All posts from 2021

From Asylum to Academia

Posted on: 17 September 2021 | Category: 2021

The University of Liverpool Quadrangle with Victoria and Ashton Buildings

If you stand behind the Victoria Gallery & Museum in the university quadrangle you may not realise that the foundations of the first building on this site lie beneath your feet. An asylum was erected here in 1829 and served until 1881 where it was repurposed and converted for the use of University College Liverpool. In this blog post we take a closer look at this buildings history.

How Gogglehead got his gleam back

Posted on: 3 September 2021 | Category: 2021

Gogglehead half done (detail)

Larger than life, this disembodied head with its sardonic grin has been a VG&M visitor favourite for years. But most didn’t realise that his sunglasses were nowhere near as shiny as they should be. This is the story of how Gogglehead got his gleam back.

The Remarkable Mrs Horsfall

Posted on: 20 August 2021 | Category: 2021

Betty Horsfall and Igor Belolipov of Tashkent State Agrarian University in Ness Gardens, early 1990s. Photo courtesy of Hugh McAllister.

On 6 July 2000, after 93 years of life, Mrs Betty Horsfall died at her home in Aylburton, Gloucestershire. She left, in her legacy, a substantial contribution to the University of Liverpool, which has enriched many people’s lives without their ever knowing it. She was, in life as in death, a remarkable person.

The Two Shipwrecks of the Circassian

Posted on: 29 July 2021 | Category: 2021

Abandoning the Circassian by Clarkson Stanfield (Detail)

Hanging in our Nature v Humans exhibition is a painting of a dramatic shipwreck during a turbulent storm. The stricken Liverpool-bound vessel is called the Circassian and this is a fictional scene. However, forty years later, a real ship from Liverpool with the same name also foundered in an episode brimming with heroism and tragedy.

The New Woman at University College Liverpool

Posted on: 25 June 2021 | Category: 2021

Performance photographs from the 1895 fundraiser shows that the poses from both the male and female students mimic one another with wagging fingers.

This week we celebrate #InternationalWomenInEngineeringDay and in our ‘A New Beauty’ exhibition we explore the evolving ways that physical attractiveness was depicted from the late 1800s and while women were being depicted as delicate and otherworldly creatures in art, real women were beginning to demand emancipation and equal voting rights. The press labelled them as the ‘New Woman’ from 1894 onwards and a year later satirical performances based on the occupations of women were performed in the Victoria Building and this blog looks at two of them in more detail.

On this day in 1815 - The Battle of Waterloo changed the course of European History.

Posted on: 18 June 2021 | Category: 2021

The Eagle Standard of Napoleon’s 105th Regiment being unpacked at the Victoria Gallery & Museum

This picture represents one of the most exciting moments I have ever experienced as a museum curator. In 2015, as part of the National Army Museum’s partnership project in commemoration of the bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo, we exhibited a selection of artefacts from their Waterloo Collections. I had successfully negotiated the loan of one of only two Napoleonic Eagle Standards captured by the British at that battle (and I confess to having been shamelessly pleased with myself).

The Tale of the Nightmare Boss

Posted on: 27 May 2021 | Category: 2021

The Vicar and Moses glazed pottery figure group c.1790 by Ralph Wood

Ever had a boss who makes you do all the work while they sit back and do nothing? It’s not a modern phenomenon. Meet Moses, the beleaguered underling of this lazy and drunken Vicar, humorously immortalised in 18th century pottery and prints.

This is Kylie: Our Vintage Koala

Posted on: 14 May 2021 | Category: 2021

Kylie the taxidermy koala on display in the VGM.  Named in 2006, by a member of the VGM team.

As one of the world’s most recognisable and universally loved animals, you might be surprised to discover just how recently koalas were discovered by western science.

Adrian Scott Stokes – Traveller Towards Light

Posted on: 22 April 2021 | Category: 2021

Early Spring in the Austrian Tyrol and portrait of Adrian Scott Stokes

The sharp sunlight of spring brings a fresh clarity to nature and one painting in our collection demonstrates this beautifully: ‘Early Spring in the Austrian Tyrol’ by Adrian Scott Stokes. Let’s discover more about this much-travelled landscape artist from Merseyside.

Manifesto: The second-best Grand National horse ever!

Posted on: 9 April 2021 | Category: 2021

Manifesto on display in the VG&M Tate Hall Museum, 2008

The 2.5 mile Manifesto Novices’ Chase at Aintree is named in his honour, but it’s likely you don’t know anything else about him. He’s probably the ‘Buzz Aldrin’ of the racehorse world – everyone only remembers the first man on the moon and they only remember the horse with the very best record at the Grand National. But - Manifesto deserves to be remembered as being in the same league as Red Rum.

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    From Asylum to Academia

    The University of Liverpool Quadrangle with Victoria and Ashton Buildings

    Posted on: 17 September 2021 | Category: 2021

    If you stand behind the Victoria Gallery & Museum in the university quadrangle you may not realise that the foundations of the first building on this site lie beneath your feet. An asylum was erected here in 1829 and served until 1881 where it was repurposed and converted for the use of University College Liverpool. In this blog post we take a closer look at this buildings history.

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