National Museums Liverpool (NML) will reopen the Lady Lever Art Gallery, Sudley House and Seized! - The Border & Customs uncovered on 30 September, meaning all of its venues will be open to the public for the first time since lockdown began.

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  • Last remaining closed venues and galleries to open on Wednesday 30 September.  

  • New exhibitions German Revolution Expressionist Prints and Home and Away are also set to debut. 

  • Archive Centre will also reopen on an appointment only basis. 

National Museums Liverpool (NML) will reopen the Lady Lever Art Gallery, Sudley House and Seized! - The Border & Customs uncovered on 30 September, meaning all of its venues will be open to the public for the first time since lockdown began. 

The Lady Lever’s official opening will be followed on 2 October with German Revolution Expressionist Prints - a powerful exhibition portraying a chaotic post-First World War Germany featuring works from some of the twentieth century’s most renowned artists including Picasso, Kollwitz, Munch, Schiele and Beckmann. 

Sudley House will also feature the new exhibition Home and Away, opening with the venue on 30 September featuring oil paintings of both foreign and local views. The foreign views all come from George Holt’s collection, housed at Sudley and inspired by his family’s interest in travel. There will also be a range of views of Liverpool and the local area in the 19th century, while the Holts lived at Sudley. The ‘home’ views largely come from the Walker Art Gallery’s collection. The display will include two works by John Atkinson Grimshaw as well as Jean Leon Gerome, Thomas Creswick, Frederick Goodall, Charles Trevor Prescott and Eduardo de Martino. 

Both venues will be open from Wednesday – Sunday, 10am – 5pm (closed Mondays and Tuesdays).  

The Seized! gallery in the Merseyside Maritime Museum will also reopen on 30 September. The gallery tells the intriguing story of smuggling and contraband and is a partnership between NML, the Border Force and HM Revenue and Customs. The gallery holds one of the most important collections of its type anywhere in the world and looks at the ingenious and often dangerous world of smuggling, prohibited goods and concealment. Also opening will be the Archives Centre at the Maritime Museum, which houses an extensive collection of maritime and slavery books and documents spanning three centuries. (Access by appointment only) 

In line with being COVID-secure, NML has implemented changes to offer a safe and enjoyable visit for all, including pre-booked timed entry, mandatory face coverings for visitors, enhanced cleaning protocols and social distancing measures. These measures are in operation across all NML venues for the safety, comfort and reassurance of visitors and staff. 

Visits to all venues will remain free, but timed entry slots must be pre-booked ahead of visiting via   

  • NML members are able to pre-book tickets from Monday 21 September  

  • Tickets will be available for everyone to book from Friday 25 September 

  • Combined tickets for International Slavery Museum and Merseyside Maritime Museum will be valid at Seized! but the Archives Centre at the Maritime Museum is by appointment only.  

Laura Pye, Director of National Museums Liverpool said: “Having all our venues open again will be a really special moment for us and our visitors and one that our staff have been working tirelessly towards since lockdown began. Our visitors are the beating heart of our venues and it’s been difficult seeing our galleries and museums empty. 

“The Lady Lever has a Wedgwood jasperware collection and Pre-Raphaelite paintings that are internationally-renowned and Sudley House, one of the few Victorian period homes that still retains many of its original features, also houses an outstanding art collection including paintings by Turner, Romney and Gainsborough. To have these important venues open again so visitors can access their superb collections for free will be a massive boost for everyone and having Seized! and our incredible archives back on offer too is the icing on the cake.” 


For further information, please see the FAQs available at  

There will be a press preview for German Revolution Expressionist Prints on Thursday 1 October and Liverpool Views on Tuesday 29 September. More details to follow. 

Exhibitions are free, but we invite visitors to make donations where they can. This support is vital in helping to fund the extensive work we do, allowing us to continue to educate, research, conserve and make our collections accessible to all. 

German Revolution Expressionist Prints – additional information 

2 October 2020 - 28 February 2021 

German Revolution Expressionist Prints is a powerful reflection of a chaotic and broken post-First World War Germany, featuring works from some of the twentieth century’s most renowned artists and some of those who inspired them. 

Picasso, Kollwitz and Munch feature in this impactful exhibition in which art and politics are intertwined. These fascinating works were created when artists embraced printmaking techniques that allowed their messages to be more easily distributed amongst the population. They represent the very different responses artists had to the turmoil of Germany’s revolution in the period 1900 to 1925.  

Must-see items include two works by Käthe Kollwitz, La Carmagnole of 1901 and Helft Russland (Help Russia’) of 1921; In the Man’s Brain by Edvard Munch of 1897; Max Beckmann’s Adam and Eve of 1917 and Pablo Picasso’s The Frugal Meal of 1904. 

The exhibition is organised by The Hunterian, University of Glasgow. 

Home and Away - additional Information  

30 September 2020 – TBC 

Home and Away features paintings of both foreign and local views. The foreign views are all from Holt’s collection housed at Sudley and they highlight his and his family’s interest in travel, foreign countries and local customs. It is over a decade since many of these works have been on display. There will also be a range of views of Liverpool and the local area in the 19th century, while the Holts were at Sudley. These paintings largely come from the Walker’s collection and give a wonderful idea of what the Holts would have seen as they went into the city for shopping, work, and business. There are also views of the Wirral when it was still very rural. The display will include two works by John Atkinson Grimshaw (1836-1893) of the Custom House on the dock road in moonlight; a building which was severely damaged during the Liverpool Blitz and later demolished.