The Department of Fine and Applied Arts works closely with cultural partners in the city and region.
Throughout their undergraduate studies our students enjoy regular study visits and curator-led tours at local galleries, such as Tate Liverpool, the Walker Art Gallery, the Bluecoat and many more, which bring to life many of the art and design history topics that are covered throughout the first and second year of our BA programmes. In their final year our undergraduates have the opportunity to learn more about the work of our cultural partners by studying Advanced Museum and Gallery Theory, which includes an exciting series of guest lectures from partners such as Liverpool Biennial, the Bluecoat Display Centre, Open Eye and the Victoria Gallery and Museum, Tate Liverpool and National Museums Liverpool.
Our established links with cultural partners in the city are also vital in supporting our graduates with unique opportunities such as the FACT+HOPE Production Residency, which provides funding and technical support to enable one of our BA Fine Art graduates to produce and exhibit a new body of work at FACT.
At postgraduate level our MA Art History and Curating students and MA Museum and Heritage Studies students enjoy the benefits of our close partnership with National Museums Liverpool (NML), through a distinctive series of guest lectures, tours and practical workshops that take place across the Walker Art Gallery, the Lady Lever Art Gallery, the World Museum Liverpool and the Museum of Liverpool. Our partnership with Tate Liverpool also extends to postgraduate level offering our MA Art History and Curating students an exclusive curator-led tour of a current exhibition. These sessions enable our postgraduates to meet and learn from directors, curators, educators and other leading museum and gallery professionals. Our MA students also have the valuable opportunity to undertake work-based learning with our cultural partners, with work placements offered by NML, Tate Liverpool, Open Eye, the Bluecoat, FACT, the National Trust and other high-profile cultural organisations.
My work placement was based in the Fine Art department at the Walker Art Gallery. I worked on the forthcoming exhibition The Art Books of Henri Matisse, designing a display of artists’ books from the Walker’s collection. I gained experience in the working process that leads up to the exhibition installation. This included attending exhibition meetings, working with departments involved in the exhibition process (Conservation, Exhibition, Press and Marketing), seeking copyright permissions for reproductions, researching the works in the display and writing interpretation labels and text panels. During the exhibition, I will be presenting three public talks giving a brief history of the artist book and focusing on the works on display.
The most valuable part of the placement was the experience of writing interpretation and learning about the guidelines that the gallery works to. Overall I know that the experience I have gained will help me to apply for work once I have completed my study. I have continued to volunteer within the department since completing my placement.
Emma Sumner, Walker Art Gallery (MA Art History and Curating)