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Posts tagged with 'social history'

HIV – fighting fear with education

20 November 2015 by Matt

Matt and John Walter by a huge pink inflatable sculpture

The launch of the Pug Virus installation.

Not that long ago I met up with artist John Walter as he unveiled his Pug Virus at the Walker Art Gallery. The installation, a massive bright pink representation of the HIV Virus, got me thinking about how HIV and other sexually transmitted infections have been represented in Merseyside across the years.

Many people will remember the information campaigns of the mid 1980s which used icebergs, mountains and falling monoliths to shock and scare people into taking precautions against catching the HIV/AIDS virus. Some of them were documented in the Now+then display, at the Museum of Liverpool earlier this year. These ‘doom-laden’ fear-inducing adverts, shot in blues and greys and black, seem a far cry from the bright pink creation of John Walter. How did we get from one representation to the other?  Read more…

Follow the Liverpool Remembers poppy trail

9 November 2015 by Karen O'Rourke

Liverpool Remembers poppy trail logo

I was pleased to be asked to work with Liverpool City Council and Culture Liverpool on a trail, to accompany their Poppies: Weeping Window installation at St George’s Hall. Like many people, I was really excited when I heard that the artwork would be in the city during the Remembrance commemorations. I also thought it was very apt that it should be situated at St George’s Hall, where thousands of men had enlisted for the First World War, and where we now gather every year, to commemorate those who have lost their lives in conflict.

I hope that visitors to the Weeping Window will also explore the Liverpool Remembers trail panels that lead down to the Pier Head. Read more…

Jet the dog – Liverpool superhero (to curators and small boys!)

19 October 2015 by Kay

man in uniform with a black dog

Painting of Jet by Alfred Kemp Wiffen, 1949. Presented by Mrs Babcock Cleaver in 1967, accession number WAG 7004

Jet has always been a hero close to my heart. I was initially introduced to his story whilst working on my first exhibition here at National Museums Liverpool – Spirit of the Blitz at Merseyside Maritime Museum in 2003. We included the bronze bust and oil painting shown here of Jet, from the Walker Art Gallery collections, which took pride of place. The exhibition even had a specially designed Jet the Dog children’s trail. We also interviewed his owner’s daughter, Lillias Ward about Jet’s wartime heroics Read more…

Appeal – is this you in the photograph?

13 October 2015 by Kay

Mother and sons with Jubilee decorations

Silver Jubilee street party, June 1977, Old Swan, Liverpool

Our display Growing up in the city: in photographs features a range of fantastic photographs depicting Liverpool childhoods from the 1870s to the 1990s, from the Museum of Liverpool’s collections.

After searching through many postcards, photographs and glass plate negatives in our stores, it was a hard choice to select the final 25 images. I could have included so many more – especially as I wanted to ensure that lots of different children and childhoods were represented.

One of my favourites is this image of a young mum, with presumably her two young sons in Old Swan – Ulster Road, we believe. It was taken in June 1977 by local photographer, Harold Douglas Avington. Read more…

Women’s Suffrage in Liverpool – the campaign for the right to vote

9 October 2015 by Kay

sculpture of woman holding a 'votes for women' sign

Statue of Mary Bamber – A Revolutionary Woman

On 12 October a new film Suffragette is released. If you’re interested in the local campaign to give women the right to vote you should visit our display, Taking liberties – women’s suffrage in Liverpool. The display was created in partnership with the 1918 Club, a local discussion forum for women established in 1918 by Eleanor Rathbone, a prominent politician and campaigner.

1918 is a significant year for many reasons, but particularly as this was the year that the campaign to give women the right to vote gained success with the Representation of the People Act, which gave the vote to tax-paying women over the age of 30.

Many prominent Liverpool people fought for this basic right. Read more…

1856 time capsule – connecting the Abbott family across the generations

2 October 2015 by Kay

photo of 3 women

Sisters Caryl Woof, Susan Towler and Anne Lurcott (Sarah’s mother). Their mother, Dorothy, was Florence’s daughter.

Back in June we put a special time capsule on display which gave us a fascinating glimpse of Liverpool life in 1856. Originally laid on 9 December, 1856 in the foundation stone of the workshop, warehouse and showroom of Abbott’s Cabinet Makers, it was rediscovered by builder John Connell during renovation work at the ‘Scandinavian Hotel’, on the corner of Nelson Street earlier this year.

Sarah Light, from West Sussex, heard about the display and got in touch to tell us that she is a descendant of the Abbot family and was very interested to see that the time capsule had been laid by her great great great grandfather, Samuel Abbott! Read more…

Pride and Prejudice – but not what you think!

30 September 2015 by Matt

programme cover with illustration of the theatre

Royal Court Theatre Programme, 1951

A lot of my colleagues saw the title of the Pride and Prejudice project and thought we were doing an exhibition on Jane Austen, or at the very least Georgian life.  Luckily for me, they were wrong.  Instead what we have started work on is an amazingly interesting but admittedly challenging task.  We are undertaking a unique two year project, funded by the Esmee Fairbairn Collections Fund, to identify, research and better present objects and stories relating to Liverpool’s Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) communities held within our collections. Easy? Think again… Read more…

Tramcar 245 is launched!

18 September 2015 by Sharon

historic tram running on a tramline in Birkenhead

Tramcar 245 looking fantastic after restoration

As Curator of the Transport Collection at the Museum of Liverpool I work with a fantastic collection of vehicles, and over the years I have worked with some very special groups of people associated with these vehicles.

I first met members of the Merseyside Tramway Preservation Society (MTPS) about 18 years ago. Sitting on a restored tram at the Wirral Transport Museum they told me all about their work. I was really impressed by their skills and their enthusiasm for the work they did. When a request to restore Tramcar 245 came through from them a short while later I thought the tram couldn’t be in better hands.

Tramcar 245 has a special place in Liverpool’s transport story. Read more…

Our Day Out – get involved, memories matter

16 September 2015 by Kay

Boy at hoopla stall

Photo from Keith Medley Archive Liverpool John Moores University.

Ian Bradley, Media Lecturer at Liverpool John Moores University tells us about the Our Day Out project and partnership exhibition at the Museum of Liverpool.

“The Our Day Out project was inspired by a collection of photographs donated to Liverpool John Moores University by the family of Keith Medley a commercial and press photographer who worked in and around Merseyside for most of his career until his retirement in 1987. Many of the photographs feature New Brighton during its heyday as a popular seaside resort. Read more…

Colomendy Totem Pole

10 September 2015 by Kay

colomendy-totem-pole-topDid you go to Colomendy Centre for Outdoor Education in North Wales like generations of Liverpool children? If so you may remember this Totem Pole, which is now on display in the Museum of Liverpool.

It was made in 1967 at Sefton Park Secondary School by teacher Ken James and his students. Ken was a woodwork and technical drawing teacher at the school from 1963, until 1978.

The Totem Pole was made from a telegraph pole provided by Liverpool GPO. The carvings represent local animals, real and imaginary – including a Welsh dragon on top and a mother and baby bird. Moyra James, Ken’s daughter remembers that it was a close knit school with a great cast of characters, both pupils and staff.  Read more…

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