dragon on the reverse, these coins offer a glimpse into the cultural exchange between China, Greece and Central Asia via the Silk Road. The establishment of this huge network of trade routes linking China to the Mediterranean extended over 7,000 kilometres and created new opportunities for Chinese merchants who traded silk, lacquerware and salt in exchange for gold, jade, silver, ivory, glass, spices and exotic goods.

Brass incense burner

Up until the Han Dynasty, people burned fragrant plants as incense. In later times, it became more common to heat scented wood with charcoal. Exotic incense imported via the Silk Road became one of the most expensive goods traded in the Han Dynasty.

Discover more fascinating objects from the Han Dynasty at our landmark exhibition, China’s First Emperor and the Terracotta Warriors which runs from 9 February until 28 October 2018.

Fresh Perspectives: Call out to Wirral secondary schools

13 February 2018 by Siobhan

Young people admiring their artwork in teh Fresh Perspectives art exhibition at the lady lever Art Gallery

Opening of the Fresh Perspectives exhibition at the Lady Lever Art Gallery

April 2019 will see the return of the biennial schools exhibition Fresh Perspectives: Art from Wirral schools at the Lady Lever Art Gallery.   Fresh Perspectives is a fantastic opportunity for schools to nurture and promote the talents of their students, for young people to engage with arts and culture outside of the classroom environment and to support those with an interest in further education in the arts, offering them an insight into creative careers.   This will be the fourth occasion that the exhibition has taken place but for the first time schools will have the opportunity to apply to have their students GCSE and A Level work included.

Read more…

Hidden treasures on display for the first time at the Walker

5 February 2018 by Nicola Scott

Slaves of Fashion: New Works by The Singh Twins has just opened at the Walker Art Gallery, and thanks to this unique collaboration between National Museums Liverpool and The Singh Twins, you can see some star objects that have never been on display before!

It is not new for artists to take inspiration from museum collections, but what is different is the extent of The Singh Twins’ research. They have viewed hundreds of objects, which have contributed to many ideas for their artworks.

We began in 2014 when I planned a visit to our stores with the artists. The exhibition tells stories from the history of Indian textiles, so I was looking for items made in India or inspired by Indian design. I was thrilled to discover exquisite hand-embroidered pieces and stunning, woven shawls – I realised these had never before been seen by the public. The Singh Twins went on to work with colleagues in other departments too. The objects they discovered have informed some of the main themes for their artworks, and you can see many referenced within the actual artworks themselves! I was delighted to put some of these on display for the first time in Slaves of Fashion.

A selection of our textiles, jewellery and books on display for the first time

Shawl or ‘Phulkari’, India 19th century


Shawl or ‘Phulkari’, India 19th century

Read more…

The grid is the thing

5 February 2018 by Ann Bukantas

Noel Forster’s A Painting in Six Stages with a Silk Triangle (detail)

What unites the paintings in our new display of past John Moores Painting Prize winners since 1957 is of course the fact that they have all won the UK’s most prestigious painting prize, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. But across this diverse group of canvases from different decades, other common links start to emerge, and this week we have mostly been spotting the variety of grids in the room!

Read more…

17 March 2018: One-day Conference: Slaves of Fashion: Archives, Art and Ethics

2 February 2018 by Ann

To accompany The Singh Twins’ major new exhibition Slaves of Fashion: New Works by The Singh Twins at the Walker Art Gallery, National Museums Liverpool and the University of Liverpool School of Histories, Languages and Cultures are hosting a one-day conference, open to the public to explore the issues raised by The Twins’ new artworks.

Read more…

10 Decades On: Liverpool Women 100

2 February 2018 by Kay

Gallery

Taking Liberties on display in The People’s Republic

2018 marks 100 years since the passing of the Representation of the People Act. After a long hard fight, some women over the age of 30 were given the right to vote for the first time. The Act also granted men over the age of 21 the vote. It would be another 10 years until this was equalised for women over the age of 21 in 1928.

The campaign in Liverpool saw both militant and peaceful tactics employed to win the basic right to vote. Women were jailed and force fed in Walton Gaol, bombs were planted around the city and windows smashed.  Read more…

Top 10 facts about the Terracotta Warriors

26 January 2018 by Scott Smith

Terracotta General

Terracotta General © Mr. Ziyu Qiu

With only 2 weeks to go until our blockbuster exhibition China’s First Emperor and the Terracotta Warriors opens, we thought we’d run you through the top 10 most interesting facts about the warriors and the First Emperor’s burial pit!

Read more…

Behind the scenes of the John Moores Painting Prize 2018

11 January 2018 by Alex Patterson

Alex Patterson at her desk working

Alex Patterson, Assistant Curator of Fine Art

I’m thrilled to be working on the John Moores Painting Prize while it celebrates its 60th Anniversary! I’m Assistant Curator of Fine Art for National Museums Liverpool and this year I have joined the Prize’s Project Manager, Katherine Lloyd, to oversee various stages of the competition.

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.