Projects and Exhibitions

Finding Captain Morgan: The Captain James Morgan Collection and Exhibition

Image of Captain MorganJames Patrick Morgan was born in London in 1943 and was raised in the South of England. He first joined the Merchant Navy in 1961 as a cadet and ascended through the ranks to Captain. He sailed extensively to Europe and Africa, which was served by Elder Dempster Lines, and throughout his career, he acquired an array of artifacts which provide a detailed collection of Elder Dempster shipping history. The Captain James Morgan Collection contains over 1500 photographs and postcards, paintings and prints, personal correspondence, and a selection of printed ephemera, such as magazines.

Image of Military uniform laid out with two images along side of Captain Morgan.The collection was donated to LJMU by his widow Mrs Joyce Morgan in 2020. LJMU student interns, Julie Cain, Jenny Cooper, Kate Hudson, and Rosie Nock have catalogued and digitised the collection with the support of the Special Collections and Archives Team at LJMU. Funding to support the intern project was also donated by the Elder Dempster Pensioners’ Association.

Julie, Kate and Rosie curated an exhibition for the Special Collections and Archives and a launch event was held on 16 May 2023.  The exhibition will run throughout the summer in the Aldham Robarts Library but is also available to view online. The online exhibition is a first for the Special Collections and Archives and CPMH is very grateful to Anne Foulkes and Emily Parsons in particular, for making this possible. Many with digital images of the items can be found on the full online catalogue.

The Centre for Port and Maritime History has a complementary site about Elder Dempster Lines. The Heritage Lottery funded projected, Homeward Bound: A Liverpool-West Africa Heritage, can be accessed on the Elder Dempster website.

Jamaican art exhibition

Curated by Dr. Emma Roberts - 19 February 2022 at the Victoria Gallery and Museum

Jamaica Making exhibition posterCPMH Board member, Dr. Emma Roberts, curated an exhibition of Jamaican art which opened at the Victoria Gallery and Museum on 19 February 2022 and ran until 9 July 2022. This was the first exhibition wholly of Jamaican art to appear in the north-west of the UK and it celebrated the 60th anniversary of Independence in Jamaica in 1962, as all of the art works were made by artists since that date. The art works are the collection of Theresa Roberts, a Jamaican-born businesswoman and philanthropist, and they are all high-quality examples of art by key important Jamaican artists. Theresa now lives in London and owns The Jamaica Patty Co. in Covent Garden. She has allowed Emma Roberts to select the art works for this exhibition from her extensive art collection for the benefit of visitors from the Merseyside region. Theresa was also involved with the instatement of the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool in 2007.

Jamaica Making book coverTo accompany the exhibition, Emma Roberts has edited and written the main essay of a book that also acts as a catalogue for the exhibition. The book includes an essay by Andrew Holness, the Prime Minister of Jamaica, as well as another by iconic art historian, Edward Lucie-Smith (and other essays whose authors address issues of colonisation and diaspora). This book is published by Liverpool University Press and an online book launch occurred on 17 February, organised by Liverpool John Moores University.

Artist-in-Residence, Desanna Watson, visited from Jamaica and stayed for one month in order to work alongside the exhibition. One of her own art works was part of the exhibition, but was displayed in the satellite site of the John Lennon Art and Design Building (Liverpool John Moores University). Desanna is an artist and art teacher in Kingston, Jamaica, and she will be running workshops with schools, community groups and university students to illuminate the themes of the exhibition. Her own art work is about the impact of colonisation in Jamaica (e.g. streets bearing the names of slavers), and her work in this area preceded the recent discussions on this topic that were part of the #BlackLivesMatter movement.

Three Queens Celebration Event

Merseyside Maritime Museum 24-26 May 2015

On Sunday 24 May, three of LJMU’s CPMH members delivered a rolling programme of papers connected with the history of Cunard liners on advertising (White), interior design (Roberts) and fashion (Horrocks). This was followed on Monday 25 by an open session led by Horrocks, Roberts and White in which they fielded questions from the public.

Sail Away (2014)

An exhibition of Liverpool Shipping Posters

Prof Nick White and Dr David Clampin provided historical consultancy for this exhibition, launched in 2014, at Merseyside Maritime Museum. It featured 14 posters dating from 1888 to 1980 which advertised Liverpool shipping companies. Many of these posters had never been on display before and are a record of the style, glamour and excitement of an era when sailing by liner was the only way to travel. Starting out as simple bills of sailing, over time shipping company advertisements developed into highly designed, full colour posters that reflected the changing needs and aspirations of passengers.

From emigrant services, through the age of luxury transatlantic liners, to latter day cruise ships, posters are snapshots from a time when global travel was still an unusual and often exotic undertaking. Together these posters show the changing face of passenger travel by sea.