Undergraduates curate art in new Royal Liverpool University Hospital

Image: Vice Chancellor Mark Power with Natalie Hudson, Executive Managing Director of RLUH, Paula O'Malley, Juliet Carroll and Daniel Scheffer, Board member of RLUH.

Liverpool’s state-of-the-art ‘Royal’ hospital is already an architectural work of art.

And it’s about to look even better as artworks appear on the walls after being rescued from the derelict former site and curated by our students.

More than 100 works of art have been unveiled on floors three, nine and ten including a Lowry, Clement McAleers and works from LJMU artist-in-residence Julia Midgley.

The project is a collaboration between the Trust’s Healing Arts Manager Paula O’Malley and the Liverpool School of Art and Design and is part of our strategy to work closer with our city hospitals*.

Students on the BA (Hons) History of Art and Museum Studies have spent months curating collections sorting through around 500 artworks from the ‘old Royal’ with advice from former Williamson Art Gallery curator Colin Simpson.

‘Opening’ some of their displays were Vice-Chancellor Professor Mark Power and Daniel Scheffer, a member of the Board at the Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Image: Artist Clement McAeer, Colin Simpson and the Lord Lieutenant of Merseyside admire the art displays.

Professor Power, himself a fine artist, said: “We are very proud of our students’ efforts, it looks fabulous.

“It’s very important that Liverpool’s rich heritage of art remains accessible to the public and what better place than on the walls of one of our landmark institutions, the world-leading Royal.”

Dan Scheffer, for RLUH said: “Having the artwork displayed makes a massive difference to the look and feel of the hospital. These latest additions – around 100 – give much-needed identity and heart and soul to the place, which is great for staff and for patients alike.”

Colin Simpson said: “I think it’s given the youngsters a real taste of curating and working with art. Attempting to create a meaningful ‘exhibition’ from a diverse archive of works is not an easy skill, so I congratulate them on a good job.”

Project lead was Dr Juliet Carroll, Senior Lecturer in History of Art and Museum Studies who conceived and instigated the project and was supported by Programme Leader Dr Emma Roberts.

Around 20 students each received a certificate from Hospital Arts in Liverpool and LJMU.  


*The Chief Executive of Alder Hey Children’s NHS Trust Louise Shepherd and Professor Joe Rafferty CBE, Chief Executive of Mersey Care and Trish Bennett, Chief Nurse of Mersey Care received Honorary Fellowships from LJMU on November 8, 2023 as part of our Bicentenary Celebrations. Both organisations work hand-in-hand with the LJMU Faculty of Health on student and professional education, knowledge exchange, innovation and research.


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