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Vote for us!

13 December 2018 by Sarah

Our ‘Am Not I a Man and a Brother’ painting has been shortlisted for Art Fund Wok of the Year 2018. Shown here as it was acquired, and before conservation work. Image courtesy of National Museums Liverpool.

Fantastic news! Our new painting ‘Am Not I a Man and a Brother’ at the International Slavery Museum is on the shortlist of 10 works to be Art Fund Work of the Year 2018.

The annual poll aims to find the public’s favourite Art Funded work of the year, and to celebrate a year of helping museums and galleries acquire great art. You can help and support us by voting!

‘Am Not I a Man and a Brother’ is a significant acquisition for the Museum- and the UK.

It is the first painting in our collection to show the powerful and resonant iconography of abolition. The artwork dates from around 1800 and the artist is unknown. The foot of the canvas reads, ‘Am Not I a Man and a Brother’, a variation on the more common version, ‘Am I Not a Man and a Brother’.

The painting’s dominant motif is that of an enslaved African, kneeling, bound in chains and set against the backdrop of a Caribbean sugar plantation. This is based on a design commissioned by the Committee for the Abolition of the Slave Trade on 5 July 1787, which is considered to be one of the first instances of a symbol designed for a political cause and was used famously by the potter Josiah Wedgwood.

It is only the second known painting to exist featuring this motif – the only other being ‘The Kneeling Slave’ at the Wilberforce House Museum in Hull.

The painting is currently undergoing cleaning and restoration. Here you can see Senior Painting Conservator, David Crombie starting off that process.

As the abolitionist movement gained popular support, the motif was widely used for decorating men’s snuff boxes, ladies’ bracelets and hair pins, as well as household objects including milk jugs, sugar bowls and tobacco boxes.

Further enslaved people raise axes to the sugar cane in the background of the painting.

Curator Stephen Carl-Lokko, who made the acquisition, said:

“We’re so pleased to have been shortlisted for Art Fund Work of the Year 2018.

“This is a significant acquisition for the UK. While the image became an important symbol of the abolitionist movement, it also touches on the historical representation of enslaved Africans.

Look at the top left of the painting: you can already see how different it’s going to look after conservation. The painting is expected to go on display at the International Slavery Museum in Spring 2019.

“Although the image was designed to appeal to the sympathies of the British public in identifying with the cause of abolition, it also reflects the misconception of enslaved Africans as passive acceptors of their fate.

“In fact the opposite was true, enslaved Africans were the main instigators in their fight for freedom, with Black abolitionists such as Olaudah Equiano, Ottobah Cugoano and Mary Prince actively campaigning as part of the British abolitionist movement.

“We address this and put this into context for our modern audience and hopefully we can start a discussion with our visitors when they see this painting about the historical representation of Black people within art.”

The acquisition was made possible through a generous grant award by the Art Fund and the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Collecting Cultures programme.

All those who vote for their favourite artwork will be entered into a free prize draw, with the chance of winning a lifetime National Art Pass worth £1,850. Vote here for your favourite in the shortlist until 5pm on Saturday 15 December 2018.

 

Get out there and make yourself heard!

10 September 2018 by Kay

Woman in red shirt

Maggie O’Carroll, Chief Executive of The Women’s Organisation. Image credit: The Women’s Organisation: Twenty One Women

Here at the Museum of Liverpool we work in partnership with many groups and organisations – we firmly believe that together we are stronger. Read more…

Vote for us in the National Lottery Awards!

27 June 2018 by Sam

Visitor in the International Slavery Museum with overlaid hashtag #NLAIntSlaveryMuseum and National Lottery Awards

We need your help! The International Slavery Museum have been shortlisted in the National Lottery Awards in the Best Education Project category. We would love to win – for our visitors and the city of Liverpool. But we can’t do it without you – please vote for the International Slavery Museum on the National Lottery Awards website. Voting is open from Wednesday 27 June until Friday 27 July 2018.

You can also vote for us on Twitter by using the hashtag #NLAIntSlaveryMuseum. Anyone who tweets this hashtag or retweets a post containing this hashtag will register a vote. Only one vote per account is allowed regardless of how many times you tweet or retweet.

The annual National Lottery Awards celebrate the difference that Lottery-funded projects have made to communities across the UK.

The International Slavery Museum has attracted more than four million visitors since it opened in 2007 and aims to increase the understanding of transatlantic and chattel slavery and their enduring legacies through education, collections, research and public engagement programmes.  Read more…

Vote for Tramcar 245 as Tram of the Year!

10 December 2015 by Sharon

tram

The restored Tramcar 245 at Birkenhead Heritage Tramway

The restoration of Tramcar 245 has been recognised by British Trams Online and our wonderful tram is in the running for their award of Best Tram (Traditional) for 2015. But it needs your votes to win.

Please vote for Tramcar 245. Voting closes mid-January 2016.

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.