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The Pre-Raphaelites, definitely beautiful and most certainly rebellious!

4 February 2016 by Ann

The English Boy, 1860, Ford Madox Brown © Manchester City Galleries

The English Boy, 1860, Ford Madox Brown © Manchester City Galleries

The countdown has begun to the opening of our breath-taking exhibition Pre-Raphaelites: Beauty and Rebellion on 12 February at the Walker Art Gallery. Installation of the works is underway and the excitement is building..

Among the 120 paintings to be displayed are familiar faces including Manchester Art Gallery’s The English Boy and Rossetti’s glorious Monna Vanna from the collection at Tate.  There’s also wonderful pictures by local artists who were influenced by the Pre-Raphaelite ideals. Burd Helen by William L. Windus (pictured below) and painted in 1856, is a lovely example, and was described by John Ruskin as “a great Pre-Raphaelite painting”, he went on to state it was “thoughtful and intense to the highest imaginative power”. Read more…

Artist, Rae Hicks: “…it gave me a huge boost of confidence and validation”

2 February 2016 by Lisa

Artists clapping at a private view

From left to right: Angela Samata (John Moores Painting Prize) and artists Rose Wylie, Rae Hicks, Mandy Payne, Juliette Losque and Alessandro Raho.

A prize-winner at the John Moores Painting Prize in 2014, artist Rae Hicks has been speaking to us about his experience of being part of the John Moores and the effect it has had on his career:  Read more…

Exhibitions to beat the winter blues

7 January 2016 by Laura

Painting of woman

In The Grass, Arthur Hughes © Museums Sheffield. From the ‘Pre-Raphaelites: Beauty and Rebellion’ exhibition.

January blues seem to be an inevitable come down after the festive season. Back to work, feeling broke and all those resolutions which seemed such a good idea at the time and are now just making you feel worse about yourself as you struggle to achieve them.

It’s this time of the year when you need to look forward and plan ahead and luckily we have a bumper year of exhibitions at National Museums Liverpool which might go some way to cheer you up! Read more…

A year in blogs – our top 5 stories from 2015!

31 December 2015 by Lisa

Mother and sons with Jubilee decorations

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

As 2015 draws to a close, we’re looking back on some of the most popular stories from the blog this year. We began the year by revealing how the Walker Art Gallery’s Henry VIII portrait was used as inspiration for the costumes in BBC drama series, ‘Wolf Hall’ – and we ended the year with our celebrations at World Museum for the amazing blast off of Tim Peake!

But which are the stories that have captured your imagination this year? Here are are the top five stories from our blog that you’ve been enjoying the most in 2015… *drum roll please* Read more…

John Moores 2016 – meeting the jury

8 December 2015 by Lisa

In Gillian Carnegie's studio.

In Gillian Carnegie’s studio.

We’ve had more than 2,500 entries into the John Moores Painting Prize this year and we’re now looking forward to the first stage of judging for this £25,000 prize. Nicola from the John Moores team went down to London last week to meet some of the jury and here’s what she got up to…  Read more…

Paul Scott’s ceramics inspired by Liverpool’s past on show

19 November 2015 by Felicity

Image of Toxteth Park, Herculaneum, and Liver Birds (2014) by Paul Scott

Toxteth Park, Herculaneum, and Liver Birds (2014) by Paul Scott

The Walker Art Gallery’s Craft and Design Gallery is an impressive place to be, with ceramics, glass, metalwork, jewellery, furniture and even musical instruments on display; together covering some three hundred years of design history.

No wonder then, that internationally-renowned ceramic artist Paul Scott found ample inspiration from these collections when he visited! So much so, that it inspired him to create a piece that is on show until 28 March 2016 as part of a display in room 13 here at the Walker. Read more…

6 Christmas gifts you’ll want on your list

13 November 2015 by Lisa

christmas-felt-wreath-decorationsStarted your feverish browsing for Christmas gift ideas? Fear not, yule* have no problems finding the perfect gift in our online shop, with prices to suit all budgets! We’ve picked our top 6 gifts to get you started…

*see what we did there?  Read more…

Graham Crowley: “…a mix of cubist syntax and a raw, punk aesthetic”

5 November 2015 by Lisa

Victorian houses with a shopping mall sign

‘The Chain Store’ © Graham Crowley.

It’s the final few days of the John Moores Painting Prize call for entries and the last weeks of the REALITY exhibition – so who better to interview than an artist strongly connected to both; Graham Crowley.

Tell us about your history with the Walker and the John Moores Painting Prize…

The Walker Art Gallery has been instrumental in exhibiting my paintings and has played a major part in my career. Read more…

Exploring artistic process and practice

23 October 2015 by Alison

Caroline Walker (artist) standing in front of 'Consulting the Oracle' painting

Caroline Walker with her painting ‘Consulting the Oracle’ (detail), 2013. © Caroline Walker. Private collection

We recently spoke to artist Caroline Walker whose paintings ‘Consulting the Oracle’ (2013) and ‘Illuminations’ (2012) are currently on display as part of REALITY: Modern and Contemporary British Painting. We were interested in finding out more about the artistic practice behind Caroline’s work, which we hope will inspire other artists. Read more…

Cataloging the John Moores Painting Prize

16 October 2015 by Felicity

A range of John Moores Painting Prize catalogues can be seen alongside a selection of first prize winning works in room 11 at the Walker Art Gallery

A range of John Moores Painting Prize catalogues can be seen alongside a selection of first prize-winning works in room 11 at the Walker Art Gallery

We’re now getting into the final weeks of call for entries for the John Moores Painting Prize 2016. Alongside the exhibitions, the John Moores catalogues are one of the most hotly anticipated aspects of the prize. In this blog, Ann Bukantas, Head of Fine Art at National Museums Liverpool, tells us what makes them so iconic. There’s also an opportunity to win a copy of the 2014 catalogue, signed by first prize-winning artist Rose Wylie, by clicking here. 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.

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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.