Win a signed Pre-Raphaelites: Beauty and Rebellion exhibition catalogue

26 May 2016 by Laura


Exhibition catalogue © David Jones Photography

There is just over a week left to catch Pre-Raphaelites: Beauty and Rebellion at the Walker Art Gallery. To celebrate its successful run we are delighted to be giving away a signed exhibition catalogue. Read more…

Half term fun

26 May 2016 by Megan

River Festival

River Festival

Half-term is fast approaching and National Museums Liverpool has a fantastic range of activities to keep the little ones busy.

The Merseyside Maritime Museum’s is the big 3-0 this year and we are celebrating in style! We are taking you back to the 80s with DJ Barryoke playing the hits and a 1980s themed photo booth for visitors to capture all the fun. Performances, workshops and crafts will also be running over the two days (30 & 31 May). See our website for more details Read more…

‘Liverpool patronage was a little Galapagos’ – exploring the relationship of the Pre-Raphaelites and Liverpool by Rupert Maas

19 May 2016 by Ann

The Scapegoat, 1854-5, William Holman Hunt © Lady Lever Art Gallery, National Museums Liverpool

The Scapegoat, 1854-5, William Holman Hunt © Lady Lever Art Gallery, National Museums Liverpool

Pre-Raphaelitism has long been associated with Liverpool.  The collections of National Museums Liverpool’s art galleries, namely Sudley House, Lady Lever Art Gallery and the Walker Art Gallery include a large number of Pre-Raphaelite works. Many, such as Dante’s Dream by Rossetti and the Scapegoat by Holman Hunt hold an iconic status across the globe. The history of how Liverpool and Port Sunlight came to house these collections is fascinating and diverse and carries an inspiring message of patronage and cultural enlightenment. While there have been many exhibitions exploring the movement’s history, Liverpool’s role had until recently not been explored. Read more…

LGBT collections online – our first themes go live!

17 May 2016 by Matt


To mark International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHO) we have launched the first sections of our LGBT online collections page as part of our Pride and Prejudice project.  The first goal of IDAHO is to raise awareness of discrimination against LGBT people worldwide and use that awareness as a way of promoting activism and dialogue. The second goal is to promote a highly visible, global LGBT event, which in 2014 was celebrated in over 130 countries, including 37 where same-sex acts are still illegal. Read more…

Competition: Win tickets to see Swan Lake

17 May 2016 by Felicity

410 x 231 MusicalsThe Scottish Ballet’s breath-taking production of Swan Lake is headed for the Liverpool Empire and we’ve got a pair of tickets to give away.

This modern retelling of the classic ballet, which runs at the Empire from Wed 1 – Sat 4 June, swaps tutus and curses for a sultry, passionate love story.  Read more…

Two Visions of a Cornfield

16 May 2016 by Felicity

Corner of a Cornfield, 1871, William Davis (c) Walker Art Gallery. National Museums Liverpool

Corner of a Cornfield, 1871, William Davis (c) Walker Art Gallery. National Museums Liverpool

Ha-il Kim, a volunteer in our Fine Art department, explores the enduring influence of William Davis’ Corner of a Cornfield:

The Walker Art Gallery celebrated its centenary in 1977 with an exhibition titled The Liverpool Academy Celebrates the Walker’s 100th Birthday.  Curated by Adrian Henri (1932-2000), a poet and artist involved in the Liverpool art scene of the 1960s, the exhibition was intended to highlight the connection between the Liverpool Academy of Arts, the oldest professional artists’ body in Liverpool, and the birth of the Walker Art Gallery. It would also pay tribute to the role the Academy played in various guises in enriching the Gallery’s collection through exhibitions.  As such, all the contributing artists were members of the Academy, and their works were inspired by the Walker’s splendid collection.   Read more…

We’re 30!

12 May 2016 by Lucy

If you’re from Liverpool, you’ll know that the museums and galleries in this city have been around for a long time…165 years to be precise! However, we can still lay claim to celebrating our 30th birthday, because it was actually 30 years ago in 1986, that we were established as a national museums service. Read more…

Pre-Raphaelites sent packing: a letter from Ford Madox Brown

5 May 2016 by Felicity

Ford Madoz Brown's 'Coat of Many Colours', which can be seen in the Walker Art Gallery's Pre-Raphaelite exhibition

Ford Madox Brown’s ‘Coat of Many Colours’ can be seen in the Walker Art Gallery’s exhibition, ‘Pre-Raphaelites: Beauty and Rebellion’

When they weren’t painting pictures, the Pre-Raphaelites wrote a lot of letters. It’s thanks to these that we can get an insight into their characters, learn details about their paintings and, as a bonus, experience the quality of their handwriting. In the blog post, Ann Bukantas, Head of Fine Art at National Museums Liverpool, shares Ford Madox Brown’s letter to art collector George Rae: Read more…

Philanthropy, patrons and the Pre-Raphaelites

20 April 2016 by Lynn


Emma Gilbertson shares her discoveries on the history of patronage that is fundamental to our collections, museums and galleries.

“One of the things I’ve learned during my time at National Museums Liverpool is that it is full of stories about collectors, benefactors and patrons. They have shaped both the buildings we are housed in, and our collections which are some of the best in the world.

If you have visited our ‘Pre-Raphaelites: Beauty and Rebellion’ exhibition at the Walker Art Gallery, you may have come across the Liverpool-based merchant John Miller, a significant patron of the movement. An avid collector, Miller reputedly bought so much art that he didn’t have enough hanging space for it all. He supported many Pre-Raphaelite artists including Ford Madox Brown and John Everett Millais. Read more…

Diverse, thought provoking and celebratory – curating the John Moores Painting Prize

11 April 2016 by Lisa

Jurors discussing the paintings during stage 2.

Jurors discussing the paintings during stage 2.

The final stage of judging for the John Moores Painting Prize drew to a close last week, so I caught up with artist and juror Phoebe Unwin, to get an insight into the judging and her thoughts on the final exhibition:

What has it been like for you during the final stage of judging?

It was a full-on couple of days, looking long and hard at each work… I don’t think I have ever been in a room surrounded by so many paintings! 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.




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.