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The Kingston Brooch – a very lucky evacuee

3 May 2016 by Emma Martin

The Kingston Brooch is one of the most elaborate pieces of Anglo-Saxon jewellery ever found in England.

The Kingston Brooch is one of the most elaborate pieces of Anglo-Saxon jewellery ever found in England.

On 3 May 1941, exactly 75 years go, Liverpool endured the heaviest bombing of the May Blitz. The bombardment, which ran from 1 to 7 May, saw Liverpool (now World) Museum almost destroyed.

Our online exhibition Bombed Out! World Museum and the Blitz commemorates the event. As devastating as the raid was, thankfully, as Lolo in this blog describes, there were some very fortunate evacuees! Read more…

Virtual video first!

29 April 2016 by Andrew

Eye for colour at World Museum until 4 September 2016

We all know that video doesn’t really compare to the real-life experience of a museum or gallery, but it’s getting pretty good a painting a very strong picture. Using the latest advancement, the 360 degree video, viewers can navigate around a space, venue or event to see if from all angles, as if they were there.

Read more…

Don Pedro: the elephant that died twice

22 April 2016 by Emma Martin

Don Pedro (the elephant) standing proud at the centre of the Upper Horseshoe Gallery before 3 May 1941

Don Pedro (the elephant) standing proud at the centre of the Upper Horseshoe Gallery before 3 May 1941

University of Manchester student Lolo is working on our new online exhibition that will be launched 3 May. Here’s his latest blog on some of the objects and specimens that feature in it.

“Many of you may already know that the King of Prussia Jug was one of the Blitz survivors. But not all the stories relating to the museum’s objects and specimens had a happy ending. There were also hundreds if not thousands of casualties. I was very upset when we heard about the sad story of Don Pedro, a male Indian elephant once in the zoology collection. They say cats have nine lives, but poor Don Pedro had just two. Read more…

What happened in the Ceramics Gallery during the Blitz?

7 April 2016 by Emma Martin

Museum staff picking up the pieces in the ceramics gallery after the Blitz

Museum staff picking up the pieces in the ceramics gallery after the Blitz

Lolo is working on the development of an on-line exhibition that explores what happened to World Museum during the Blitz. Here is his second blog, looking at the fate of the ceramics gallery.

The ceramics gallery was one of the galleries that suffered serious damage during the Blitz of May 1941. Rare pieces from the museum’s collection were still on display on the night of 3 May and as the museum crumbled many of the ceramics shattered into pieces. Read more…

Exploring the different worlds of our classical sculpture collections

4 April 2016 by Andrew

The Pantheon at Ince Blundell Hall

The Pantheon at Ince Blundell Hall

Chrissy Partheni, Curator of Classical Antiquities at World Museum talks about her involvement with two upcoming exhibitions taking place in the city this summer.

“Last summer the Atkinson Art Gallery and the Liverpool Biennial approached me to discuss potential loans from the classical sculptural collections to feature in two exhibitions planned for this summer. One exhibition will be about Henry Blundell, the 18th century antiquarian and collector, while the other, taking place at Tate Liverpool, is to be inspired by Ancient Greece. Read more…

Liverpool’s Tibet collection goes live!

15 March 2016 by Emma Martin

Meditation painting or thangka

Meditation painting or thangka sold to the museum in 1905 by Sergeant J Heaney on his return to Liverpool after participating in the Mission to Lhasa

It’s a little known fact that Liverpool has one of the world’s great Tibet collections. Liverpool doesn’t seem like the obvious choice for a Tibet collection; you might think of Liverpool’s maritime connections rather than it’s Himalayan ones. But 19th century missionaries, soldiers and explorers did sell or donate Tibetan objects to Liverpool having arrived in its port after a long journey from India. Read more…

Harris Jonas takes a look at our Japanese swords

11 March 2016 by Emma Martin

Harris (left) taking in the history of the blades with Mark (right).

Harris (left) taking in the history of the blades with Mark (right).

This week we had a visitor to the Japan collections. Ethnology volunteer Mark Jones tells us about it here.

“In a blog I wrote back in 2014, I discussed the different Japanese blades I’ve documented for World Museum’s Japan collection. This week I had the opportunity to meet Harris Jonas, a 6th Dan in karate and a senior instructor at the Liverpool Shotokan Karate Club (LSKC). Read more…

Black pitch, carved histories research project

7 March 2016 by Joanna Ostapkowicz

old photo of people digging along a high, steep bank of the lake

An early postcard showing the depths attained in digging pitch, and the manual labour involved. Even at these depths, the lake would refill to its original level within a day or two.

In 2015 I blogged from Trinidad and Tobago, where I was working on the AHRC-funded Pitch Lake project.

We are now entering the final phase of the project, and while work continues on various elements – from the last strontium analyses to the documentation of the replica commission – we’re taking this opportunity to launch the project web pages: Black pitch, carved histories: Prehistoric wood sculpture from Trinidad’s Pitch Lake.

The web pages document the aims, techniques and methodologies of the project, the artefacts studied and the wider context, Read more…

The night World Museum nearly died

26 February 2016 by Emma Martin

The upper horseshoe gallery was home to the natural history collections in 1941. In pride of place was Don Pedro, the Indian elephant

The upper horseshoe gallery was home to the natural history collections in 1941. In pride of place was Don Pedro, the Indian elephant.

Over the next few weeks Lolo, a student working at World Museum, will blog about the events of the 3rd May 1941 – the night World Museum nearly died. Here at the museum we are preparing to launch an on-line exhibition on the 3rd May. We will recount what happened that night 75 years ago and Lolo will also be writing blogs that reveal in more depth what happened to some of the museum’s objects. Read more…

Poppies – a botanist’s view

1 February 2016 by Geraldine

pressed yellow poppies mounted on paper

Welsh poppy, Meconopsis cambrica. This specimen was collected in May 1949 from Hawkshead, Cumbria. Accession number 1987.376.98

As a botanist I was fascinated to see the Poppies: Women and War exhibition at the Museum of Liverpool, which includes botanical photographs of poppies in the field and draws on themes of strength and resilience inspired by the flower.

Poppies always invoke for me a feeling of happiness, large colourful flowers in bright garish colours. ‘Poppy’ refers to a group of species that cover a number of genera in the family Papaveraceae. The one that springs to mind for most people is Papaver rhoeas which is used as the symbol of remembrance and hope.  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.