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Maritime Tales – Liverpool Oars

6 January 2012 by stepheng

Ship painting

Image National Museums Liverpool

I used to enjoy going for a row on the park lake but now such an experience is difficult to come by.

There are no rowing boats left on Liverpool’s lakes, which is a great shame. No longer do you hear the iconic cry: “Come in number 12!” when your half hour is up.

Many marine paintings feature them but they are often overlooked – the humble rowing boat has always been a key part of maritime life. Read more…

Maritime Tales – Roaring Twenties

12 December 2011 by stepheng

Painting of shi[p

Image courtesy Liverpool Daily Post & Echo

 

I have some fabulous foxtrot 78 rpm wax records from the 1920s which evoke the crazy days when people reacted to the horrors of the Great War.

 

This was also a time when countries such as the United States started to put restrictions on immigration after the great free-for-all when virtually any healthy person could settle.

 

The three sister ships took settlers to Canada in the closing years of the great age of emigration which lasted from 1830 to 1930. Read more…

Maritime Tales – Bomb Blitz

1 November 2011 by stepheng

Painting of burning city.

Image courtesy of Liverpool Daily Post & Echo

In the early 1950s we spent our holidays at Llandonna, Anglesey, and locals would describe seeing Liverpool burning 50 miles away across the sea during the Blitz.

Whenever I look at this spectacular painting I am reminded of the vivid stories and how even distant communities felt involved.

The Liverpool Blitz brought the Battle of the Atlantic home to everyone when German bombing raids cost thousands of lives and brought huge amounts of destruction.

Although the docks were the main targets, enormous damage was caused to city and residential areas on both sides of the River Mersey. Four thousand people were killed and a similar number seriously injured. Read more…

Paintings show Liverpool’s changing waterfront

17 June 2011 by Sam

painting of large ship by the iconic Pier Head buildings

‘Aureol in the Mersey’ by John Stobart (MMM.2007.48.12) Reproduced with permission of the artist.

This week six new paintings have gone on display in Merseyside Maritime Museum’s Art and the Sea gallery, highlighting the transformation of Liverpool’s waterfront between 1680 and 1957. Curator of maritime history Ian Murphy chose this painting by John Stobart as a highlight of the display, and explains why here:


 
This new display gives visitors a chance to see some of the incredible paintings in the collection that show 300 years of the Mersey as the bustling highway for one of the world’s great ports. The changing views of the waterfront give an historic context for this year’s events, as the Liver Building celebrates its centenary and the Museum of Liverpool opens. Read more…

Exhibition catalogue special offer

12 May 2011 by Karen

Cover of a book

A Collector’s Eye exhibition catalogue

Alas, the end is near, but Friday’s Light Night evening at the Walker is an ideal opportunity to catch the A Collector’s Eye: Cranach to Pissarro exhibition before it finishes this Sunday.

And as if that wasn’t news enough, the rather excellent exhibition catalogue, featuring all of the exhibition paintings in full-page, glorious technicolour, will be on special offer. It’ll be a snip at £5, which considering it was superb value at £9.99 makes this a steal. 

This special offer will be available in our shop from Friday, and also through our online shopRead more…

Show Me the Walker

6 May 2011 by stepheng

Two male and one female competition judges

The three judges take a break.

 

I’m looking forward to BBC 2 screening Show Me the Monet from this Monday after organising and supervising the marathon filming sessions over a January weekend.

 

A film crew filled three of our galleries at the rear of the Walker Art Gallery to film this competition show being screened at 5.15 pm every weekday night from Monday 9 May to Friday 20 May.

 

In a nutshell it involves artists being grilled about their artworks by three critics – David Lee, Charlotte Mullins and Roy Bolton (pictured left to right). The aim is to be included in an exclusive exhibition at the Royal College of Art, next to London’s Albert Hall. Read more…

Theological reflections

24 March 2011 by Alison

Last week our guest blogger Jack Poland visited the Museum of Liverpool, this week he visited the Walker Art Gallery. Jack heard Canon Jules Gomes on Radio Merseyside’s Daybreak talking about the religious art in ‘A Collector’s Eye: Cranach to Pissarro’ and went over to take a look himself.  


Canon Jules Gomes, of the Liverpool Anglican Cathedral, was at the Walker Art Gallery this week in his first of four theological reflections on the Collector’s Eye: Cranach to Pissarro exhibition. The discussions took place for BBC Radio Merseyside’s Daybreak as we approach Easter, focussing on a single painting each week. Read more…

British art gets a make-over at the Walker

21 March 2011 by Lisa

It’s a very exciting week this week as the newly refurbished room at the Walker Art Gallery, ‘British art 1880-1950′, is opening again on Friday. It will showcase pieces from our collections including works by LS Lowry and Lucian Freud, plus many works which have never been on display before!

I had a chat with our curator of British art, Laura MacCulloch, who told me more about what you can expect to see there:

Tell me about the different types of works which are being brought together in this room?
 
This work brings together paintings, sculptures and works on paper with furniture and ceramics all made between 1880 and 1950.  It’s a really exciting period to explore as artists begin to break away from the traditional, Victorian ideas about art and experiment with styles, colours and techniques. It’s great to be able to show fine and decoratvie arts together because it shows how artists working in all media experimented.
 
How does this room differ from the more ‘standard’ rooms of paintings in the Walker?
 
We are aiming to give our visitors more of the context surrounding the art. Between 1880 and 1950 there were huge political and social upheavals brought on by two world wars and increasing industrialisation. We have created an interactive timeline which includes lots of information and images relating to key historical and art historical events. There is more information on the timeline than we could ever fit on a label. Read more…

An unforgettable members’ event!

21 March 2011 by Lisa

Those who have joined our membership scheme often get the chance to experience exclusive events at our venues. Here is a review of one such event by members Gordon Collinson and Anne Roberts:


Woman at a podium talking to an audience

Deputy director of art galleries, Sandra Penketh, opens the members’ event

We are members of the National Museums Liverpool membership scheme and attended Christopher Wright’s talk entitled, ‘A Collector’s Eye – Cranach to Pissarro’, at the Walker Art Gallery. We certainly had our cultural palates stimulated to an unprecedented degree.

The evening got off to a good start with a welcoming complimentary drink in the gallery café, which always gets people into a receptive mood!  We then went into the exhibition space where we were welcomed by Sandra Penketh, who gave us a very good introduction to the talk and our invited speaker. Read more…

Chinese Artists

14 March 2011 by stepheng

Chinese painting of sailing ship.

Image courtesy of Liverpool Daily Post & Echo

I like the way Chinese artists have depicted the West over the centuries, particularly on ceramics and canvas.

Their work shows a fine delicacy which is charming as well as inspirational. Chinese marine art perhaps lacks the sense of movement captured by European artists but I am drawn in by the incredible technical detail.

A number of Chinese artists worked in Far East ports specialising in ship portraits for Western captains.

Several fine examples from the period 1850 to 1910 are on display in Merseyside Maritime Museum’s Art & the Sea gallery. 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.