Our paintings on tour in Japan

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Man and two children riding a horse. ‘A Dream of the Past: Sir Isumbras at the Ford’ by Millais, which will go on tour to Japan. We think it's great to sometimes have the opportunity to show off our collections in other countries. Our art gallery curators are excited to be working with a Japanese organisation to tour 68 works from the fine art collections to four exhibitions venues in Japan. These will be Niigata City Museum of Art, Nagoya City Museum of Art, Bunkamura Museum of Art (Tokyo) and Yamaguchi Prefectural Museum of Art. Our handling teams have been busy taking works off display, but the paintings will be leaving the UK in late June/early July 2015 and will return in July 2016. The tour will include 24 works on paper and 44 oil paintings. About 30 of these are regularly on display across our venues in the Walker Art Gallery, Lady Lever Art Gallery and Sudley House. Having this demand for an international loan of our paintings reflects the high quality and significance of our fine art collections – they are truly world class! We hope that having these exhibitions in Japan will help spread the word about our collections to international audiences and this can only be of great benefit to National Museums Liverpool. Cromwell riding a horse. 'Cromwell on his Farm' by Ford Madox Brown. A 'hidden gem' coming back on display. So there will be changes in our galleries, with works coming off display gradually over the coming weeks and months. This will be the first time some of these paintings have been removed from display in decades and means we now have the opportunity to carry out vital conservation work on them and, in some cases, to upgrade their glazing. This is of enormous benefit to the paintings and will improve their appearance for our visitors in the future. While you might miss seeing some of your favourites like ‘Perseus and Andromeda’ by Leighton or ‘A Dream of the Past: Sir Isumbras at the Ford’ by Millais, this is also a fantastic opportunity for us to display some of the hidden gems of the collection that are usually kept in store. These will include ‘Cromwell on his Farm’ by Ford Madox Brown and many others. We’re hoping to tell you more about the paintings coming out of storage, our conservation work and the exhibition tour in Japan. The full list of works will be showcased in Victorian Treasures, a new exhibition at the Walker Art Gallery opening on 27 January. You can follow our art galleries on Twitter for more updates: @walkergallery @sudleyhouse and @leverartgallery