This weekend marks the final chapter in the Liverpool exhibitions marking the 200th anniversary of Waterloo- the epic battle that changed Europe.
To remember the people involved, Liverpool museums since 18th June have displayed a unique, historic and thought provoking assembly of objects taken from the battlefield itself.
Take a trip to the Victoria Gallery and Museum off Brownlow Hill this Saturday and find out why these dentures are called Waterloo Teeth and see relics from the battlefield, including the legendary 105th French eagle standard captured during the battle.
Earlier this year, I expressed interest in how Liverpool would commemorate the 200th anniversary…… and how I have been surprised by the wealth of free exhibitions on offer around this subject.
There have been exhibitions and display activities for all the family throughout the year. Families enjoyed role play sessions dressing up as historical characters around the displays and then there was the ‘Waterloo Lives’ computer game which enthralled children.
‘The Story Behind the Painting’ at the Williamson Art Gallery gave an exhibition inspired by the Gallery’s monumental painting of a battle scene, brought to life with some real life Waterloo artefacts glimpsed in the art work.
‘Liverpool and the French Connection’ at the Museum of Liverpool displayed rare objects including an internationally important collection of miniature ship models made by captured French prisoners during the Napoleonic Wars.
At the Victoria Gallery, Paul O’Keeffe author of Waterloo: The Aftermath, lead a tour of the relics on display, interspersed with dramatic stories about the aftermath of the battle. He followed this up with a talk and a performance of Scott’s epic poem ‘The Field of Waterloo’ in its entirety.
Liverpool’s series of Waterloo exhibitions and events in partnership with the National Army Museum, certainly gave the story of ‘a day that changed lives’ an interest and insight into that important day.
Don’t miss a trip to the Victoria Gallery a wonderful museum with a display of objects used on the battlefield to relics taken from it- find out what really happened.
Victoria Gallery and Museum off Brownlow Hill, Liverpool
Café, Free Tours and Free Lunchtime Concerts…vgm.liv.ac.uk
……and came upon the ‘Dorothy Wordsworth, Sister, Writer, Friend’ exhibition, exploring the life and works of the little known sister of one of Britain’s most famous poets, William Wordsworth.
With time to spare, before a meeting at one of the universities Brownlow Hill buildings, I wandered into this magnificent museum, passing the café and then mused over the plethora of diaries, journals, personal letters and memorabilia making up this fine exhibition of material on loan from the Wordsworth Museum Grasmere in the Lake District.
The Wordsworth Trust has certainly compiled a vast collection of artefacts, all on loan here, even with a full museum up north catering for the hundreds of foreign visitors who make a pilgrimage to the homestead of this hallowed literary genius.
I was fascinated by the written pieces on display which dated from the 1800’s and I scrutinized the ink, handwritten scripts, noting the language of text and the words, familiar today and some not so.
The letters gave me an insight into her life and her relationship with her better known brother, William whom she showed an uncommonly ‘strong bond’. Was I trying to find some E L James stuff here, yes I was.
This exhibition is her story.
A story that shows her creativity, but one that has been obscured and overshadowed by her brother. He was a leading literary figure and member of the Romantic movement who transformed British poetry. But didn’t they all then, the Romantics, with an emphasis on nature rather than science, its exponents valued individual experience and intuition sharing a belief in idealism. If you ever get the chance to read some of Byron, Keats and Shelly or better still get your hands on some of the BBC romantic period costume dramas depicting these characters then hold onto your …..its lusty wenches, dastardly villains and dashing heroes will bewitch you and give you a compelling urge to read more.
That’s what this exhibition will do, give you a taste of the literate world of the eighteenth century. Then, if this collection of memorabilia grips you, sign up for the Poetry Workshop, 18th March 10.30-12.30 when Poet Eleanor Rees explores the relationship between poetry and prose and then help you write your own poems and prose inspired by Dorothy’s writing.
I’d have loved to have walked into the exhibition room with the sound of twittering birds, skylarks and finches, all in a chorus of mellow fruitfulness….. giving one the atmosphere of a bright summers day,
but perhaps, that’s the romantic in me!.
0151 794 2348
ASTRID KIRCHHERR a retrospective ….has run from August and finishes on the 29th January. There are 17 more days left to go to see the work of this exceptional, talented photographer. Yes she was in the right place at the right time, lucky? yes but Astrid Kirchherr had a gift, the ability to capture moods , feelings and humour through the lens of her camera. Her series of photos of the Beatles have made her famous , the very early images of the Beatles Fairground sessions in Hamburg , November 1960 are some of the first images and include (a very goodlooking ) Pete Best , original drummer and Stuart Suttcliffe sometimes called the 5th Beatle, these are very strong moody photos set against a fair ground rollercoaster almost prophetic when you think of the rollercoaster ride to fame that followed. I liked the 1962 Black Portrait 11 Attic & 111. The sad, lost look in the eyes of John Lennon has been captured by this young woman after the death of their mutual friend Stuart Suttcliffe. Its a very strong image so moody and the lighting used so effectively. This is not a large exhibition but memorable for its subject matter and its connections to Liverpool and the ‘Fab Four’. Now I wonder Why I left it so long to visit I also wonder Why Astrid Kirchherr sold all her camera equipment in the 1980’s???. Thanks to the staff at the VG&M, very helpful, very pleasant and informative, it’s a beautiful old building and worth a visit just to look around. Guided Tours 12:30 every Tues/Thursday all through Jan/February. And they serve great coffee and cake! and have a very comprehensive Menu. Admmision Free ,to all galleries. www.liv.ac.uk/vgm