Posts tagged with 'volunteers'
Volunteers are an integral part of National Museums Liverpool, and without them, important work would not be able to take place. As part of the Volunteer Spotlight series I am meeting up with volunteers who have been making outstanding contributions to the organisation and finding out more about the work that they do.
If I’m being truly honest, coming away from this month’s Volunteer Spotlight interview with Amani Magdoubi left me full of inspiration. Amani is an extremely well deserving nominee for the Spotlight, not only because of the valuable support that she offers us here at National Museums Liverpool, but for the support that she offers other organisations and communities around Liverpool.
Amani has been volunteering since she was at college and has thoroughly enjoyed the opportunities that have come her way. Many of Amani’s volunteering roles have introduced her to new contacts through networking which have turned into new roles; this is how she started with us at National Museums Liverpool. Amani met a member of the Development team at the SheTrades event in Liverpool, who told her about roles within the department, this then led to Amani’s current role in the Finance team. Amani also volunteers with Tate Liverpool as part of the Tate Collective and a local women’s community group as well as roles with the Liverpool Arab Arts Festival and the Sony Photography Awards to name but a very small few.
Volunteering with the Finance department has provided a great number of career development opportunities; Amani has been able to learn how to use the SAGE finance system which is something that she had previously wanted to use and gain experience in a finance, office environment. Typical day to day tasks include researching new suppliers and categorising the information, proof reading, analysing data and working with foreign currencies. Amani has played an integral part in the organisations set up of the Approval2Buy scheme, having watched the project develop, she is now tasked with facilitating communications with teams who want to use the new scheme, this has helped her get to know other people in the organisation. Amani strikes me as a meticulous individual who takes pride in her work, explaining that she wants the work that she does and the data that she handles “to be of value”.
One aspect of volunteering for National Museums Liverpool that Amani has really enjoyed has been the family-like atmosphere that she has felt from her team. She explains that everyone has been lovely and very understanding, Amani’s supervisors Sam and Jacinta have provided her with professional support and help with her CV; Amani and Sam meet regularly to discuss her development, provide feedback and any other support that she may need. It was lovely hearing how valued Amani is in her team, Sam explained that he trusts Amani to make progress and that it is a relief to have her support projects; they are able to help her to make her next career steps but she is also helping them to improve: it is mutually beneficial. The role that volunteers play is vital to the organisation and helps to make it what it is. Something that has set National Museums Liverpool a part from other places that Amani has volunteered has been the recognition programmes, such as the monthly rewards scheme that we have signed up to through THRIVE. By having a long term volunteering role, Amani explained that she feels valued, and having access to an email account makes her part of the team.
Amani’s education background is in accounting, finance and business management but has fallen into arts and culture through her volunteering roles almost accidently. She has now developed a passion for the arts which also feeds in to her interests outside of volunteering (where she finds the time I do not know), her hobbies include various crafts including sewing and she is currently enrolled on to a course to help develop skills that she can hopefully turn into an entrepreneurial project. Creativity aside, she also keeps up to date with the business world through podcasts, talks and networking.
When asked why others should volunteer Amani was incredibly poised when she explained that despite people saying “it’s not worth it” or that “it’s a waste of time”, volunteering actually helps you to develop your professional skills and is a stepping stone to help you find a your career direction. Furthermore, volunteering helps you to find your feet before you find a job, so that the world of work doesn’t seem like such a shock. Amani explained that she still plans to volunteer when she is in a job because she wants to give back.
Jacinta is an advocate for volunteers within the organisation and has always embraced embedding volunteers and those on placements within her team; Sam is here as part of the Civil Service Fast Streamers programme and this is the first time he has had supervisor responsibility and is enjoying helping Amani to develop her skills.
12 February 2019 by Rachel O'Malley
Volunteers are an integral part of National Museums Liverpool, and without them, important work would not be able to take place. As part of the volunteer spotlight series we are meeting up with volunteers who have been making outstanding contributions to the organisation and finding out more about the work that they do.
This month, I had the pleasure of meeting Randa Craig, a volunteer with the Maritime Archives and Library, whose enthusiasm for the role was clear from the get go! Randa was introduced to National Museums Liverpool and volunteering through a friend in 2012 and began working with the Archives in 2014. Her first project was working with Paper conservation: cleaning glass plate negatives from the Stewart Bale collection.
Randa told me that it is exciting to be surrounded by beautiful art and that it is a privilege to be so close to the works. Read more…
10 January 2019 by Rachel O'Malley
Volunteers are an integral part of National Museums Liverpool, and without them, important work would not be able to take place.
This month, I had the pleasure of meeting Susan Bennett who has been volunteering at the Museum of Liverpool with Liz Stewart since 2016; they have both recently worked on the Galkoff’s and the Secret Life of Pembroke Place project, which has driven Susan to further her research… but more on that later. I could have talked with Susan and Liz all day, Susan’s stories are fascinating and she has had quite a life! Read more…
As a volunteer at the Walker Art Gallery, I have been helping Exhibition Curator, Alex Patterson, to digitise works related to the Whistler and Pennell: Etching the City exhibition, currently on display at the Lady Lever Art Gallery. This exhibition explores the role that James McNeill Whistler and Joseph Pennell played in the Etching Revival (1830-1940) in Britain. It also shows how their contemporaries, such as Sir Francis Seymour Haden (1818-1910), Charles Méryon (1821-1868), and William Strang (1859-1921), were influenced by their art.
One of the etchings that really caught my interest was Breaking Up of the Agamemnon by Sir Francis Seymour Haden, which was one of three works by him included in the exhibition. It shows a large hulk of a vessel being demolished. The vessel is HMS Agamemnon, the Royal Navy battleship moored at the Naval Arsenal at Deptford on the River Thames, seen against the setting sun. Launched in 1852, the 230-feet long Agamemnon was one of the most intimidating of all wooden warships and the first British steam-powered flagship. The Agamemnon saw action in many battles, including the Crimean War, and was the predecessor of iron-hulled ships, which were introduced in the 1860s.
Breaking Up of the Agamemnon reminded me of another etching, Breaking Up of the Great Eastern, No 2 (1890) by Sir Frank Short (1857-1945), also in the Walker Art Gallery collection. I came across the etching when I was researching scenes of Liverpool Docks. Both ships had illustrious histories, and I felt that the images of their breaking up expressed a deep sense of loss and sorrow.
Haden’s etching of the Agamemnon was a spontaneous response to what he saw on the Thames one day in July 1870, but it became the most important subject of his career, which he continued to work on over the next 16 years.
Early in 1870 the art scholar, artist and etcher Philip Gilbert Hamerton (1834-1894) asked Haden to etch a plate to be published in the first edition of his new art journal, The Portfolio (1870-1893). The journal, named after a folder in which collectors often kept valuable prints, championed etching as original art, rather than a reproductive medium. This concept played an instrumental role in the British etching revival during the second half of the 19th century. Haden, like the French Impressionists, always tried to work directly from life, and for this purpose, he always carried prepared copper plates wherever he went. He drew directly onto the plate to capture the movement of the light and its reflections in the sky, clouds, and water. The demolition of the Agamemnon may not have been a traditional subject for a study of ambiance, but Haden must have been entranced by its grandeur and spectacle.
In a letter to Hamerton, dated July 3, 1870, Haden wrote of the Agamemnon etching: “. . . I had thought of making the sun set behind the old hulk and the distant cupolas of Greenwich and of using the sinking luminary as typical of the departing glories of both . . . .” This shows that Haden indeed drew the initial sketch for Breaking Up of the Agamemnon, No 1 directly onto the copper plate. The sun is setting between the ship and Greenwich, conveying a poignant majestic reference to the glorious history of the Agamemnon. The rays of the setting sun rippling through the clouds are echoed on the stirring water in the foreground. Named after Agamemnon, the King of Mycenae who led the united Greek army to the Trojan War, the ship proudly displays the figurehead wearing a Roman centurion’s plumed helmet pointing towards the sun. The Agamemnon almost appears as if ready to set sail once again into the distant horizon. Although she is now tethered to a much smaller barge, with her ribs exposed and only one of three masts standing, the Agamemnon still looks magnificent. The image highlights the ship’s immense scale and power, but it also conveys a sense an ending.
Breaking Up of the Agamemnon was a very complex project for Haden. He said he had “never undertook a more perplexing job.” The initial spontaneity of etching was followed by many attempts at adding and deleting small details throughout the composition, resulting in 11 states (versions of the print) being made in total. However, the main image of the ship against a shimmering evening sun remained largely unchanged.
Breaking Up of the Agamemnon, No 1 was an artistic and commercial success. The plate was unfortunately too large to be printed in The Portfolio and instead was later published by Frederick Goulding, and sold through Colnaghi’s, bringing Haden a huge financial reward. The plate was so popular that he produced a second version of the subject Breaking Up of the Agamemnon, No 2 (1886) in mezzotint.
As for the etching Haden promised to Hamerton for the first edition of The Portfolio Hamerton instead selected another of Haden’s prints, entitled A Brig at Anchor (1870), which is also in the Walker Art Gallery collection. He etched it from nature by moonlight on the Thames.
To discover more about the art of etching and to enjoy Haden’s intricate works at first hand don’t miss Whistler and Pennell: Etching the City at the Lady Lever Art Gallery until 7 October and the fascinating video made by Liverpool John Moores University School of Art and Design explaining the process of etching.
23 February 2017 by Laura
The Galkoff’s and the Secret Life of Pembroke Place project team, along with 24 volunteers have been delving into the history of this well-known Liverpool Street. The focus has been on two key heritage sites: Galkoff’s Jewish butcher shop and Watkinson Terrace, Liverpool’s last surviving example of court housing. Read more…
An amazing team of volunteers have been delving into historic archives to reveal some of the secrets of Pembroke Place as part our current project, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. And there are some very dark secrets indeed!
The annals of Liverpool reveal that the last ever duel fought in Liverpool took place in a field on the corner or Boundary Place and Pembroke Place on 20 December 1806. Major Brooks was killed by Colonel Bolton. It seems a year-long spat developed after Bolton had refused Brooks a pay rise in the regiment. Bolton eventually became fed up of insults being targeted at him and called Brooks to a duel. Read more…
Today we have a guest blog from Lucy Kilfoyle, a researcher in the History Department at the University of Liverpool. Lucy is leading a team of volunteers investigating historic newspapers as part of the Galkoff’s and Secret Life of Pembroke Place project.
‘Tragic accidents, grisly murders, heart-rending tales of good people fallen upon hard times: what’s not to like? At first glance, historical newspapers are not exactly the most glamorous of places to find human interest stories from the past. Invariably, old papers and journals are dull and faded and unrelentingly uniform in appearance. The font is often minute and the text packed densely together. Until well into the late 19th century, pictures and graphics were few and far between. Read more…
12 September 2016 by Vanessa
The Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) is a voluntary recording scheme for archaeological objects found by members of the public. Every year thousands of objects are discovered, many by metal detector users, but also by people whilst out walking, gardening or going about their daily work. Such discoveries offer an important source for understanding our past.
As the scheme’s regional finds liaison officer, covering Cheshire, Greater Manchester and Merseyside, I find that every week more and more finds make their way into the office to be recorded for the PAS database. In order to process them all I need help and that comes in the form of some fantastic people willing to give up their time to volunteer. Read more…
Sunday, 11 September 2016 marked National Dementia Carers’ Day, which recognises the important contribution family and informal carers make by caring for people living with dementia.
To mark the occasion, National Museums Liverpool has been funded by the Department of Health to launch free dementia workshops for family carers, partnering with museums across the country.
House of Memories dementia awareness for family carers workshops build on the success of our award-winning House of Memories dementia awareness programme, which has been running at the Museum of Liverpool since 2012. Read more…
11 March 2016 by Emma Martin
This week we had a visitor to the Japan collections. Ethnology volunteer Mark Jones tells us about it here.
“In a blog I wrote back in 2014, I discussed the different Japanese blades I’ve documented for World Museum’s Japan collection. This week I had the opportunity to meet Harris Jonas, a 6th Dan in karate and a senior instructor at the Liverpool Shotokan Karate Club (LSKC). Read more…