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.
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…
28 January 2015 by Felicity
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…
18 December 2014 by Lucy Johnson
Throughout 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.
A big thank you to Crisis art group and we hope to see you in 2015!
4 December 2014 by Lucy
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…
27 November 2014 by Sam
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.
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…
20 November 2014 by Laura
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…
12 November 2014 by Laura
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…
6 November 2014 by Laura
In a special guest blog John Moores artist Susie Hamilton shares with us a new direction her work has taken since experiencing Liverpool nightlife for the first time!
“My John Moores painting ‘Freezer’ is a grim picture of a solitary woman in a supermarket, but coming to the private view at the Walker Art Gallery in July started me on a new phase of more ebullient work thanks to seeing something of Liverpool nightlife. Read more…