Our venues


Posts tagged with 'sculpture'

Aphrodite’s berth

13 September 2010 by Stephen

modern sculpture of the goddess aphrodite

This statue reminds me of a graceful and inscrutable ship’s figurehead – perhaps that was the intention of the artist.

Figureheads adorned ships from the days of Ancient Greece up until late Victorian times. I like the haunting qualities of many figureheads, with their staring eyes fixed on distant horizons.

I also remember the liner on which the statue once stood. Visitors could tour the ship in dock for two shillings and sixpence (12.5p) if I remember rightly.

One of the great sea myths is the legend of Aphrodite, Greek goddess of love, rising from the foaming waves. Read more…

The skill behind ‘The Dancer’

28 April 2010 by Lisa

Artist working on a sculpture with a blow torch

Emma Rodgers has now put the finishing touches to ‘The Dancer’ and her display of the sculpture opens today in the Walker Art Gallery.

The sculpture was previously at the Castle Fine Arts Foundry in North Wales but has now taken centre stage in the ‘Emma Rodgers: From Sketch to Sculpture’ display.

The photograph above shows Rodgers patinating the bronze sculpture to create the desired finish. This is achieved by placing powdered chemicals on to the surface before heating them. This results in a chemical reaction which colours the surface of the sculpture. Different chemicals create different colours and it takes a lot of experience to know which chemicals to use to achieve the required colour. Read more…

The sound of Fury roars on

9 April 2010 by Sam

photo of sculpture with its hand held out over the sun, as if it's playing yo yo with it

Billy Fury yoyo by Paul Gallagher

 True legends never fade away but achieve an iconic status and a special place in our hearts. This certainly seems to be true of one of Liverpool’s first rock stars – Billy Fury, who would have been 70 next week.

Billy is commemorated with a striking sculpture in the Albert Dock – a fitting location as he worked as a deck hand on the Mersey tug boat The Formby before he found fame.

The sculpture is popular with fans, tourists and photographers – as you can see in our Billy Fury sculpture group on Flickr. The number of photos in the group is growing all the time, a testament to Billy’s lasting appeal. There’s also an incredible variety with people continually finding new and imaginative ways of depicting the sculpture – such as Paul Gallagher’s photo of Billy playing yo yo with the sun above. Read more…

William Brown gets a 150th anniversary outing

8 April 2010 by Lisa

Do remember our previous post about the William Brown bust getting a good spring clean? This was part of our World Museum 150th anniversary celebrations on the blog, and we’re continuing the series this week with an update about the bust by our Executive Director of Collections Management, John Millard.

White marble bust of a man's head and shoulders

William Brown in his new home

For as long as anyone can remember a marble bust of William Brown has languished in a store at the Walker Art Gallery, and it didn’t look very happy.  It got some careful attention at our National Conservation Centre and now it has finally been put on show.

The bust features in a special display in the atrium of World Museum.  It commemorates the 150th anniversary of William Brown handing over Liverpool’s museum and library building to the Lord Mayor of the city in 1860.  Brown spent £40,000 on the building of the museum and library, and the street was renamed William Brown Street in thanks for his generosity. Read more…

The king of the gods

19 February 2010 by Lisa

For this week’s look back into the past 150 years of the World Museum, we’re going back to 1959 with Gina Muskett, our Curator of Classical and European collections…

1959 was a very important year for Liverpool Museum, as it was then known. It received a very generous gift – almost 400 classical sculptures from Ince Blundell Hall, north of Liverpool. They were collected in the late 18th century and early part of the 19th century by Henry Blundell, a wealthy farmer and landowner. Even a large house like Ince Blundell hall didn’t have room for his collection, so two new buildings were erected to display the sculptures – the ‘Garden Temple’ and later the ‘Pantheon’. It’s amazing that the group of sculptures survived more or less complete, without being sold or split up. Read more…

A night out for the collections

16 February 2010 by Sam

marble sculpture wrapped in bubble wrap

The goddess Athena wore an unusual bubblewrap outfit to the dinner

Last week a special fundraising dinner was held at the Museum of Liverpool, giving guests a unique preview of the interior space before any of the displays are installed.

The evening was also attended by a goddess, several penguins, a few vehicles, some works of art and a whole flock of superlambananas. These items, which are mainly from National Museums Liverpool’s collections, although the superlambananas were on loan, were put on temporary display for the evening to give a taster of the wide variety of objects that will go on display in the new museum when it opens in 2011.

If you were not lucky enough to attend the dinner itself you can see some great photos from the evening on the Art in Liverpool blog. Read more…

Ince Athena statue on BBC’s ‘A History of the World’

22 January 2010 by Lisa

Today’s object featured on Radio Merseyside for the BBC’s ‘A History of the World’ project, is the Ince Athena statue from our Classical collections. You will be able to hear Gina Muskett, curator of classical antiquities, talking about the statue on ‘listen again’ here. Here is Gina to tell us more about this beautiful and statuesque sculpture!

White statue of a woman

The Ince Athena statue

I’ve been a curator at World Museum for less than six months, and so many exciting things have happened in such a short time. As well as a new gallery opening for a display of the museum’s collection of Greek objects, I was so pleased when Athena was chosen as one of the objects for the BBC’s ‘A History of the World’ project.

The statue has brilliant links with the local area, as it used to belong to Henry Blundell, who lived at Ince Blundell Hall. Many of you will have seen the entrance to the hall when travelling by road from Liverpool to Southport. We’ve just had an anniversary too – in 2009 it was 50 years since the statues came to the then Liverpool Museum, as a gift.

I’m so lucky to be the curator of the ‘Ince Athena’ statue. I knew about her (yes, I know the statue’s not a real human!) even before I worked at World Museum. I visited the museum a lot when I was a student, and can remember seeing Athena in the old Ancient World gallery, and am really pleased that she’s going back on display again. Read more…

Haitian artist lost in the earthquake

18 January 2010 by Richard

artists standing next to sculpture

Atis Rezistans artists at the unveiling of the Freedom! sculpture in 2007


Well it is with great shock and sadness that I write this blog in light of the devastating earthquake in Haiti. Nobody could not have been shocked at the images shown in the media this past week but it was particularly difficult for those of us associated with the museum as Haiti is central to the museum’s history and ethos for several reasons.

On 23 August 2007 the International Slavery Museum was opened. This is a significant date as it commemorates an uprising of enslaved Africans on the island of Saint Domingue (modern Haiti) in 1791. The date has been designated by UNESCO as Slavery Remembrance Day, a reminder that enslaved Africans were the main agents of their own liberation. Resistance to injustices and discrimination is a central theme of the International Slavery Museum. Read more…

William Brown gets a make over!

18 January 2010 by Lisa

I don’t know about you, but I think it’s always good to start the new year by having a bit of a spruce up – whether it’s spring cleaning or a bit of a make over! We’re used to giving important objects a new lease of life here at National Museums Liverpool and this week we have Sculpture Conservator, Lottie Barnden, to tell us about the work she’s been doing to help celebrate the World Museum’s 150th anniversary

Half cleaned marble bust of William Brown

William Brown sculpture during cleaning

To commemorate the 150th Anniversary of William Brown’s gift of a library and museum to the city of Liverpool, a marble bust of the man himself has been brought out of storage for conservation treatment, prior to going out on public display. This portrait bust by Isaac Jackson was sculpted in 1851, just nine years before the William Brown Library was completed.

When it arrived at the sculpture conservation studios, it was thought to be one of the filthiest objects we’ve had in for a long time! I suspect that it hasn’t been cleaned since it was first made. The bust section is attached to a socle (a type of small round plinth) using a section of copper dowel. The plaster fill around this dowel has become brittle and loose and the bust now wobbles and turns on its base, making it quite unstable and unsuitable for going on public display as it is. Read more…

Monumental moves at the Lady Lever

16 September 2009 by Sam

marble sculpture in a wooden box being lifted suspended from a crane

Several statues from the Lady Lever Art Gallery have recently been out on loan to the V&A for the ‘Thomas Hope:Regency Designer’ exhibition. On their return they made a quick pitstop in the sculpture conservation studio, where they were checked and re-waxed before being ready to return to public display.

You can see the sculptures making their way back to the Lady Lever Art Gallery in our Moving stories Flickr set. As you can imagine, moving several large, heavy sculptures without damaging them is quite an operation, which required the combined efforts and specialist skills of the technical services team, sculpture conservators, conservation technologies and the handling and transport technicians, as well as some serious heavy lifting equipment. The good news is that the move was a success and the sculptures are now back on display. Read more…

About our blog

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.

Award-winning blog

corpcomms awards winner logo




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.