Welcome to Objects in Focus at the VG&M

This Blog will focus on individual objects from our extensive fine and decorative art collections and the museum heritage collections. Each week you will be treated to an in-depth look into both familiar and unfamiliar artworks and objects, discovering some of the secrets and stories behind them.

You might recognise some objects from display, but others from departmental teaching collections will be seen publicly for the first time.


I Predict a Riot

Posted on: 29 May 2020 | Category: 2020

Bronze sculpture of police figure with baton, shield and gas mask.

Amanda Draper, Curator of Art & Exhibitions writes …As a curator you’re often asked “what is your favourite item in the collection?”. It’s a bit like asking which is your favourite child, and can depend on your mood, time of day, when you last ate and how much trouble they’ve been recently. At the moment I’d say this bronze sculpture by the Liverpool-based artist Sean Rice. I’m a HUGE fan of his work. And it’s not just me. Riot Policeman, which is displayed on our staircase, is a big favourite with visitors despite (or maybe because) of its rather apocalyptic air.


Electricity is a fine servant, but a very bad master

Posted on: 22 May 2020 | Category: 2020

dental collection

Part of my job is to look after the displays, and this includes routine object checking and cleaning of the heritage collections. This can lead to some interesting finds, as you see an object close up when you check and clean it. Here at the VG&M we look after one of the earliest and most important Dentistry collections in the world, which was originally set up by the staff and students of the Dental School in 1880. In the VGM the Curator of Heritage has used a selection from the collection to recreate a dental surgery - as it would have looked if established in the 19th Century. Furnished with plenty of bone chilling implements to set your teeth on edge, it includes an early example of an X-Ray machine - which the dentist would have purchased as soon as they became available (in the early 20th Century).


Metropolitan Cathedral Precinct, 1952 by Allan P. Tankard (1897 – 1964)

Posted on: 15 May 2020 | Category: 2020

A view looking west from the Victoria building roof

Amanda Draper, Curator of Art & Exhibitions writes... We’ve been surprised by the popularity of a small display of local watercolours in our tiny Gallery 4. All the paintings are by Allan P. Tankard and show the University of Liverpool campus in the post-war years. This evocative glimpse into the relatively recent past of our neighbourhood has really resonated with visitors. From the exhibition I’ve chosen to show you this vista of a big empty space where the Metropolitan Cathedral now stands.


Caravan of Love

Posted on: 8 May 2020 | Category: 2020

Plans for a Dream Caravan, 1944. By Capt. Reginald ‘Reg’ Newman, 48 LAA (49 Bty), RA Loaned by Janet Fursier (neé Newman, artist’s daughter)

Today it will be 75 years since the guns fell silent at the end of the second world war in Europe. Years of carnage and destruction had come to an end and millions of people took to the streets and pubs to celebrate peace, mourn their loved ones and hope for a better future. Three months after the war had ended in Europe, just over 37,500 British Far East Prisoners of War (FEPOW) were liberated from camps and made the long-awaited journey home. One of these men was British Army Captain Reginald Newman from Powys Wales.


A Ladles Tale

Posted on: 1 May 2020 | Category: 2020

Silver punch ladle with Gold Portuguese coin set in the bowl

Amanda Draper, Curator of Art & Exhibitions writes … As a piece of kitchen equipment ladles are usually pretty dull, but for the Georgians they could be thing of beauty and fascination. Rather like my old soup ladle at home, this delicate silver utensil was lying near the back of a store cupboard and I came across it while I was looking for something else, as you do. It is one of the joys of museum life that we are able to take sometimes overlooked items and make them shine again.


There's a Gorilla in the Museum!

Posted on: 29 April 2020 | Category: 2020

gorilla skeleton

At the beginning of the 20th Century, the University of Liverpool had more than 10 departmental teaching museums. The Medical, Comparative Anatomy and Zoology departmental museums contained collections ranging from skulls, skeletal teaching models, wax teaching models, specimens, taxidermy and wet collections. These collections continued to grow until as late as the 1970s, and skeletons are still in use today for teaching in departments such as Biological, Evolutionary and Veterinary Sciences.


My first blog post

Posted on: 7 January 2019 | Category: Blog

A candidate applying for a job

Hello World! This is my first blog post


Pangolin The Worlds Most Illegally Trafficked Mammal

Posted on: 7 January 2019 | Category: 2020

Two Asian pangolin specimens in spirit jars

When you visit the Tate museum you will see many jars with amazing creatures suspended within. Look closer and you will see something rather special. These two Pangolin specimens from our historic zoology collection. A collection made up in the late 19th century as part of the University Zoology Departmental museum. Today is World Environment Day, this year’s theme is “to celebrate biodiversity”. There are nearly 1 million species on our planet facing extinction. One which is seriously endangered is the Pangolin.


    Blog

    I Predict a Riot

    Bronze sculpture of police figure with baton, shield and gas mask.

    Posted on: 29 May 2020 | Category: 2020

    Amanda Draper, Curator of Art & Exhibitions writes …As a curator you’re often asked “what is your favourite item in the collection?”. It’s a bit like asking which is your favourite child, and can depend on your mood, time of day, when you last ate and how much trouble they’ve been recently. At the moment I’d say this bronze sculpture by the Liverpool-based artist Sean Rice. I’m a HUGE fan of his work. And it’s not just me. Riot Policeman, which is displayed on our staircase, is a big favourite with visitors despite (or maybe because) of its rather apocalyptic air.


Disclaimer

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.