I enjoyed my visit to this museum in Liverpool. The museum is set over 5 floors and has a bit of an identity crisis. On the first floor there is a small but interesting aquarium of mainly tropical fish. The next floor up has a collection of several different bugs and beasties such as live cockroaches, tarantulas and stick insects.
The top three floors offer more traditional museum exhibits, yet the diversity of the exhibits is pretty plain to see. Ancient Egyptian mummies, stuffed animals, space telescopes, Anglo-Saxon treasures, dinosaur skeletons- all find a home here.
So I suppose you could say this museum is a bit of a mish-mash of things. It doesn't really have any special focus so nothing is covered in great depth. Still I defy anyone to visit and not find at least something that tickles their fancy and remember it's free (although a donation is encouraged). I stayed for just over an hour.
The museum is daily 10am-5pm.
During our visit to the Merseyside Maritime Museum, we made a first stop at the International Slavery Museum which is on the top floor. It was both interesting and chilling. Slavery is not a thing of the past - it happens today and is truly evil.
international hub for resources on human rights issues.
The vision of the International Slavery Museum:
"The transatlantic slave trade was the greatest forced migration in history. And yet the story of the mass enslavement of Africans by Europeans is one of resilience and survival against all the odds, and is a testament to the unquenchable nature of the human spirit.
In 1994, National Museums Liverpool opened the Transatlantic Slavery Gallery, the first of its kind in the world. This gallery has achieved huge visitor numbers and impact, but there is now a pressing need to tell a bigger story because of its relevance to contemporary issues that face us all.
Our vision is to create a major new International Slavery Museum to promote the understanding of transatlantic slavery and its enduring impact.
Our aim is to address ignorance and misunderstanding by looking at the deep and permanent impact of slavery and the slave trade on Africa, South America, the USA, the Caribbean and Western Europe. Thus we will increase our understanding of the world around us."
Dr David Fleming OBE, director, National Museums Liverpool
It was another very warm day, and we again decided to explore and visit as many locations as we could on a very sunny Saturday.
The Maritime Museum was not initially on our list, but we decided that since we were at the Albert Dock, we should visit and see the true Maritime experience that they had to offer. Home of the White Star Lin and their ill fated ship, The Titanic.
The museum has much to be seen - models, art work, memorabilia and an excellent customs display.
We decided to make as many visits to cultural locations when we were in Liverpool. This museum was an excellent place to visit. There was much to see - Beatles and of course the local football teams - it has an excellent reputation across Europe.
They have even won prizes:
"The Museum of Liverpool wins 2013 Council of Europe Museum Prize
The Council of Europe Museum Prize for 2013 has been awarded to the Museum of Liverpool (United Kingdom) by the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).
The museum traces the social, economic and political history of a city which is one of the most socially diverse in Britain. According to the committee, the museum has an outstanding capacity to get people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities involved and promotes in a strong and convincing form Council of Europe core values and the importance of "living together in dignity”.
The Museum of Liverpool provides an exemplary recognition of human rights in museum practice, the committee underlines. The interaction with local community is excellent, with numerous activities involving children, young people, families and the elderly. It promotes mutual respect between ethnically and socially diverse parts of society, addresses human rights through contemporary debates and dialogue and maintains an open and inclusive policy aimed at bridging cultures in every aspect of its work.
The Council of Europe Museum Prize has been awarded annually since 1977 to a museum judged to have made a significant contribution to the understanding of European cultural heritage. The winning museum will be presented with a bronze statuette, “La femme aux beaux seins” by Joan Miró, which the museum will keep for a year, as well as a diploma.
The prize is decided by the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) on the basis of a shortlist presented by a jury of the European Museum Forum, and forms part of the European Museum of the Year Awards. Recent winners include the Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum in Cologne, Germany (2012); the Portimão Museum in Portugal (2010) and the Zeeuws Museum in the Netherlands (2009). "
We made two visits to the Tate Liverpool, the second was to attend the Mondrian Exhibition. The gallery is pleasant and enjoyable - there is much to see and it is located at the Docks.
We have now visited all of the Tate locations!
The gallery is the only one in North East England which is dedicated to photography; as well as being one of the UK's leading photography spaces.
Founded in 1977 and is a not for profit organisation.
During our visit we saw work by Paul Morrison, Cristina de Middel, Ugo Mulas and Hans Hacke.
It was another cultural stop which was next door to the Walker Art Gallery. It was a mix of exhibits and there was a rather interesting aquarium in the building too.
There was much to see, and as before we were not the only people to make a visit to the museum.
After seeing the Friday morning start of the Giants Spectacular, we made a visit to the Walker Art Gallery. It was busy, as there were many people with the same thoughts, and of course this was the start of the school holidays.
There were many interesting pieces to see; and for me I was surprised to see a painting by William Fredrick Yeames entitled 'And When Did You Last See Your Father?'. My parents had a copy of this at home when I was a child and I always wondered where it was to be seen. I now know!
Maritime Museums are always a surprise for me. I have perceived some of them as really boring, some others as excellently entertaining. As we were in the building anyway (after having visited the International Slavery Museum) and had an hour before closing time, we decided to give it a chance. I was not disappointed at all and even wished that I would have had more time for it.
The Merseyside Maritime Museum is located in a former warehouse. From the short visit, I got a good impression. As I have visited Cobh in the same year, I easily appreciated the exhibitions about the Lusitania and Titanic disasters. Other points of focus were the history of Liverpool as a port, the Irish emigration of the 19th century and the merchant navy. The largest parts about Liverpool's role in slave trade and Transatlantic slave trade in general have been moved to the International Slavery Museum which is located in the uppermost floor of the building.
Like all National Museums in Liverpool, the Maritime Museum does not charge entry fees. It may be that a temporary exhibition is not accessible for free anyway. The Merseyside Maritime Museum is located in the same building as the International Slavery Museum. It's hard for me to say how much time you should plan for a visit as only had one hour. I would guess two hours would be fine, add or take a little more depending on your interest in the topics mentioned. Photography is allowed, no flash or tripod though.
If you can't decide which museum you would like to visit in Liverpool, I would recommend this one. Few others treat this topic in such an extensive way as this museum does. The exhibits are well explained. One item I remembered was a price list of a slave auction which showed different prices according to the "usefulness" of a human being.
The museum focuses on slavery in the English colonies and the USA. This undoubtedly involves Liverpool's role in the Transatlantic slave trade. The International Slavery Museum has also some parts on slavery in general. The part about life in Africa at the time the Transatlantic slave trade began tries to give you an insight, but can not cover the diversity of this topic. At the time of our visit, there was a temporary exhibition about modern slavery in Kazakhstan's cotton industry. Surely, some aspects could have been pointed out more extensively, for example the approaches to slavery by different European powers as well as the facts that some African tribes sold others as slaves to the Europeans. However, this does not change the fact that the topic of slavery is covered in an extensive way.
The International Slavery Museum is located in the same building as the Merseyside Maritime Museum and occupies the uppermost floor. Like all National Museums in Liverpool, there is no entry fee. However, it may be that you will have to pay for temporary exhibitions. To get an overview, 1 1/2 hours is enough. However, the museum has so much information that you can easily spend more two to three hours in it.
The Walker Art Gallery opened in 1877 with collections donated by wealthy businessmen. It covers mostly paintings from medieval art to the early 20th century. The full-size portrait of Henry VIII is well known as is Yeames' “And when did you last see your father?”. The Walker Art Gallery also has a collection of neoclassic sculptures and Victorian silverware in the ground floor. The temporary exhibition called “Alive” was for free and is highly recommended. However, I can not say if Walker has their temporary ones generally for free or not.
The Walker Art Gallery is one of the National Museums in Liverpool and charges no entry fee for the main exhibition. For a visit you should calculate around two hours, add or take depending on your interest in art and the topic of the temporary exhibitions.
The museum covers a wide range of topics: Natural history (with a focus on dinosaurs), world cultures (focus on Egypt), insects, an aquarium, astronomy, geology and archaeology.
It had its origins in natural history collection from 1851 and was moved to its present location in 1860. Since then, it has been often refurbished and expanded – the last time in 2005. The result is a huge museum with six stories where you can easily spend a whole day. It is one of the favourites with kids and has a lot of activities for the young ones. So expect a high number of kids in here. Also, many topics are rather prepared to be enjoyed by kids than by adults.
Like all of the other National Museums, the world museum has no entry fee (2013). If you are interested in all topics, you can easily spend a whole day in here. A short overview with focus on one topic is possible to be done in two hours.
This fantastic new museum, replacing the Museum of Liverpool Life, opened in 2010. It is open daily between 10am and 5pm except over Christmas and New Year. The ground floor and second floor are open and the first floor is set to open at the end of 2011.
As admission to the museum was free, I thought I would check it out and I was really impressed. The building itself is very contemporary and is a striking addition to the Albert Dock scenery. Inside the entrance is very airy and spacious and there are lots of staff patrolling the museum if you need any help.
The upper floor of the museum houses the 'Wondrous Place' exhibition which gives you an insight into life in Liverpool. Here you can learn about the origins of the Scouse dialect, check out memorabilia from Liverpool and Everton football clubs, listen to some music by Liverpool's many musicians, even journey back in time to see what life was like in an authentic Liverpool chip shop!
From the upper floor you are treated to a panoramic view of the Mersey, the Liver Building and Pier Head.
Note December 2011: 4 new galleries have opened at the museum! These are: The Great Port, Liverpool Overhead Railway, History Detectives and City Soldiers. I liked being able to walk inside the overhead railway!
A welcome addition to the Albert Docks regeneration, this museum is open daily from 10am-5pm. Admission is free.
The highlight of the museum is a sprawling exhibition on Liverpool's wartime maritime history, focussing primarily on the loss of the Lusitania. There are also exhibits regarding the sinking of the Titanic, although for a more comprehensive and emotional exhibition on the Titanic, I would recommend the Maritime Museum in Southampton over this one in Liverpool. You can take photos, although flash photography is prohibited. Also this museum has great access. Wide revolving doors, lifts and ramps make this an ideal location for disabled visitors.
Housed in the same building on one of the upper floors, you can find the International Slavery Museum. The museum is gives an insight into West African cultures, as well as life on the plantations for slaves in the Americas. Personally I found this museum rather sterile. For a subject as thought-provoking as slavery, I was hoping the museum would have more of an impact. Instead it seems to meander off into a celebration of successful Black people such as Muhammad Ali, Dame Kelly Holmes, Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey among others. Strangely the museum awkwardly refers to these people as the 'legacy of slavery'. Not sure if that is entirely appropriate.
Like every town there is good & bad in the history of Liverpool. The worst part of Liverpool's history is that it was the centre for the African Slave trade. While of course this can't be changed, things have been done since to try to some amends for this. This first school of tropical medicine in the world outside of Africa was in Liverpool. There now also the International Slavery Museum