Blog

Global Scouse Day 28 February

27 February 2015 by Stacey

Image of a bowl of Scouse

We’ll be serving Scouse on Global Scouse Day – veggie options available too!

Ben Sheeran, our Head Chef is excited to talk about Global Scouse Day and the importance of this great local dish:

“I blogged last year about Global Scouse Day and it’s great to see the momentum this time around with lots of restaurants and cafes getting behind our most famous local dish. We all have favourite memories of Scouse whether it’s a family recipe or we’re simply proud of our own personal take on this local speciality. Read more…

One family’s love of ceramics

11 February 2015 by Lynn

Pamela and Len Ratoff

Pamela and Len Ratoff

Ben Jones, Assistant Curator of Decorative Arts, shares his experience of working with this unique family collection of studio ceramics.


We were privileged last year to receive a large donation of wonderful material from the Ratoff family. The Ratoffs, Len and Pamela, were both active members of the Liverpool medical community, Len being a Doctor and Pamela, the Senior Social worker and head of department at the Royal Liverpool Hospital. Throughout their working lives they indulged a love of ceramics, buying from a great number of North Welsh artists in easy reach of their then home in Llangwm, Gwynedd.

Read more…

Rebellious attitude, quirky images and cool music

4 February 2015 by Lisa

Girl sitting on the beach playing records

Brighton Beach, 1967, by Tony Ray-Jones.

Next week our new photography exhibition opens at the Walker Art Gallery and I’ve been working on a new video to spread the word about the exhibition and help bring it to life.  Read more…

Everybody Razzle Dazzle

2 February 2015 by Lucy

Image of Sir Peter Blake

Sir Peter Blake, seen here in his studio

We are really excited to be involved in a new project announced today, to ‘dazzle’ one of the Mersey Ferries, and even more so because it involves Sir Peter Blake.

Peter Blake is perhaps most famous for designing the cover of The Beatles’ album, ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ (1967). However, he has been a prolific artist during his career and his status in the art world far exceeds Sgt. Pepper’s.

Sir Peter is a leading figure in the development of British pop art, and became the first Patron of the John Moores Painting Prize – held every two years at the Walker Art Gallery – in 2011.  Read more…

Guest blog: how our Henry VIII portrait inspired ‘Wolf Hall’ costumes

28 January 2015 by Felicity

Image of The Walker Art Gallery's Henry VIII portrait

The Walker Art Gallery’s Henry VIII portrait

The Walker Art Gallery’s Henry VIII portrait is one of the most recognisable paintings in our collection. It is derived from the Whitehall Mural, painted by Hans Holbein in 1537.

We were thrilled to hear that the portrait inspired Clare Vyse, Assistant Costume Designer for BBC/ Company pictures’ Wolf Hall – one of this year’s most talked about new dramas!

In this guest blog, Clare tells us how portraits of the king proved to be an invaluable resource when designing his costumes:

“We used all the available portraiture when researching King Henry’s clothes for Wolf Hall, but Holbein’s paintings were particularly influential because his work is so clear and detailed – they are such a valuable resource.

The Henry in our story is younger and slimmer than the one in this portrait, but in later episodes he wears an outfit that is based on this very painting. Read more…

Crisis art group mural

18 December 2014 by Lucy Johnson

Crisis art group in front of their muralThroughout 2014, an art group run by the charity Crisis have visited exhibitions across our museums and galleries. Inspired by what they have seen, the group members have spent the last 12 weeks working together in their workshop on a mural which celebrates the city of Liverpool. I attended the unveiling of the fantastic artwork and got the chance to see other paintings the group have produced. There were some wonderful creations!

Their favourite exhibitions this year were Grayson Perry: The Vanity of Small Differences and the John Moores Painting Prize at the Walker Art Gallery; both provided the group with a wealth of discussion, debate and ideas for their own work. The group spoke very passionately about their experiences of visiting our venues and it was very rewarding to see how our exhibitions can inform, challenge and inspire people.

Detail of the mural showing a lambanana, the radio city tower the ferry and Ken Dodd.A big thank you to Crisis art group and we hope to see you in 2015!

 

Funding award to highlight LGBT collections

4 December 2014 by Lucy

Image of man sitting in front of David Hockney painting

‘David Hockney: Early reflections’ exhibition at the Walker Art Gallery

We are delighted to announce that National Museums Liverpool has been awarded a significant grant to fund research into its Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) collections in its art galleries and urban history items at the Museum of Liverpool.

The £91,863 grant from the Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund will be used to support the ‘Pride and Prejudice’ project, which we will develop with partner Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove, based within one of the UK’s most prominent LGBT communities.

‘Pride and Prejudice’ is a two-year project, that will tackle the challenges faced across the museum sector, by realising the full potential of LGBT collections to ensure that objects and stories within these collections are fully researched, sensitively interpreted and made accessible online and through display to a wide and diverse audience. Read more…

New advent calendar for 2014

27 November 2014 by Sam

advent calendar illustration of a winter scene with Liverpool landmarks

It’s almost time to open the first door in our popular advent calendar. Our Christmas elves (or curators, as they prefer to be called) have been working hard to find some new surprises from our collections and displays to hide behind the doors for you.

As we have been marking the centenary of the First World War with a number of exhibitions and events throughout 2014, we decided to make this the theme for the content of this year’s advent calendar.

I don’t want to spoil any surprises, but there are some really fascinating objects hidden behind the doors, which give a glimpse of how the war affected everyday people. Read more…

Last chance to see John Moores Painting Prize

20 November 2014 by Laura

Painting

‘Every minute you are closer to death’ by Hynek Martinec

Where else can you see 69,104 miniature human figures crammed onto one canvas, a visual depiction of the moves made in a game of chess played by the Dada artist Duchamp, an elderly woman engulfed by a transcendental white light from a chest freezer and the eerie corpse of a young deer languishing on a dining table?  Read more…

John Moores Visitors’ Choice revealed!

12 November 2014 by Laura

Woman and painting

Juliette with her winning work.

Juliette Losq has won the John Moores Visitors’ Choice 2014, sponsored by Rathbones. Her epic painting ‘Vinculum’ was a firm favourite with visitors who voted in their thousands! In this guest blog she tells us more about it… 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.