All posts from 2020

Bookplate for Christabel A. Frampton

Posted on: 3 July 2020 | Category: 2020

Anning Bell bookplate detail ink drawing of a girl reading a book

Amanda Draper, Curator of Art & Exhibition writes … Robert Anning Bell RA (1863-1993) was an influential artist of the Arts and Crafts Movement with links to the University of Liverpool. His artistic range was wide but somehow he has become best known for small, very personal artworks which are almost always hidden from view: the bookplate.

Two Men and a Portrait

Posted on: 26 June 2020 | Category: 2020

A double portrait of the same man, a Far East prisoner of created by the same artist 1 year apart.

Two Portraits of Charlie Proctor, Changi 1942 & Thailand late 1943 By Gunner Ashley George Old, 1/5 Sherwood Foresters Regt. Pencil on paper Watercolour on paper © the Bartholomew Family I think this is one of the most arresting portraits in the exhibition, Secret Art of Survival - Creativity and ingenuity of British Far East prisoners of war, 1942 – 1945. It is a double portrait of the same man done by the same artist. It is a before and after portrait, something we are more familiar with today in a world of social media and photography. The portrait is of Private Ernest Charles Proctor, 1/5 Sherwood Foresters Regt, born in 1904 the oldest man in Old’s regiment at the time. It was drawn and painted by the artist, Gunner Ashley George Old. The pencil drawing on the left was done in 1942 during the first weeks of captivity in Changi POW camp in Singapore. The watercolour on the right was painted a year later in 1943 when both men were in the Chungkai Hospital camp in Thailand.

Time and Tide

Posted on: 19 June 2020 | Category: 2020

A box of  four engraved and carved scrimshaw whale bone and tusks

This week the object in focus is our small but important collection of Scrimshaw. Scrimshaw is the name given to a handmade craft created by sea faring men, usually whalers who carved and etched the teeth and bones of whales and other marine mammals. They are often very beautiful. The craft came out of the mariners having a lot of time on their hands while out at sea. Particularly whalers, waiting for a catch. It is thought the word “Scrimshaw” is derived from a mix of Scandinavian, Dutch and English slang for 'wasting time' or 'state of idleness'. Whaling voyages could last 3, 4 and sometimes 5 years and there would be long periods of time with nothing to do and so “scrimshandering” became a popular pastime which kept men occupied and out of trouble. Scrimshaw was most popular in the early 1800s when the whaling industry was at its peak; by the late 1800s this art form had almost died away.

Mermaid, 1933 By Herbert Tyson Smith (1883 – 1972)

Posted on: 12 June 2020 | Category: 2020

Bronze mermaid sculpture preening herself looking in a mirror about 25 cm's high by Herbert Tyson Smith (1883 - 1972)

This aquatic beauty is one of my favourite items in the VG&M collection and would look lovely preening herself on my mantlepiece at home. The sculptor, Herbert Tyson Smith, patinated the bronze very cleverly so her burnished figure seems to emerge from a verdigris sea foam. Mermaid’s back arches and with her tail forms an arabesque as she gazes at herself in a mirror whilst combing her hair. Her striking art deco styling is typical of Tyson Smith’s later work although he is better known for his architectural sculpture adorning buildings around the North West region.

Pangolin The Worlds Most Illegally Trafficked Mammal

Posted on: 5 June 2020 | Category: 2020

Two Asian pangolin specimens in spirit jars

When you visit the Tate Hall museum you will see many jars with amazing creatures suspended within. Look closer and you will see something rather special. These two historical Pangolin specimens from the late 19th century 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 of which is the seriously endangered pangolin who is essential to the biodiversity of our planet.

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.


    Bookplate for Christabel A. Frampton

    Anning Bell bookplate detail ink drawing of a girl reading a book

    Posted on: 3 July 2020 | Category: 2020

    Amanda Draper, Curator of Art & Exhibition writes … Robert Anning Bell RA (1863-1993) was an influential artist of the Arts and Crafts Movement with links to the University of Liverpool. His artistic range was wide but somehow he has become best known for small, very personal artworks which are almost always hidden from view: the bookplate.

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My first blog post

Posted on: 7 January 2019 by A N Other in Blog

A candidate applying for a job
This is the image caption

Hello World! This is my first blog post

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Keywords: A keyword.