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Go ‘Beyond the Label’ with behind the scenes talks at Walker Art Gallery

10 months ago

Go ‘Beyond the Label’ with behind the scenes talks at Walker Art Gallery
Walker Art Gallery

National Museum Liverpool’s museums and galleries are a treasure trove of fascinating stories and world class collections.

In an exciting series of talks, visitors to Walker Art Gallery will get the opportunity to meet Nicola Scott, Curator of Decorative Art, to find out never-before-told behind the scenes stories of the newly refurbished Renaissance Galleries.

At these events, you will get the opportunity to meet the experts who care for our collections, find out never-before-told behind the scenes stories of our most beloved objects, and get the opportunity to pick the brains of a real museum expert. 

Go beyond the museum labels and delve into the fascinating world of art, history, science, and community stories in this unmissable series. Find all the upcoming talks on the Beyond the Label page and book your tickets.

Nicola Scott (c) Mina Bihi Adjustment Bureau
Nicola Scott (c) Mina Bihi Adjustment Bureau

‘Renaissance Rediscovered’ presents the Walker’s renowned collection of Western European art from the 13th to the 18th century. Masterpieces such as Simone Martini’s ‘Christ Discovered in the Temple’, Holbein’s ‘Portrait of Henry VIII’, and Rembrandt’s ‘Self-Portrait as a Young Man’ feature in the elegant new spaces.

New acquisitions join this spectacular collection for the first time, including ‘Allegory of Painting and Music’, the first painting by Giovanni Andrea Sirani to enter a UK public collection, and ‘Flowers in a Glass Vase on a Marble Ledge’ by 17th-century Dutch artist, Willem van Aelst. Other iconic artists  represented include  Titian, Lavinia Fontana,  Peter Paul Rubens and  Bartolomé Esteban Murillo.

The galleries feature fresh interpretation and research, sharing previously underrepresented and diverse stories, including Black, LGBTQ+ and women’s histories. Although centuries old, the subject matter these works explore are powerful themes – faith, family, diversity, migration – that remain relevant to audiences today. 

New environmental controls mean the Walker Art Gallery’s extraordinary collection of works on paper will have a dedicated gallery for the first time. The Walker holds a collection of more than 8,350 drawings, prints and watercolours by British and international artists, many of which have never been shown before. The Prints and Drawings Gallery will show a selection of these beautiful and delicate pieces, by artists including Peter Paul Rubens, Elisabetta Sirani, Domenichino and Guido Reni, for the opening of ‘Renaissance Rediscovered’.

Ceramics, ivory and alabaster carvings, glass, metalwork, jewellery, and textiles dating from 1200 to 1700 also feature. Many of these objects were among 14,000 pieces presented to Liverpool Museum in 1867 by local goldsmith, Joseph Mayer (1803-1867).

A digital interactive will bring to life one of the largest pieces on display, ‘The Triumph of Fortitude’ (Brussels, about 1525). This large tapestry, about 4 metres x 5.5 metres in size, is so overwhelming it’s easy to miss fascinating details. For the first time the brave and compelling female characters from mythology and the Old Testament featured within the tapestry will be under the spotlight in this new dynamic interactive.

NML Walker Art Gallery Rooms 1 - 4
NML Walker Art Gallery Rooms 1 – 4

The series of talks are listed below:

Beyond the label: precious treasures of medieval and renaissance decorative arts

Wednesday 27 September, 2 – 3pm

You will discover the splendour of the medieval church treasury. You will obtain a glimpse into a noblewoman’s world. You will enjoy the splendour of the Renaissance Court. Nicola will share insights into the making of these new galleries and reveal her own favourite pieces.


Beyond the label: The Triumph of Fortitude tapestry

Wednesday 25 October, 2 – 3pm

Learn more about a rare home furnishing that once graced the walls of a 16th-century palace. ‘Fortitude’ means courage in the face of adversity. This talk will explore the heroism of the people pictured. It will reveal the woven stories of some feisty female characters.


Beyond the label: highlights of the decorative art collections in the Renaissance Galleries

Wednesday 29 November, 2 – 3pm

From a unique gold signet ring to a 17th-century fruit bowl, these beautifully crafted pieces reveal the identity of their original owners. Exploring their personal possessions will give a fascinating insight into the lives of people long ago. It will also reveal themes familiar to us today.


For more on Walker Art Gallery click HERE.



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