Real life and fantasy: National Museums Liverpool Spring/Summer 2023 season announced

Real lives captured on camera, the legacy of a Liverpool legend and floral fairies all part of National Museums Liverpool’s upcoming 2023 season. 

National Museums Liverpool has announced a bustling programme across its venues for Spring/Summer. Real-life stories of close-knit communities feature alongside mythical creatures, comedy legends and fantastical fairies in a busy Spring/Summer 2023 across its museums and galleries.

Laura Pye, director of National Museums Liverpool, said: “Our spring 2023 programme brings together fantastical creatures and ancient gods alongside the real stories of people from our city and beyond.

“We are honoured to present 50 years of Tom Wood’s iconic photography in Photie Man at the Walker Art Gallery, while at the same time showcasing the myth and wonder of Return of the Gods: Zeus, Athena and Hercules, just down the road at World Museum.

“As we head out of winter, Happiness!, our exhibition on one of Liverpool’s greatest sons Sir Ken Dodd, will put a spring in the step of visitors to the Museum of Liverpool. Then from Ken Dodd’s Diddymen to a fantastical feast of fairies, Cicely Mary Barker’s Flower Fairies fly into the Lady Lever Art Gallery.

“Opening in spring is the submission period for the prestigious John Moores Painting Prize on 13 February 2023. Our Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque permanent collection at the Walker Art Gallery also makes a welcome return as Renaissance Rediscovered, following a major redevelopment project.

“A season as varied as this is only possible with the support of our members, which also helps us provide projects like House of Memories, our dementia awareness programme that celebrates ten years of connecting and helping people across the globe.

“If you’re looking for a different way to support us, why not take a seat among the stars and dedicate a seat in our Planetarium at World Museum? Leave a lasting legacy in the oldest working planetarium in the UK, all while helping us produce exciting exhibitions and helping preserve our venues for the future.”

Spring 2023 listings

Flower Fairies ™

Lady Lever Art Gallery

15 April 2023 – 5 November 2023

Flower Fairies will feature around 45 original illustrations from the Flower Fairies books by Cicely Mary Barker (1895 – 1973), owned by the Warne Archive. Marking the 100-year anniversary of her first book, Flower Fairies of the Spring, the show will immerse visitors into the enchanted worlds created by Barker. 


Return of the Gods: Zeus, Athena, Hercules

World Museum

28 April – 25 February 2024

Enter the world of myth and legend told through the stories of ancient Greek and Roman gods in an intriguing new exhibition at World Museum. Featuring a stunning collection of sculpture and antiquities, Return of the Gods: Zeus, Athena, Hercules will immerse you in the ancient world, told through the words of ancient poets and writers, the sounds of mystery cults, rituals and festivals and the public and private worship of gods. 


Photie Man: 50 years of Tom Wood

Walker Art Gallery

20 May 2023 – 7 January 2024

A new major photographic exhibition from Tom Wood will open at the Walker Art Gallery, showcasing 50 years of the artist’s work. Photie Man celebrates the internationally-acclaimed Irish artist Tom Wood with a comprehensive survey of work spanning 50 years since the start of his career. 

The exhibition will bring together work from across all decades, displayed chronologically and for the first time in Liverpool – where many of Wood’s iconic photographs were taken.


Renaissance Rediscovered

Walker Art Gallery

Re-opens July 2023

Featuring some of the finest paintings and decorative arts in Europe, Renaissance Rediscovered marks the re-opening of the Walker Art Gallery’s Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque rooms.

The transformation and restoration of around 600 square metres of gallery, the first redevelopment of the space in more than 30 years, is supported by funding from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.



Museum of Liverpool

14 July 2023 – 3 March 2024

Happiness! is an exhibition filled with fun and humour. Celebrating one of Liverpool’s iconic comedians, the legendary Sir Ken Dodd, this exhibition charts the life and career of Ken, and his connection to today’s comedic stars.


John Moores Painting Prize 2023

Walker Art Gallery

16 September 2023 – 25 February 2024

Call for entries open 13 February to 24 March 2023.

The UK’s most well-known painting competition returns to Walker Art Gallery in 2023. Bringing together the best of contemporary painting from across the UK to Liverpool, the painting prize is over 60 years old.


Take a seat among the stars

Get your name on a seat at the UK’s oldest working planetarium with a brand new dedication opportunity at World Museum. Whether you want to celebrate someone’s passion for science or mark fond memories of past visits to World Museum’s planetarium, you can now recognise the occasion by naming a seat in our world-famous planetarium for all to see. 

You can name your seat with a minimum donation of £200.



For more information visit liverpoolmuseums.org.uk