LIVERPOOL, UK.-Liverpool’s reign as Capital of Culture is finally underway and to celebrate National Museums Liverpool is offering a fantastic variety of things to see and do in this momentous year.
Music fans, art lovers and architecture disciples are in for a real treat - the jam-packed programme has all bases covered.
David Fleming, director of National Museums Liverpool said: ‘We will deliver a great cultural year that will change the perception of Liverpool forever. National Museums Liverpool will put on a fantastic series of exhibitions and events and break all our visitor records. We will also build the Museum of Liverpool, the biggest new national museum in this country for 100 years, as the great physical legacy of the year for the people of Liverpool.’
At the Walker Art Gallery Art in the Age of Steam (18 April - 10 August 2008), a blockbuster exhibition featuring artists such as Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro and Edward Hopper, captures the fear and excitement of early train travel as it explores artists’ responses to the advent of steam locomotion.
Joining some of the biggest names in art history at the Walker will be internationally-renowned artist Ben Johnson who has been commissioned to produce a huge architectural portrait of Liverpool to commemorate the city becoming European Capital of Culture in 2008. The painting will be finished at the gallery before joining an exhibition of Ben’s cityscapes including Jerusalem, Zurich and Hong Kong in The Liverpool Cityscape 2008 and the World Panorama Series (24 May – 2 Nov 2008).
Later in the year the Walker Art Gallery will present the 25th John Moores Contemporary Painting Prize (20 September 2008 - 4 Jan 2009) as part of the Liverpool Biennial. This year’s jury includes artists Jake and Dinos Chapman.
Staying with the art galleries Masterpiece Watercolours and Drawings (28 June to 9 Nov 2008) at the Lady Lever Art Gallery offers a rare opportunity to view exquisite works too delicate for permanent display from the gallery’s own collections. The exhibition features around 35 drawings and watercolours by artists such as Turner, Rossetti, Cox, de Wint and Burne-Jones.
World Museum Liverpool’s major exhibition for 2008 is The Beat Goes On (12 July 2008 – 1 Nov 2009), inspired by Liverpool’s significant contribution to popular music over the last 60 years. From the Cavern to Creamfields, Billy Fury to the Zutons, Liverpool has been home to a staggering range of venues, sounds, performers, fashions and followers. The first exhibition of its kind, it draws together material from record companies, institutions and private collectors.
Over at the Merseyside Maritime Museum the national museum of Revenue and Customs has been under-going a redevelopment and will reopen as Seized:Revenue and Customs Uncovered in Spring 2008. The new gallery explores the key roles of HM Revenue and Customs in helping to ensure that our way of life is fair, safe, civilised and protected. Themes such as tax and anti-smuggling will form the main stories, while also looking at fighting crime, patrolling frontiers, detective work, endangered species, crime scene investigation and sometimes a sneaking admiration for the bad guy!
In Autumn 2008 World Museum Liverpool will be home to a new gallery to show the museum’s exceptional Egyptian collections which rank among the best in the UK and are of international significance. In this new gallery visitors will discover, through looking, touching, smelling and listening, how this fascinating ancient civilisation flourished for thousands of years.
Meanwhile work continues on the major legacy of the Capital of Culture year in the shape of the Museum of Liverpool. Due to open in 2010, the museum will be one of the world’s leading city history museums reflecting Liverpool’s global significance through its unique geography, history and culture. It will draw on National Museums Liverpool’s vast collections and give access to over 10,000 objects, many of which have never been on public display.