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Should we charge international visitors?

28 June 2013 by David Fleming

Picture of David and Simon being filmed for The One Show

Simon and I being filmed for The One Show

Simon Calder, the travel writer and broadcaster, interviewed me for The One Show last week because of the growing public interest in the impact cuts in government funding are having on museums, an interest that reached something of a peak when the London-based Science Museum announced that it might have to close one of its northern ‘branches’ in Manchester, Bradford and York if its budgets were cut further.

Simon had a suggestion about admission charges. He agrees that admission charges for British taxpayers would lead to a drop in the number of people who visit museums, which cannot be a good thing, so he wasn’t advocating that. And we can’t charge EU citizens if we don’t charge British citizens, according to EU law. His proposal is that that we should charge non-EU citizens only. Read more…

Charge admission for national museums?

7 June 2013 by David Fleming

Photo of young people enjoying paintings at the Walker Art Gallery

As Director of National Museums Liverpool, this week I found myself discussing with Brian Sewell (on BBC Radio 5 Live) whether the nation can afford free access to national museums. Sewell is an outspoken character who expresses extreme views on a range of subjects, including, I recollect, all things northern. Not my ideal choice of debating partner as I usually disagree vehemently with what he says, but no-one told me beforehand that he would be sharing the airspace with me, so I was taken by surprise. As it turned out, Sewell was quite mild on the subject of admission charges to national museums, and at one stage he actually said he’s not in favour (but is merely in favour of considering the reintroduction of charges). Read more…

Cunard and Queen Mary: then and now

17 May 2013 by Rebecca

Collection of china on display in museum

Cunard china on display in Life at Sea gallery.

Everyone at the Merseyside Maritime Museum welcomes the arrival of a very impressive and grand visitor to Liverpool. Cunard’s Queen Mary II docked at the pier head landing stage in the early hours of this morning. It’s the first time in forty five years that passengers can sail on a Cunard liner from the Pier head waterfront.

Pulling up at the lights during my commute into the office, the QM2 dwarves the neighbouring buildings and certainly has the wow factor with her classic red funnel. Read more…

LightNight 2013: Fragments

3 May 2013 by Louise

picture of intricate lighting projection

One of Andy’s tests ahead of LightNight © Andy McKeown Lightworks

This time in two weeks the city will be preparing itself for a long night of cultural celebration as organisations and venues across the city centre throw open their doors for LightNight on Friday 17 May.

I shall be posting a few blogs to round up some of the activities and events the museums have to offer. This week I’m looking at a venue that’s sure to wow people.

Light and new media artist, Andy McKeown is heading a project called ‘Fragments’ which will see a large scale series of projections wrapped across two sides of the Oratory. Originally the mortuary chapel to St James’s Cemetery, the Oratory is a National Museums Liverpool site that can be found within the grounds of Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral. Read more…

Easter 1945 – a time of austerity

28 March 2013 by Sam

old photo pf a shop window display

Anne Gleave, Curator of Photographic Archives, has found this photo in the Stewart Bale collection which shows a very different Easter display to the ones in shops today:

“There are 195,445 photographs in the Stewart Bale collection and this is one of them; a window display for Easter 1945 in the former department store Owen Owen on Clayton Square, Liverpool, which was commissioned by Owen Owen Ltd, April 1945.

I’m guessing that the passer-by’s attention was supposed to be grabbed by the words ‘Easter Harvest’ in large rustic letters in each of the three windows, hopefully to draw them closer to investigate and read the explanatory text panels about this strange phenomenon (how could harvest be at  Easter! But wait a minute…) Read more…

Competition time

14 March 2013 by Lisa

Picture of open book

Beth Tweddle has signed a copy of the Museum of Liverpool book that we’re giving away

Following Olympic gymnast Beth Tweddle’s visit to the Museum of Liverpool yesterday, we have a little competition for you to enter.

During her visit, Beth signed a copy of the fabulous Museum of Liverpool book, Liverpool- the Story of a City. The book is illustrated with the collections in the Museum and celebrates Liverpool’s rich history and the people who have made the city what it is today. Beth is undoubtedly one of those individuals, as shown in her dedication and relentless determination. Read more…

An inspiring International Women’s Day

8 March 2013 by Lisa

Etching of a woman having a 'back street' abortion

Etchingsfrom Paula Rego’s abortion series.

Happy International Women’s Day! This day is the perfect time to stop and think about which women might be inspiring to you. Outside of family and friends, one person who I find inspiring is Portuguese artist Paula Rego. Two years ago I visited her dedicated museum ‘Casa das Histórias’ (‘House of Stories’) and was blown away by her work. It spans from etchings to installations to dramatic, large-scale paintings.

I admire her (and her work) as she is not afraid to show the experiences of women, especially exploring subjects which are often considered ‘difficult’ or controversial. You also get an idea of her personal experiences too, which I also find inspiring as I think she must be quite brave to expose her feelings in this way. Her work often has a sense of fear running through it – a feeling she has recently admitted is still a constant in her everyday life.  Read more…

Chinese New Year!

8 February 2013 by Lucy

Most of us have already celebrated the New Year, and enough time has passed that we have made – and broken – New Year’s resolutions a plenty!

If like me you’ve taken a while to get started with your plans to start a new fitness regime or take up a new hobby, why not have another crack at starting a fresh this Sunday, with the dawning of the Chinese New Year.

2013 is the Year of the Snake, and World Museum can certainly boast a lot of snakes in its collections. You can visit the Clore Natural History Centre to see some of the snake specimens and skeletons on display, or have a look at our online collection if you really want to have a good nose at what’s in our stores. Read more…

Maternity chic from the 1920s

4 January 2013 by Lisa

Here’s our Curator of Costume and Textiles, Pauline Rushton, to tell us about her favourite pieces of costume from our current display at the Walker Art Gallery, ‘Mrs Tinne’s Wardrobe’.


If you love vintage costume then you really should make a visit to our Craft and Design Gallery at the Walker, as you’ll have the chance to see some more of the clothes from the wardrobe of local doctor’s wife and well-known shopaholic Mrs Emily Tinne! Read more…

Remembering SS Ceramic – lost 70-years-ago today

6 December 2012 by Dickie

photo of a ship

Liverpool liner SS Ceramic sunk on 6 December 1942.

At first families back home in Liverpool were oblivious to the horror that had befallen their loved ones.

On November 23 1942 my grandmother watched from Crosby beach as Liverpool liner SS Ceramic left the River Mersey. Her husband Fred was aboard working as a steward. Clutching her three-month-old baby, Annie Felton waved the ship off, unaware that this would be the very final farewell.
 
The 18,400 ton Ceramic was launched in 1912 by Harland and Wolff in Belfast. She was the first ship built by White Star Line after Titanic and spent her years sailing the Liverpool to Australia route. 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.