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Pre-Raphaelite mini festival

30 April 2013 by Louise

A painting of people gathered around a dining table

A manifesto in paint – Millais’ Isabella

While the artworks that took their places on our gallery walls undeniably have their charms, it’s good to have some of our best Pre-Raphaelite paintings back from loan. Liverpool is blessed with a fine Pre-Raphaelite collection and tradition – we had our own Pre-Raph school – and it seems only fair to spread the wealth, as it were, and allow those who aren’t lucky enough to live here to borrow some of the highlights for a while.

Visitors to the Lady lever will no doubt have missed that perennial favourite, Holman Hunt’s The Scapegoat. The Walker, despite its positive embarassment of Pre-Raphaelite treasures, is definitely the richer for the return of Millais’ Isabella; a painted manifesto of the aims of the Brotherhood itself.

The return of these and other gems makes it a perfect time to visit our three galleries, and not least because we’re running something of a mini Pre-Raph festival to celebrate. Whether you’re relatively new to the genre, or know your Williamson from your Rossetti, there’s a gallery talk or tour for you, covering everything from an introduction to the Brotherhood to the crafting of a replica frame for The Scapegoat. Along with the forthcoming Edward Burne-Jones exhibition, and our extensive collection, there’s a lot to see. Read more…

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…

Credit crunch art – and film posters!

1 March 2013 by Sam

photo of a boy and cat inthe pose of the Life of Pi film poster

Image courtesy of Empire magazine

I love this fantastic recreation of the Life of Pi poster, spotted on the Empire magazine facebook page. The cat’s face makes it for me – I think if I asked my cat to pose like a tiger to recreate a film poster then she would look at me with exactly the same expression!

This reminded me of our own Credit Crunch Art project, in which we asked people to create their own versions of art from National Museums Liverpool’s collections. We have had some fantastic entries, which you can see in the Credit Crunch Art Flickr group. Below is my homage to Gainsborough. 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…

Free copies of the John Moores China catalogue

21 December 2012 by Karen

Galleries are fab places during the Christmas holidays. They’re quiet, uplifting, not the television, and you leave feeling slightly virtuous before returning to the orgy of chocolate and booze that has been your diet for most of December. And in the case of our venues, they’re totally free.

If you wander to the Walker this festive season to catch the John Moores Painting Prize before it closes on 6 January, you’ll no doubt see the rather large and rather excellent prize winners from the John Moores China exhibition. These are just five of the 63 pieces from the Shanghai exhibition, all of which are featured in the Chinese exhibition catalogue. In the spirit of festive generosity we’re giving away this Chinese catalogue for free to anyone who buys a copy of our own John Moores exhibition catalogue. Read more…

Peter Blake-signed book up for grabs

20 December 2012 by Karen

Cover of a John Moores Painting Prize 2012 catalogue

John Moores Painting Prize 2012 catalogue

Just a reminder that time is short if you would like to win a copy of the John Moores Painting Prize 2012 catalogue. But these are not just any copies of the catalogue – they’re signed by our esteemed patron, Sir Peter Blake.To be in with a chance of winning all you need to do is join our e-newsletter list. No mess, no fuss.

And if you’re thinking a catalogue would make a fine Christmas present, you’d be right. They can be purchased from our online shop (you’re cutting it fine though – last UK posting for Christmas is today!) or from the Walker shop itself. Hard sell over.
Read more…

The Wheel of Fortune

6 November 2012 by Kay

painting of men at a circular urinal

As it’s Homotopia time again I thought I would highlight this painting from the Museum of Liverpool’s collection.

It was painted by Liverpool born artist, and well-known local character, Yankel Feather (1920-2009).

The painting, which is not currently on display, shows the interior of a men’s public convenience in Williamson Square, which was known locally as ‘The Wheel of Fortune’. It reflects the time, prior to 1967, when homosexuality was illegal. Read more…

Good things come in small packages at the John Moores

11 October 2012 by Laura

Figure in hand

The tiny figure which inspired Angela’s John Moores painting

We had a really fascinating talk from John Moores artist, Angela Lizon on Tuesday. This little figure was found in a charity shop, and made a perfect subject for Angela who is intrigued by kitsch and how it can be transformed into something unique.

‘Made in Taiwan’ was the smallest submission from more than 3,000 entries to the competition. You can see how little it is in the photograph- it is the second painting from the right. Read more…

Capturing Liverpool Life

30 July 2012 by Lucy Johnson

Museum staff stood with the paintings on display at Liverpool Cathedral

 

Two paintings from the Walker Art Gallery’s collections have gone on display at Liverpool Cathedral. ‘St John’s Market, Liverpool – Saturday Morning’ and ‘Bold Street from Waterloo Place’ by Charles Trevor Prescott give an insight into everyday life in Liverpool at the end of the 19th century. The lively scene of Bold Street is instantly recognisable and shows the transport and fashion of the time. The bustling stalls in St John’s depict a thriving market. Read more…

Royal paintings at the Walker

31 May 2012 by Lynn

As it’s the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee this weekend it seems fitting to pause regally to celebrate some of our favourite royal gems from the Walker Art Gallery

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II – An 80th Birthday Portrait by Rolf Harris

Portrait of The Queen

© Rolf Harris Enterprises Ltd

This contemporary painting is on display until 12 August 2012, as part of our Rolf Harris exhibition ‘Can you tell what it is yet?’. This painting shows Queen Elizabeth II on her 80th birthday, which she celebrated in 2006. Rolf shows a relaxed side of The Queen, who smiles broadly in this colourful painting.  Read more…