Blog

Half term fun

26 May 2016 by Megan

River Festival

River Festival

Half-term is fast approaching and National Museums Liverpool has a fantastic range of activities to keep the little ones busy.

The Merseyside Maritime Museum’s is the big 3-0 this year and we are celebrating in style! We are taking you back to the 80s with DJ Barryoke playing the hits and a 1980s themed photo booth for visitors to capture all the fun. Performances, workshops and crafts will also be running over the two days (30 & 31 May). See our website for more details Read more…

‘Liverpool patronage was a little Galapagos’ – exploring the relationship of the Pre-Raphaelites and Liverpool by Rupert Maas

19 May 2016 by Ann

The Scapegoat, 1854-5, William Holman Hunt © Lady Lever Art Gallery, National Museums Liverpool

The Scapegoat, 1854-5, William Holman Hunt © Lady Lever Art Gallery, National Museums Liverpool

Pre-Raphaelitism has long been associated with Liverpool.  The collections of National Museums Liverpool’s art galleries, namely Sudley House, Lady Lever Art Gallery and the Walker Art Gallery include a large number of Pre-Raphaelite works. Many, such as Dante’s Dream by Rossetti and the Scapegoat by Holman Hunt hold an iconic status across the globe. The history of how Liverpool and Port Sunlight came to house these collections is fascinating and diverse and carries an inspiring message of patronage and cultural enlightenment. While there have been many exhibitions exploring the movement’s history, Liverpool’s role had until recently not been explored. Read more…

We’re 30!

12 May 2016 by Lucy

If you’re from Liverpool, you’ll know that the museums and galleries in this city have been around for a long time…165 years to be precise! However, we can still lay claim to celebrating our 30th birthday, because it was actually 30 years ago in 1986, that we were established as a national museums service. Read more…

Artisan catering delights at gallery relaunch

19 April 2016 by Sarah

DSCF2230When the Lady Lever Art Gallery opened its new South End galleries last month, after a £2.8m major redevelopment project, guests at the private preview were wowed by the bespoke catering by our Conference and Events team, because the menu was rather special.

The Lady Lever Art Gallery has one of the most beautiful collections of fine and decorative art in the UK, including lots of world famous Pre-Raphaelite artworks and Chinese ceramics. And did you know the gallery has the best collection of Wedgwood Jasperware in the world? Read more…

When Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun met Emma Hamilton

15 April 2016 by Xanthe

painting of a woman holding a tambourine

‘Lady Hamilton as a Bacchante’ by Elisabeth-Louise Vigée Le Brun

We know quite a lot about Vigée Le Brun’s portrait of Emma Hamilton, and what she thought of Emma, because in the mid 1820s, towards the end of a long painting career of more than 50 years, she decided to write up her diaries and publish them as memoirs in 1836-37.

Vigée first met Emma when the artist arrived in Naples in 1790, having fled Paris with her 9 year old daughter, at the start of the French Revolution in 1789. Vigée was given refuge by the Queen of Naples, the sister of the French Queen Marie-Antoinette, whose favourite portrait painter was Vigée. When she fled Paris she left her art-dealer husband, Jean-Baptiste Le Brun, behind to protect the family house and studio contents. He was later forced by the French Revolutionary government to divorce her to retain their property. She spent the next 12 years travelling around the courts of continental Europe visiting cities in Italy, Austria and Russia, making a successful living by painting portraits of royalty, aristocrats and their courtiers.  Read more…

Lady Hamilton restored and rediscovered

30 March 2016 by David Crombie

Lady Hamilton's face

Detail of Lady Hamilton’s face from the painting, after conservation.

In summer 2015 Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun’s painting Lady Hamilton as a Bacchante from the Lady Lever Art Gallery was conserved by Kristina Mandy. Kristina joined National Museums Liverpool as a paintings conservator on a six month contract from May to November 2015. She describes her work on the painting, which you can now see back on display at the Lady Lever Art Gallery:

“During my contract at National Museums Liverpool I had the fantastic opportunity to conserve this beautiful portrait of Lady Hamilton from the early 1790s. Read more…

Rare chandelier discovered at the Lady Lever Art Gallery

25 March 2016 by Felicity

Terence installing the chandelier in the new galleries c. Gareth Jones

Terence installing the chandelier in the new galleries c. Gareth Jones

Restoring the Lady Lever Art Gallery’s new South End galleries, which open to visitors today, has been an incredibly exciting, and revealing, process!

In reversing many of the changes that were made to the Gallery in the 1960s, we’ve made some fantastic discoveries. We’ve found elaborate wallpaper hidden behind casing – even ‘secret doors’ which we’ve been able to reopen!

Perhaps one of the most exciting discoveries, though, relates to a very much overlooked rare chandelier. Read more…

Reflections

22 March 2016 by Megan

quote.blog

Reflections exhibition

 

Throughout the South End redevelopment project the Lady Lever education team has been working closely with the Wirral community. They have been building relationships through delivering workshops and consulting with local community and education groups, finding out what they would like to see in the new displays, and how we can interpret the collections and develop our education programme. Read more…

Photographic inspiration

22 March 2016 by Ann

Port Sunlight village by Ian RobertsonThe Lady Lever Art Gallery was built for the residents of Port Sunlight village and opened in 1922.  At the time residents were workers in William Hesketh Lever’s soap factory.  Over the years the village has changed but retained a strong community at heart.  It’s no longer a requirement for village residents to work for the factory and villagers come from all walks of life.

Ian Robertson, a regular visitor to the Gallery and current resident, writes on how the village and Lever’s collection have inspired him.  Read more…

New year, new galleries at the Lady Lever

1 March 2016 by Lucy Nixon

Exterior of Lady Lever Art Gallery

The Lady Lever is preparing to open the doors of its South End galleries once again ©fotography

As the Lady Lever Art Gallery prepares to swing open the doors to its brand new South End galleries later this month, I decided to take a look back at the history behind the gallery itself and the royal links that make it one of Merseyside’s most interesting buildings. 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.