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Travel through time with National Museums Liverpool in 2022

National Museums Liverpool is launching an out of this world programme for Spring/Summer 2022.

National Museums Liverpool (NML) is launching an out of this world programme for Spring/Summer 2022. From a journey through space and time in Doctor Who Worlds of Wonder at World Museum, to the politics, family ties and intrigue of the Tudor court in The Tudors: Passion, Power and Politics at the Walker Art Gallery, the organisation is today revealing an action-packed year of exhibitions, displays and projects.

Laura Pye, Director at National Museums Liverpool, said: “We have created an exciting programme for Spring/Summer 2022 which includes not only blockbuster shows that will get everyone talking, but also powerful displays and projects that reflect local talent and current issues.

“In May, William Brown Street will be a hive of activity as we launch two new major exhibitions, the world premiere of Doctor Who Worlds of Wonder at World MuseumandThe Tudors: Passion, Power and Politics at the Walker Art Gallery. From the Time Lord to a royal dynasty, these two unmissable exhibitions may be very different but have in common the perfect recipe for hit shows, bursting with stories and fascinating objects which truly capture the imagination.

“We’re really pleased that next year’s programme is also an opportunity for us to work with the incredible talent of Liverpool artists with Refractive Pool at the Walker Art Gallery, an exciting exploration of contemporary Liverpool-based painters.

“2022 is a big year for the Lady Lever Art Gallery and we will be marking 100 years of this beautiful venue with a display celebrating the life of the woman it is named after.

“If you’ve ever thought about becoming a member of National Museums Liverpool this is a brilliant year to sign up. From free repeat entry to exhibitions, special members events and other exciting benefits, your support will help ensure we continue to produce exciting exhibitions and care for our collections and venues, preserving their future for everyone.”

Alongside the varied exhibition programme, 2022 will be an important year for NML’s other major projects, working with local, national and international partners. The winner of the Canning Dock competition has recently been announced as a collaboration between architects Asif Khan Studio, Sir David Adjaye OBE, Mariam Kamara and artist Theaster Gates, taking the Waterfront Transformation Project into its next chapter.

Full 2022 programme:

Doctor Who Worlds of Wonder

World Museum

27 May – 30 October 2022

A thrilling new interactive exhibition exploring the world of science within the universe of Doctor Who lands in Liverpool.

From epic monsters to costumes and props, science is brought to life exploring some of the Doctor’s many adventures and encounters through space and time. This world premiere exhibition will see visitors engage with original artefacts, sets and much more – it’s a must-see for any fan of Doctor Who and science enthusiasts too. Journeying through the world of Doctor Who, guests will discover the science that weaves its way through the history of the longest-running sci-fi TV show in the world, which has been on our screens for almost 60 years. Explore the past, present and future of the Earth and the vast reaches of the cosmos in this imaginative new exhibition, presented by Sarner International under license from BBC Studios. 

TICKETS Members: Free (On -Sale 10am, 13 October) Adults £14 / Concessions £13 / Children 6-17 £8 (On-Sale: 10am, 15 October) Prices listed are starting prices, see online or in-venue for more. Children under the age of 5 go free.

The Tudors: Passion, Power and Politics

Walker Art Gallery

21 May – 29 August 2022

Step back in time to the Tudor court and discover the fascinating politics, powerful family connections and unique culture of the most famous royals in history.

The Tudors: Passion, Power and Politics presents the five Tudor monarchs: Henry VII; Henry VIII; Edward VI; Mary I; and Elizabeth I – some of the most familiar figures from English history and instantly recognisable in the portraits that have preserved their likenesses for 500 years. The dynasty’s reign over 16th-century England, from 1485 to 1603, encompassed the tumultuous years of the Reformation, a literary renaissance, conflict with Scotland, France and Spain, and conquest and colonisation in Ireland and America.

The Tudors: Passion, Power and Politics, showcasing some of the most famous portraits in the National Portrait Gallery Collection, will open at the Walker Art Gallery in May following a display at the Holburne Museum, Bath. The exhibition includes 68 works from the National Portrait Gallery, paintings from the Walker Art Gallery’s collection and a selection of additional loans, including the extraordinary Westminster Tournament Roll (College of Arms, London) and some of the Armada Maps (National Museum of the Royal Navy, Portsmouth).

Portraits on display will include the Tudor monarchs, alongside their counsellors and courtiers: Thomas More; Thomas Cromwell; Robert Dudley; William Cecil; and Francis Walsingham. Some of the works included in the exhibition have never been shown outside of London, including a portrait of Jane Seymour, after Hans Holbein the Younger, and the highly unusual Sir Henry Unton portrait.

The exhibition will consider the Tudors from a range of perspectives, spotlighting some historically underrepresented aspects of the period including Black Tudor history and LGBTQ+ history.

A partnership exhibition between National Museums Liverpool, The Holburne Museum Bath and the National Portrait Gallery.

TICKETS Members: Free (On-Sale 10am, 13 October) Adults £13 / Concessions £12 / Children 6-17 £6 (On-Sale: 10am, 15 October) Prices listed are starting prices, see online or in-venue for more. Children under the age of 5 go free.

Benin and Liverpool / Are Museums a Laughing Matter?

World Cultures Gallery, World Museum

February 2022 / April 2022

A new intervention at World Museum’s World Cultures Gallery will open in April 2022, in collaboration with comedian Daliso Chaponda.

Using comedy to interrogate the collections, their histories and how we interpret them, Daliso Chaponda’s performances will be shown across the gallery offering a different perspective on how we view museum objects.

In February 2022, a redisplay of the Benin collection will open. This follows a collaboration with Liverpool’s African diasporic community and artist Leo Asemota to explore Benin City’s history and culture as part of a wider global story to make it more relevant and responsive to contemporary audiences. It will also look at Liverpool’s historic links with Benin and issues raised by the presence of looted artworks in the museum’s collection.

Through dialogues and public consultation in the gallery’s Where Next? project, National Museums Liverpool is thinking about new ways to use objects to understand our collective past, present and future and to transform parts of the gallery.

Free entry, contributions welcome.


International Slavery Museum

4 March – 5 June 2022

The first in a new series of pop-up displays planned for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Building, working with creatives to develop an artistic response to Liverpool and its role in historic slavery and the legacies.

As a platform for multiple voices, this project will influence and shape the International Slavery Museum’s transformation, through exciting new ideas and experimental approaches to how we interpret our past and look forward to the future. 

The successful entries and further details will be announced soon.

Free entry, contributions welcome

Kunichika: Japanese Prints

Lady Lever Art Gallery

15 April – 4 September 2022

This stunning new exhibition of prints by Toyohara Kunichika (1843-1900) is an exciting follow up of the gallery’s 2017 popular exhibition Edo-Pop.

Kunichika was one of the most important 19th-century print makers in Japan. Born in Edo (present day Toyko), Kunichika was trained by Kunisada, the leading print maker of the time, and went on to be a highly original master in his own right. Kunichika embraced modern subjects and his prints reflected the great social and political change in Japan at time. Best known for his depictions of the Kabuki theatre, capturing the drama and excitement of scenes from popular plays and famous actors, this exhibition, drawn from a private collection, is a beautiful must-see, and the first outside Japan to focus on the work of Kunichika.

Pay What You Think

Refractive Pool: Contemporary Painting in Liverpool 

Walker Art Gallery

29 April 2022 – 8 January 2023

Enjoy work by local artists in Refractive Pool: Contemporary Painting in Liverpool, a new exhibition borne from a project called Refractive Pool, celebrating the diversity of painting in the city today.

The exhibition is the culmination of events, a book and online resources, researching and highlighting Liverpool’s diverse range of artists and contemporary painting. Led by Liverpool-based artists Josie Jenkins and Brendan Lyons, the exhibition will feature 20 local artists, selected and curated by Josie and Brendan to give an overview of the dynamic community of painters based in the city.  

The Refractive Pool book will feature 40 Liverpool-based artists who work with paint, as well as including exclusive new poetry by Paul Farley. The project has been supported by funding from Arts Council England.

Pay What You Think

Inspired by Lady Lever

Lady Lever Art Gallery

24 June 2022 – 29 January 2023

A fabulous gown created for Lady Lever will go on display for the first time, celebrating 100 years of history at the Lady Lever Art Gallery and the life of the woman it’s named after.

Elizabeth Lever was a support and inspiration to her husband throughout the development of the business and the village of Port Sunlight. Although Lord Leverhulme named the gallery after his wife, who died in 1913, there is very little in the gallery about Elizabeth herself. A recent rediscovery in the gallery store of a court dress, which belonged to Elizabeth, has provided the opportunity to exhibit this personal piece of history of Elizabeth Lever and shed more light on her story. 

As part of the celebrations for the gallery’s centenary year, the Inspired by Lady Lever display will also include the thoughts of visitors past and present, to help build a picture of what the gallery has meant to people throughout its history. Working with the Port Sunlight Village Trust and Unilever, this event will also encourage local residents and visitors to share their recollections and reflections through the display and hear about the future vision for this much-loved venue.

Free entry, contributions welcome.

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