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NML reveals a 2023 season of 'real lives and fantasy' at Liverpool venues

Sir Ken Dodd, ancient gods, flower fairies and a celebration of Irish photographer Tom Wood are all set to be the subjects of new exhibitions at National Museums Liverpool in 2023.

The organisation, which runs seven museums and galleries, has unveiled a spring and summer programme which encompasses what it calls ‘real lives and fantasy’.

And it also sees the return of the prestigious John Moores Painting Prize with an extended five month exhibition over autumn and winter 2023-24.

The new season opens at the Lady Lever Art Gallery on April 15 with Flower Fairies, featuring 45 original illustrations from Cicely Mary Barker’s enchanting books which were first published in 1923. The illustrations come from the Warne Archive.

Then on April 28, World Museum opens its new show Return of the Gods: Zeus, Athena, Hercules which invites visitors to enter the world of Greek and Roman deities, told through the words of ancient poets and writers and featuring a stunning collection of sculptures and antiquities.

Photie Man: 50 Years of Tom Wood comes to the Walker Art Gallery from May 20 to January 2024.

The major new photographic exhibition will showcase a comprehensive survey of work of the acclaimed Irish artist stretching back over half a century, displayed chronologically. Many of the images were taken here in Liverpool.

Above: Mersey Mirror © Tom Wood Archive. Top: Sir Ken Dodd. Photo by Sam Bytheway

The Walker is also the venue for Renaissance Rediscovered from July, seeing the reopening of the gallery’s Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque rooms after a transformation supported by funding from the DCMS.

Then head to the Museum of Liverpool from July 14 to March 2024 for some Happiness! The waterfront venue is celebrating the late Sir Ken Dodd in an exhibition charting his life and long career, along with his connections to today’s comedy stars.

Finally, the John Moores Painting Prize exhibition will be staged at the Walker Art Gallery from September 16 to February 24.

NML director Laura Pye said: “Our spring 2023 programme brings together fantastical creatures and ancient gods alongside the real stories of people from our city and beyond.

“A season as varied as this is only possible with the support of our members, which also helps us provide projects like House of Memories, our dementia awareness programme that celebrates ten years of connecting and helping people across the globe.

“If you’re looking for a different way to support us, why not take a seat among the stars and dedicate a seat in our Planetarium at World Museum? Leave a lasting legacy in the oldest working planetarium in the UK, all while helping us produce exciting exhibitions and helping preserve our venues for the future.”

For full details on the new season visit the NML website HERE


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