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Dickens’s model daughter

9 April 2013 by Sam

painting of a man in uniform comforting a woman

‘The Black Brunswickers’ by Millais

So you’ve heard of the author Charles Dickens – of course! But did you know that there is another famous member of the Dickens family? Charles’s daughter Kate was the model for the well known painting ‘The Black Brunswickers’ at the Lady Lever Art Gallery.

The painting depicts an imaginary scene in which a woman says goodbye to a soldier as he leaves for battle. It’s a painting full of emotion, the woman seems to be holding the door closed to stop her man from going. Or was she secretly looking forward to some ‘me time’ after he left so that she could settle down to read the latest Dickens novel…
Read more…

Ship model conservation

27 March 2013 by Gemma

Discussing the conservation process

Often as a conservator, there are not many opportunities to engage with the public. Working in studios undertaking practical conservation work can leave little time for interaction with those who enjoy and visit the collections. So when I was given the opportunity to do a demonstration of ship model conservation at the Lady Lever Art Gallery I was eager to accept.

The Gallery is part of National Museums Liverpool, and houses a collection of fine and decorative art. The Lady Lever Art Gallery was founded by William Hesketh Lever, and contains the best of his personal art collection. As part of the education programme, the gallery runs demonstrations of various art related topics, and so I did an afternoon of ship model conservation in one of the galleries. Read more…

Our most successful year ever

12 March 2013 by Sam

people around a big cake

The Museum of Liverpool’s first birthday celebration in July was just one of the events that brought in crowds in 2012

Museums in Liverpool are the most popular in England outside London, according to the 2012 visitor figures issued by the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA).The Museum of Liverpool attracted more than 1 million visitors, and was the most visited museum in England, outside of London.

This wasn’t the only success story though. The number of visitors to the Walker Art Gallery increased by 40%, mainly due to the exhibition ‘Rolf Harris: Can you tell what it is yet?’ The International Slavery Museum saw a 9% increase and visitor numbers to the Lady Lever Art Gallery increased by 7%. Read more…

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…

The grand old lady is 90

21 December 2012 by Angela

Princess Beatrice and Lord Leverhulme opening the Lady Lever Art Gallery

Sarah Lynch, Administrative Assistant at the Lady Lever Art Gallery tells us about a special milestone the gallery reached this week:

This great old Lady is 90 years young now; she always likes to keep up with the times as well as remembering her roots to appeal to a wider audience; adults and children will all find something of interest here. Read more…

Step away from the smellies

5 December 2012 by Angela

Christmas shop display

If you’ve walked through town this week you might have noticed the increased presence of a strange seasonal creature. Wild eyed, delirious and prone to rash impulses, approach these beings with caution: the season of the confused Christmas shopper is upon us. Read more…

Join the Jubilee celebrations!

31 May 2012 by Laura

You don’t have to travel all the way to London to join the Diamond Jubilee party. At the Walker Art Gallery we have a crown-making workshops 2 June to Tuesday 5 June, between 10 am and 4 pm

Girl on throne

One young visitor getting swept up in the royal celebrations!

The Lady Lever Art Gallery and Museum of Liverpool also enjoy treating their visitors like royalty and will also be hosting crown-making workshops on 4 and 5 June. Read more…

The mystery of Mrs Wells

22 May 2012 by Lisa

Here’s a blog by Sarah Hardy who is helping out at the Lady Lever Art gallery as part of her Art History masters degree. 

Sarah will be giving a talk about Zoffany’s portrait of Robert Badeley at 1pm on Wednesday 23 May 2012.


Painting of a man

Robert Baddeley as Moses in Sheridan’s ‘The School for Scandal’ c1781, by Johann Zoffany (1734/5 – 1810).

I am currently working on a project through my Art History masters degree at the University of Manchester. My task is to write all the labels for three 18th century art and furniture rooms at Lady Lever Art Gallery. So if you come and visit in the near future, the labels you read in rooms 22-24, will have been written by me! 

I am thoroughly enjoying this experience and look forward to my Wednesday visits, when I am let loose on the archives to uncover the history of some incredibly rare and valuable art works. Using this information to tell you the story of our art has been incredibly rewarding. Read more…

Win a mounted print of the RMS Olympic ship!

10 April 2012 by Lisa

RMS Olympic ship

White star liner Olympic – sister of Titanic – looking aft (1920). Reproduced by permission of English Heritage: BL24990/021

To commemorate the Titanic centenary, we’re offering you the chance to win an A3 mounted print of either Titanic’s sister ship RMS Olympic or the White Star Line’s Liverpool offices! 

One runner up will receive a copy of ‘Titanic and Liverpool’ by Alan Scarth and a photography book which accompanies our current exhibition at the Lady Lever Art Gallery.

To enter, you need to answer this question:

Which photographer(s) were commissioned by the White Star Line to photograph RMS Olympic in 1920?  Read more…

Conserving a Ship of War Model

15 February 2012 by Gemma

Ship model before and after treatment
Ship model before and after treatment

You may remember in my last post that I had taken a model in great need of conservation to the Lady Lever Art Gallery for demonstration purposes. The model had several snapped yards and masts, and missing blocks. Many people remarked on the blackness of the thick dirt, and how complicated the broken and twisted rigging was, and were interested to know how I would go about treating the model. As the treatment of the model has now been completed, I would like to share some of the treatment processes. 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.