National Museums Liverpool unveils new programme for Autumn/Winter

Margate in the time of Turner, 1930, Walter Richard Sickert. © Kirklees Collection: Huddersfield Art Gallery
  • Walker Art Gallery will welcome Sickert: A Life in Art from 18 September 2021 to 27 February 2022.
  • Lady Lever Art Gallery presents Sublime Symmetry: De Morgan Ceramics from 1 October 2021 until 9 January 2022.
  • Museum of Liverpool’s Wondrous Place gallery reopens on 26 November 2021.
  • World Museum will host House of Suarez’s Vogue Ball on 23 October.
  • House of Memories launches UK’s first mobile museum immersive experience in communities.

A flamboyant catwalk battle, a retrospective of one of Britain’s most important artists and the return of a visitor favourite are among the highlights in National Museums Liverpool’s (NML) Autumn/Winter 2021 programme, announced today.

NML will also be taking culture out into the community with the UK’s first ever mobile museum immersive experience.

Laura Pye, Director at National Museums Liverpool, said: “After a really tough year, with our venues being closed more often than they’ve been open, we are delighted to announce our exciting programme for Autumn/Winter. 

“Walker Art Gallery will be kicking off the season with Sickert: A Life in Art, the largest retrospective of Walter Sickert’s work to have been held in the UK for more than 30 years. World Museum will host House of Suarez’s Vogue Ball, an extravaganza of choreography and costume, inspired by our natural history collection. Museum of Liverpool’s much-loved Wondrous Place gallery reopens to the public, with 135 brand new objects including one of Villanelle’s costumes from Killing Eve worn by Jodie Comer, Paralympian David Devine’s medals and Rachael Blackmore’s racing silks – the first female jockey to win the Grand National in 2021.

“Visitors from today will also notice things look a little bit different at our museums and galleries as we have unveiled an eye-catching new identity. But if you can’t get to our venues, our immersive mobile experience called House of Memories On The Road will come to you. Part of our world-leading dementia awareness programme, House of Memories On The Road targets socially isolated people and will pop-up in community spaces, car parks and care homes across Liverpool City Region, offering experiences such as a trip on Liverpool’s overhead railway.”  

Walker Art Gallery presents Sickert: A Life in Art from 18 September 2021 to 27 February 2022. The exhibition will showcase around 100 loaned paintings and 200 drawings. The Gallery holds the largest collection of Sickert drawings in the world, most of which have never been displayed before. They demonstrate the varied, yet vital, role that drawing played in Sickert’s artistic practice. 

Also on display will be five of the six large-scale paintings commissioned for the dining room at the Hôtel de la Plage in Dieppe, Northern France, in 1902. The paintings, which will be brought together for the first time since the early 1900s, are now considered to be among Sickert’s greatest artistic achievements.  

A stunning collection of ceramic objects by the Victorian, pre-eminent ceramic designer, William De Morgan, is coming to the Lady Lever Art Gallery from 1 October 2021 until 9 January 2022. Sublime Symmetry: De Morgan Ceramics will feature around 70 objects on loan from The De Morgan Foundation.

The exhibition will include an exploration of De Morgan’s career and the influence of William Morris on his early work, as well as how Islamic Art and De Morgan’s rediscovery of lustre, a thousand years after it was first used by potters in the Middle East, shaped his art.

The Museum of Liverpool is delighted to announce that its Wondrous Place gallery reopens to the public on 26 November. Originally installed for the Museum’s opening in 2011, the new gallery continues to celebrate Liverpool’s internationally recognised creative expression and influence with exciting new displays and interactives, alongside old favourites from the original space.

The gallery explores the city’s staggering roll call of entertainers, writers, poets, performers, musicians, visual artists, comedians and sports people through around 650 objects, interactives and immersive experiences. The gallery also includes two brand new displays exploring Liverpool on Stage and Screen and a focus on Liverpool’s creative videogaming industry. New objects include running shoes worn by 2019 World Champion heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson, on loan from the Liverpool Harriers, Spice Girl Mel C’s stage outfit, Garry Christian’s iconic hat and sunglasses and Natasha Jonas’s Miss GB boxing shorts, the first woman to compete in the GB boxing team.

World Museum will host House of Suarez’s Vogue Ball on 23 October as part of newly curated programme events and activity designed to reconnect audiences with our great venues and collections. Night at the Poseum will by steered by Captain Rikki Beadle-Blair as Master of Ceremonies, will welcome Houses from across the UK to compete for catwalk supremacy in categories such as Fantasy, Solo, Lip Synch, Sex Siren and Choreography.

Dubbed club culture meets high art, the ball has become a key annual event in Liverpool’s cultural calendar since it burst onto the scene as part of the Homotopia LGBTQ+ programme for European Capital of Culture in 2008.

Setting a new standard in museum accessibility, House of Memories On The Road offers the next stage in National Museums Liverpool’s dementia awareness programme, following NML’s award-winning My House of Memories app, which has been helping people living with dementia to draw on deeply-held memories to connect with their family, friends and caregivers.  

The 30sqm mobile classroom, opens up into an immersive cinema and exhibition space, offering a virtual front door to NML. Experiences will range from a trip on Liverpool’s overhead railway and a visit to a 1950s grocery store to a virtual day out at the seaside or a forest.  

International Slavery Museum will launch an exciting new education programme for schools about the legacies of the transatlantic slave trade later in the year. The programme will offer two virtual classrooms, one for Key stage 2 and another for key stage 3 pupils. These workshops will be delivered online and led by a member of the museum’s learning and participation team.  A complimentary suite of pre and post-workshop digital resources will also be available to support pupil’s learning of the subject outside of the museum.

The team is also developing a Continuous Professional Development session specifically for teachers to support them in teaching this complex and sometimes challenging subject. Through these workshops pupils will explore: contemporary themes of racism, discrimination, human rights and activism, learn about significant Black British role models, and investigate contemporary news stories that make modern day connections to the ongoing impact of transatlantic slavery on Black communities. Online bookings will be taken via the Learn page of the NML website from September.

To be the first to hear about NML’s exhibitions and to go free and first into special exhibitions, sign up to become a member today at liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/members.