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. You will be regulary 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.
Posted on: 27 November 2020 | Category: 2020
We are going to celebrate Lancashire Day with a look at a world-changing innovation that spans the historic county from one great city to another and is still used today: the Liverpool and Manchester Railway. \n
Posted on: 13 November 2020 | Category: 2020
‘What is the purpose of this strange looking instrument?’ I hear you ask.\n\nThis is a bladder stone crusher from the Medical Museum Collection, part of the University Heritage Collections. Note the ivory handles and the beautifully crafted mechanism.
Posted on: 30 October 2020 | Category: 2020
A young girl looks up at one of the famous stone lions outside St George’s Hall in Liverpool. How does she and the lion represent our city’s past and hopes for the future? Let’s look closer at this painting by Liverpool-born artist Tony Phillips and find out more.
Posted on: 21 October 2020 | Category: 2020
Most people agree that one of the most repulsive specimens in our Nightmares in a Bell Jar display is the hagfish – but this doesn’t mean that hagfish don’t deserve our attention and protection. That is the message behind Hagfish day, which is on the third Wednesday of October – every year. \n
Posted on: 16 October 2020 | Category: 2020
In recent weeks a particular part of one of our sculptures has been getting a lot of attention: its buttocks. They have featured in the Liverpool Echo and on various social media platforms including one called @museumbums (yes, really …). But there is more to ‘The Sluggard’ than its pert behind, so let’s get to the bottom of the story. \n
Posted on: 6 October 2020 | Category: 2020
Sometimes, as a museum curator, you are responsible for items in the collection that you find distasteful and even upsetting. And yet, they represent a story that needs to be told. Here is a little snuff-box which represents a huge injustice in history: the transatlantic slave trade.
Posted on: 18 September 2020 | Category: 2020
As you enter the Tate museum one of the first parts of the natural history collections that greets you is this incredible skeleton of a python. The museum has a large collection of natural history including full skeletons of mammals from gorillas to tiny mammal skulls, taxidermy teaching models and osteology teaching models (real skeletons prepared and articulated and mounted on wood). The python being the most intricate and impressive in my opinion of the teaching models deserves this week’s blog spotlight. You can look at it for a long time and marvel at the amount of bones a python skeleton has, work out how they function and move but what is incredibly striking is the workmanship in creating such a fascinating model, who made it and why?
Posted on: 3 September 2020 | Category: 2020
Dr Amanda Draper, Curator of Art & Exhibitions writes …\nWhen I first arrived at the VG&M in January 2018 there was one painting in the building that hypnotised me. It had come into the collection in 2000 with no known title and had been descriptively labelled as ‘Portrait of a woman wearing a blue silk dress holding a jasmine flower’ by unknown artist. But there was an elephant in the room. The lower half of the sitter’s face, with its amiable if slightly pensive expression, appeared to be covered by a 5 o’clock shadow. They looked in distinct need of a close shave. What was the story here?
Posted on: 27 August 2020 | Category: 2020
We are almost certain that this footprint made by ‘Beasley’s type D2 Rhynchosaurides Rectipes’ which has been dated as over 240,000,000 years old, is the object that most accurately fits this week’s blog description.
Posted on: 21 August 2020 | Category: 2020
Amanda Draper, Curator of Art & Exhibition writes …\nAs a curator who looks after art collections, one of my favourite things is working with the specialist conservators who restore and revive artefacts for us. Their technical and artistic skills are phenomenal and they can completely transform an artwork that most of us would have thought beyond repair. And just sometimes, simply cleaning a painting can reveal unexpected wonders. And so it was with The Turkish Ambassador.
Posted on: 27 November 2020 | Category: 2020
We are going to celebrate Lancashire Day with a look at a world-changing innovation that spans the historic county from one great city to another and is still used today: the Liverpool and Manchester Railway.
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.