Press releases 2014
TURNER IN JANUARY: THE VAUGHAN BEQUEST
1 - 31 January 2015
Scottish National Gallery, The Mound, Edinburgh EH2 2EL
Admission FREE | Telephone 0131 624 6200
The reputation of Joseph Mallord William Turner as Britain’s most celebrated artist has enjoyed a huge boost in the last few months, with the success of the recent movie Mr Turner,directed by Mike Leighand a blockbuster exhibition of the artist’s late works at Tate Britain in London. But for Turner fans, the annual exhibition of 38 superb watercolours has been a much-loved tradition at the Scottish National Gallery in Edinburgh for more than a century.
2015 will begin at the Gallery, as it does every year, with the opening of Turner in January,an exhibition of the outstandingcollection of Turner watercolours bequeathed in 1900 by Sir Henry Vaughan.
Vaughan was a London art collector with a passion for Turner, who put together a group of works that encapsulates the artist’s entire career, choosing each with a connoisseur’s eye for quality. He stipulated that these delicate works should be ‘exhibited to the public all at one time, free of charge, during the month of January’, to limit their exposure to strong daylight. The display runs throughout the month and brings a welcome injection of light and colour during the darkest month of the year.
Sanjay Singh, Trusts Manager at People’s Postcode Lottery, said: “We are delighted that our players are continuing to support National Galleries of Scotland – and especially the Turner in January exhibition, which has not only become a firm favourite with a huge number of long-standing visitors to the Galleries, but also grabs the attention of so many new visitors each and every year. By supporting fantastic organisations like the Galleries players are ensuring that works of renowned artists, such as Turner, remain accessible to all.”
Turner was born in London in 1775, the son of a barber and wig-maker, and proved himself as an accomplished draughtsman at an early age. He first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1790, and went on to become perhaps the most prolific and innovative of all British artists. From the 1790s onwards he undertook sketching tours in England, Wales and Scotland, gathering material for watercolours and oil paintings, and discovering the attractions of awe-inspiring mountainous landscapes, which became a major pre-occupation in his work. He made his first journey to Europe in 1802, and from 1817, after the end of the Napoleonic wars, made annual visits across the Channel for much of the rest of his life.
Turner exploited every possibility of the watercolour medium to create stunning land- and seascapes. The exquisite works in the Vaughan bequest range from early wash drawings of the 1790s, to the colourful, atmospheric and wonderfully expressive late works executed on visits to the Swiss Alps during the 1830s and 1840s. Other highlights include a series of spectacular views of Venice made during Turner’s third and final stay in the city in 1840 which demonstrate the artist’s consummate mastery of atmospheric lighting effects.
The artist’s life-long fascination with the drama of nature is also evident in works such as Loch Coruisk, Skye and his stormy treatment of the Bell Rock Lighthouse, a marvellous feat of engineering designed by Robert Stevenson and built on a submerged reef off the Angus coast, south-east of Arbroath, between 1807 and 1811.
Contrasting with these depictions of savage elemental forces, this year the exhibition will also feature a very fine watercolour on loan to the Gallery from a private collection. Virginia Water isone of a pair of views of the royal pleasure grounds and grand artificial lake in Windsor Great Park executed by Turner for King George IV in about 1829, although not in the end acquired for the Royal Collection. It depicts the King’s magnificent, opulent Royal barge on the lake, with the recently built Chinese Fishing Temple, designed by the architect Jeffry Wyatville, shown in the background.
Also on display will be Turner’s spectacular 1820 view of Rome, Rome from Monte Mario, which was accepted by HM Government in lieu of inheritance tax and allocated to the Gallery in 2011.
NOTES TO EDITORS
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22 December 2014 Spectacular New Portrait of Actor Alan Cumming Unveiled at Scottish National Portrait Gallery
PONTE CITY: MIKHAEL SUBOTZKY AND PATRICK WATERHOUSE
6 December 2014 − 26 April 2015
SCOTTISH NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY
1 Queen Street, Edinburgh EH2 1JD
Admission free | 0131 624 6200
A remarkable photographic project which documents five years in the lives of the inhabitants of Ponte City, an iconic Johannesburg landmark and the tallest residential skyscraper in Africa, will have its only UK showing at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery this winter. Ponte City will feature the work of South African photographer Mikhael Subotzky and British artist Patrick Waterhouse, who collaborated to document the building in Johannesburg, South Africa from 2007 to 2012, and who have been shortlisted this week for the prestigious Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2015.
Rising 54 storeys high, Ponte City has dominated the Johannesburg skyline since 1975. It originally offered luxurious living to the wealthy white elite, but with the end of apartheid in the 1990s the building became a refuge for black newcomers from the townships and rural areas, and then immigrants from elsewhere in Africa. Ponte City entered into a period of decline; by the turn of the century it had come to symbolise urban decay and was perceived as the epicentre of crime, prostitution and drug dealing in Johannesburg. There were even plans to turn the building into a high-rise prison, until promoters bought Ponte City in 2007 and started a large scale refurbishment project for which they evicted half of the residents and gutted the empty apartments. It was during this time that Subotzky and Waterhouse began working at Ponte City, with the aim of putting together a visual “before and after” of the building. The collapse of the real estate market in 2008 put a brutal end to the renovation plans however, and the building was left in a semi-destructed state with tenants, those who had not yet been evicted or were simply squatting, still occupying flats in the block.
Subotzky and Waterhouse continued their project to record the rise and fall of what had served as a symbol of prosperity; they interviewed the remaining tenants and recorded the half-occupied building through a series of photographs, capturing the stark contrast between the original plans and the now half-derelict structure. Striking photographs show the cylindrical building’s central atrium, originally intended to allow light to enter its 500 flats from both sides, now turned into a rubbish dump by the contractors. Debris from the short-lived renovation work reaches the fifth storey and fills the space where architects had planned to build an indoor ski slope, blocking access to the bottom floors that originally offered self-sufficient living with services such as a chemist, a shopping centre and an art gallery.
Over the next five years Subotzky and Waterhouse returned repeatedly to document Ponte City. They photographed every door in the multi-level structure, the view from every window and the tenants of the half-occupied block. When they knocked on doors to ask permission to do this work, people often invited them into the flats where they were watching television, leading the artists to photograph the television screens. Through their typologies of doors, windows, and TVs, the artists created new structures of narrative and representation for this landmark building. They also recorded the intimate lives of the many tenants through a series of remarkable portraits: a woman photographed in a lift, which often served as a make-shift studio, or a young girl on tiptoes in her kitchen all show moments from everyday life at Ponte. The photographic series will be displayed in an immersive installation of prints, many of which will be unglazed and pinned to the wall, arranged in sections that will explore the architecture of the building, the inhabitants and the personal stories of recent immigrants. The photographs will be complemented by archival documents, such as newspaper clippings and architectural sketches, which will be shown alongside items left behind by the evicted tenants. From haircombs and mixtapes to personal mail and family snapshots these objects will offer another dimension to this compelling documentary project.
Christopher Baker, Director of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, commented: “This remarkable exhibition features images of great drama and poignancy which depict a single, monumental building and its inhabitants in order to ingeniously document recent events in South Africa. It illustrates our ambition to showcase the finest and most challenging of international photography in Edinburgh.”
The exhibition is accompanied by the Steidl publication, Ponte City, which is nominated for a Paris Photo-Aperture Foundation Photobook Award 2014.
The exhibition was co-produced by LE BAL, in Paris and Foto Museum, in Antwerpen.
Ponte City: Mikhael Subotzky and Patrick Waterhouse is part of IPS (Institute for Photography in Scotland) Season of Photography: a series of lively exhibitions and events taking place across Scotland from April to September 2015.
- ENDS -
Notes to editors:
For further information and images please contact the National Galleries of Scotland's press office on 0131 624 6314 / 6325 / 6247 or at email@example.com.
Mikhael Subotzky (b.1981) graduated with distinction from the Michaelis School of Fine Art at the University of Cape Town. He is an associate of Magnum Photographs and his work is included in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the South African National Gallery, Cape Town and Victoria & Albert Museum, London. Previous monographs include Beaufort West (Chris Boot) and Retinal Shift (Steidl).
Patrick Waterhouse (b. 1981) graduated with a BA from the Camberwell College of Art in 2003. He works in different media including drawings, prints, photographs, and artist’s books and has published a fully illustrated version of Dante’s Inferno. He is also Editor-in-chief of Colors, a mono-thematic magazine.
BP PORTRAIT AWARD
29 November 2014 – 12 April 2015
SCOTTISH NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY, 1 Queen Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1JD
Free admission | 0131 624 6200
The enormously popular BP Portrait Award will return to Edinburgh this winter, opening at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery on 29 November. Organised by the National Portrait Gallery in London, the award is one of the most prestigious international portrait competitions in the world, which this year attracted a record-breaking 2,377 entries, submitted by artists from 71 countries. The annual exhibition, which was established in 1979 and is celebrating 25 years of sponsorship by BP, brings together 55 of the most outstanding entries, including the work of prize-winners Thomas Ganter, Richard Twose, David Jon Kassan, Ignacio Estudillo Pérez and Edward Sutcliffe.
Ganter, a 40-year-old artist from Frankfurt was awarded the first prize of £30,000 plus a commission for the National Portrait Gallery, London, for Man with a Plaid Blanket, a striking portrait of a homeless man, Karel, whom he encountered by chance outside Frankfurt’s Städel Museum. The artist was inspired to paint Karel when he was struck by his similarity to many of the portraits that he had seen in the museum. Ganter emphasises the dignity of his sitter, as well drawing attention to the disparity between rich and poor, by portraying Karel in a manner which, in the past, has been reserved for noblemen and saints.
The second prize of £10,000 went to Bath-based teacher and artist Richard Twose, 51, for Jean Woods, a portrait of a 76-year-old woman who was one of the subjects of a recent Channel 4 Cutting Edge documentary Fabulous Fashionistas.
The third prize of £8,000 was awarded to Brooklyn-based artist David Jon Kassan, 37, for Letter to my Mom, a touching portrait of the artist’s mother. A reluctant subject, she was persuaded to pose by the promised gift of a painting of her grandchild and by the moving sentiments, expressed in Hebrew, which Kassan inscribed on the canvas.
Another artist’s depiction of his mother won him the £7,000 BP Young Artist Award, which is open to entrants aged between 18 and 30. Mamá (Juana Pérez), an impressive portrait which took two-and-a-half years to complete, was submitted by 28-year-old Ignacio Estudillo Pérez from Malaga.
Speaking of the exhibition, Christopher Baker, Director of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, said: “The BP Portrait Award is rightly seen as a key moment in the arts calendar. What is remarkable is that it continues to surprise, delight and engage us, demonstrating the extraordinary vitality and variety of portrait painting globally. This year’s entries and winners are especially strong and inspiring, and I’m sure their work will give enormous pleasure to our many visitors.”
Trevor Garlick, Regional President, BP North Sea, added: “BP is a major supporter of the arts and we’re delighted to once again be bringing the BP Portrait Award to Edinburgh. The BP Portrait Award is a fantastic competition which attracts entries from around the world. This free exhibition showcases the 55 shortlisted entries and the wide variety means there is sure to be something for everyone.”
A number of Scottish artists are among those selected for this year’s exhibition. Mark Mulholland studied sculpture at Edinburgh College of Art and is now an art teacher in Edinburgh. His portrait of John Byrne depicts the celebrated artist, playwright and author (who this summer had a hugely popular exhibition of his own portraits at the SNPG) playing one of his treasured guitars.
Martin Stevenson, an award-winning artist who trained at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Dundee and whose work has been seen in numerous group exhibitions across Scotland over the last 30 years, submitted a remarkable portrait of a colleague, Declan and his Panther Tattoo.
The work of Benjamin Sullivan, who studied at Edinburgh College of Art, has been included regularly in the BP Portrait Award exhibition over the last 13 years. This year the artist submitted a portrait of his wife, Virginia Sullivan, the first painting he has made of her since their marriage in autumn 2013.
Gareth Reid, who studied at Glasgow School of Art and Florence Academy of Art, is another regular exhibitor in the BP Portrait Award exhibition and won the BP Travel Award in 2008. Northern Bather, a portrait of his daughter, was inspired by the work of the Early Renaissance painter Piero Della Francesca.
The BP Travel Award is awarded each year to enable artists to work in a different environment on a project related to portraiture, and is open to applications from any of the artists included in the BP Portrait Award exhibition.
This year the £6,000 prize went to Edward Sutcliffe for his proposal to document the Compton Cricket Club in Los Angeles, which was formed to encourage and empower young people in one of the city’s toughest areas. The resulting work will be displayed in next year’s BP Portrait Award exhibition.
Sophie Ploeg, a Bristol-based artist who is originally from the Netherlands, won the 2013 BP Travel Award with her proposal to explore how fashion and lace was represented in 17th century art, as well as in modern applications. The fascinating results of her visits to modern lace makers and artists, antique lace collections, 17th-century art collections and famous lace-making centres, such as Bruges in Belgium and Honiton in Devon, can be seen in this year’s exhibition.
For further information please contact the Press Office at the National Galleries of Scotland on 0131 624 6325/6314/6247 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notes to Editors:
The BP Portrait Award 2014 competition was judged from original paintings by: Sandy Nairne, Director, National Portrait Gallery (Chair); Sarah Howgate, Contemporary Curator, National Portrait Gallery; Dr Alexander Sturgis, Director of the Holburne Museum, Bath; Joanna Trollope, Writer; Des Violaris, Director, UK Arts and Culture, BP; Jonathan Yeo, Artist
The BP Travel Award2014 was judged by Sarah Howgate, Contemporary Curator, National Portrait Gallery, Susanne du Toit, artist and BP Portrait Award First Prize winner 2013, and Des Violaris, Director, UK Arts and Culture, BP.
The BP Travel Award2013 was judged by Sarah Howgate, Contemporary Curator, National Portrait Gallery, Liz Rideal, Art Resource Developer, National Portrait Gallery, and Des Violaris, Director, UK Arts and Culture, BP.
Publication: A fully-illustrated catalogue accompanies the exhibition and features an introductory essay by Julia Donaldson. The catalogue includes over 55 colour illustrations and is priced £9.99 (paperback).
BP Portrait Award: Next Generation is an exciting project opening up free opportunities for 14-19 year-olds to creatively engage with painted portraiture through the BP Portrait Award. For the fifth year, young people will be able to connect with past BP Portrait Award-winning artists, meet other young people interested in portraiture and create their own portraits through a series of programmes including Taster Sessions and a two-day Winter School.
BP Portrait Award 2014 – Overall Figures Total number of entrants 2,377 (UK Entries 1, 490, International Entries 887)
BP Portrait Award 2014 – Exhibition Figures (55 selected from total entry): England (33), Spain (5), Scotland (3), USA (3), Netherlands (2), Canada (2), Germany (2), Belgium (1), Poland (1), Romania (1), Serbia (1), Sweden (1)
BP support for UK Arts & Culture: In the UK, BP is a major supporter of the arts with a programme that spans over 35 years. In 2011 BP announced its investment of almost £10 million in extending its long term partnerships with the British Museum, the National Portrait Gallery, the Royal Opera House, and Tate Britain over the next five years. Taken together, these agreements represent one of the most significant long-term corporate investments in UK arts and culture www.bp.com
THE TWO ROBERTS: ROBERT COLQUHOUN AND ROBERT MACBRYDE
22 November 2014 − 24 May 2015
SCOTTISH NATIONAL GALLERY OF MODERN ART (Modern Two), 73 Belford Road, Edinburgh EH4 3DE
Admission £8/6 | 0131 624 6200
A major new exhibition which opens at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art this week is set to explore the remarkable work of Robert MacBryde and Robert Colquhoun. Two of Scotland’s finest twentieth-century artists, their careers rose meteorically in the 1940s when they took the London art-world by storm, but were tragically cut short by an equally dramatic decline in their fortunes, and a subsequent spiral into alcoholism, which ended with their early deaths in the 1960s.
Colquhoun and MacBryde met in 1933 at the Glasgow School of Art, where they were the stars of their generation, marked out from their contemporaries both by their prodigious talent, and the intensity and self-sufficiency of their relationship; they become lovers and worked in close partnership for the rest of their lives. The Two Roberts will be the first major retrospective exhibition devoted to their work, and marks their centenary year.
Both artists came from working-class Ayrshire backgrounds; MacBryde was born in Maybole in December 1913 and Colquhoun in Kilmarnock in December 1914. They moved to London in 1941, where they quickly became part of the celebrated Soho set that included artists such as Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud, and by the mid-1940s, after a string of successful exhibitions, they had become two of the most famous artists working in Britain.
At the beginning of the 1950s however, after a series of setbacks, their success began to tail off, and with sales plummeting and their popularity on the wane, they were caught in a downward spiral. By the end of the decade Colquhoun and MacBryde, whose austere and uneasy paintings so perfectly encapsulate the mood of post-war years, were begging friends for money and sleeping on sofas. Colquhoun died in 1962 at the age of forty-seven, and MacBryde died four years later, aged fifty-three.
This exhibition, which includes over 60 paintings, 70 drawings and monotypes, and a vast array of photographs and archival material, will chart the career of both artists from their days at Glasgow School of Art to the final series of prints which Colquhoun was working on when he collapsed and died, re-establishing them as major forces in post-war British art.
BEAUTY BY DESIGN: FASHIONING THE RENAISSANCE
15 November 2014 − 3 May 2015
SCOTTISH NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY
1 Queen Street, Edinburgh EH2 1JD
Admission free | 0131 624 6200
The results of a unique collaboration between fashion designers, artists, curators and art historians, established to investigate and challenge contemporary notions of beauty, will be revealed in a fascinating new display at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery this week.
Beauty by Design: Fashioning the Renaissance willbring together a new body of work by UK designers and stylists, which has been informed by their response to Renaissance paintings in the National Galleries’ collections, and which reconsiders the ‘thin ideal’ so dominant in contemporary media and fashion. These new works will be displayed alongside some of the paintings which inspired them, such as the portrait of Margaret Graham, Lady Napier, 1626, by Adam de Colone and Paris Bordon’s Venetian Women at their Toilet,1545.
Beauty by Design, whichwas launched as a collaborative investigation into the nature of body image by Edinburgh College of Art and the University of Edinburgh in 2012, has brought together fashion industry specialists and academics from across the UK. The display will showcase a dozen new works by fashion designer Mal Burkinshaw; milliner Sally-Ann Provan; accessories designer Anne Chaisty; stylist and writer Philip Clarke; freelance knitwear designer Claire Ferguson; make-up and hair expert Sharon D. Lloyd; and artist Paul Hodgson.
Silhouettes en Dentelle, Burkinshaw’s series of seven lace jackets, are the designer’s response to the body shapes and garments that can be seen in portraits, such as those of Mary, Queen of Scots; King James VI and I as a boy; and Lady Agnes Douglas, in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery’s Renaissance to Reformation display. Burkinshaw’s jackets do not conform to specific UK size measurements, and are also non-gender specific, creating a dialogue between past and present notions of ‘normalised’ body shapes. The series stemmed from a close collaboration with renowned French lace producers Sophie Hallette, whose work also features in several other designs on display in the exhibition.
The striking Memento Flori (Memento of Flowers), by Sally-Ann Provan, is a large headpiece based on the shape of the ruff, a fashionable and expensive accessory worn in the Renaissance by wealthy men and women. Provan focused on visual symbolism within the portraits in Reformation to Revolution, for instance carnations, butterflies and roses, which were worked into patterns based on Sophie Hallette lace designs, then laser-cut and laser-engraved into transparent Perspex, intrinsically to link the past to the present.
Other works on show include Double Exposure, a dress by knitwear designer Claire Ferguson. It was inspired by the portraits of Mary, Queen of Scots and Lady Arabella Stuart, and combined a lace dress and a knitted outerwear into one large dress to invite the visitors to question their own notion of body shape and size.
Triptych (After Paris Bordon’s ‘Venetian Women at their Toilet’) is a large photographic triptych based on Bordon’s painting from the Scottish National Gallery. This 4m wide work raises questions about fashion media expectations, gender codes, beauty and morality.
Christopher Baker, Director of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, commented: “This terrific project illustrates how historic portraiture can be a profound source of inspiration to contemporary practitioners in the world of fashion. It is also especially pleasing as a rich collaborative endeavour, which has brought together designers, art historians and curators. Our hope is that many visitors will enjoy plotting the connections between the Gallery’s collection and these wonderfully imaginative responses to it.”
Notes to Editors:
Beauty by Design: Fashioning the Renaissance is a partnership between the National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh, and New Media Scotland. It has been realised with support from the house of Sophie Hallette and All Walks Beyond the Catwalk. It also involves participation of designers and artists from The Arts University College, Bournemouth, Southampton Solent University and Middlesex University. Further information about the project can be found at www.beautybydesign.org.uk.
The exhibition will feature a free interpretation leaflet written by Dr Jill Burke, who is a Senior Lecturer in Italian Renaissance Art at Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh. Currently completing a book on nakedness and the artistic nude in renaissance Italy, she has published widely on identity, meaning and the body in the Renaissance.
New Media Scotland is the national development agency fostering artist and audience engagement with all forms of new media practice. Further information about New Media Scotland can be found at www.mediascot.org.
Several works in this exhibition involve lace supplied by the house of Sophie Hallette. Based in Caudry in northern France, the house of Sophie Hallette has been producing tulle and lace of the finest quality since 1887. Their lace was used for the wedding dresses of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and Amal Alamuddin, who recently married George Clooney. It is regularly chosen by the fashion houses of Vuitton, Dior, Chloe and Versace, amongst others. Sophie Hallette lace is still woven on traditional looms, which are over a hundred years old. The house of Sophie Hallette operates a ‘lace challenge’, encouraging students on a select number of fashion courses to innovate, using their products. This is the third year in which students at Edinburgh College of Art have been involved in this challenge and the collaboration has produced striking results.
All Walks Beyond the Catwalk is an initiative founded by Caryn Franklin, Debra Bourne and Erin O’Connor working with influential catwalk designers, top industry creatives, and fashion students and their colleges to challenge the fashion industry’s dependence on unachievable and limited body and beauty ideals.
About the artists:
Mal Burkinshaw is a fashion designer as well as Senior Lecturer and Programme Director of Fashion at Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh. Mal created the ECA and All Walks Beyond the Catwalk Diversity Network in 2011.
Anne Chaisty is an accessories designer as well as a Principal Lecturer and Research & Knowledge Transfer Co-ordinator for Fashion and Textiles at the Arts University Bournemouth.
Philip Clarke is a stylist and writer, who works as Programme Leader of Fashion Communication and Styling at Middlesex University.
Claire Ferguson is a freelance knitwear designer who has worked with Calvin Klein, Pringle and Isa Arfen. She also works as a Teaching Fellow at Edinburgh College of Art.
Paul Hodgson is an artist whose work incorporates painting, digital print and photography. He has exhibited globally and in 2010 was a Director's Visitor at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton.
Sharon D. Lloyd is Course Leader of Make-Up and Hair Design at Southampton Solent University. Her specialism is the theoretical application and debate surrounding make-up and hair design.
Sally-Ann Provan is an Edinburgh-based milliner who runs the Edinburgh Hat Studio. She has exhibited worldwide and worked for clients including Scottish Opera, the BBC and Scottish Ballet, and is also a Teaching Fellow at Edinburgh College of Art.
THE NATIONAL GALLERIES OF SCOTLAND ACHIEVES ‘INVESTING IN VOLUNTEERS’ AWARD
The National Galleries of Scotland has become the first national arts organisation to achieve the Investing in Volunteers Award in the UK. This Award recognises the work organisations do with volunteers based on a range of best practice standards, and the National Galleries of Scotland was found to excel in all areas.
The National Galleries of Scotland has involved volunteers in their work for many years in areas such as Education, Curatorial, and Visitor Services; some of these volunteers have been donating their time, skills, and wisdom for more than twenty years. With the introduction of a dedicated Volunteer Programme Coordinator in 2012 the National Galleries of Scotland has expanded volunteering opportunities across the galleries and aims to improve the volunteering experience for all.
As part of the Volunteer Programme development, the National Galleries of Scotland has built relationships with charity partners to offer their service users dedicated work-based volunteer placements. Some of these include Access to Industry, The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, Women Onto Work, and Project Scotland. Each volunteer placement is assigned a staff mentor who helps guide them through the professional work experience. In addition to these partnerships, the National Galleries of Scotland works with secondary and higher education students from a variety of schools and universities to provide first-hand experience of working in an art gallery.
Sam Lagneau, Head of Development for the National Galleries of Scotland, said: “By going through the process to achieve Investing in Volunteers the National Galleries of Scotland has shown its commitment to working with volunteers in a way that is mutually beneficial. Whether individuals are volunteering to develop skills and build experience to help with future employment, or explore their interest in art, volunteering has been recognised as a partnership worth investing in.”
Sir John Leighton, Director-General of the National Galleries of Scotland, added: “We are delighted to have achieved this Award which helps show the level of involvement volunteers have in our organisation. Our many volunteers provide a vast resource of skills and experience across all our areas of activity and we are immensely grateful for their invaluable contribution.”
For further information please contact the National Galleries of Scotland's Press Office on 0131 624 6314/6325 or email@example.com.
Notes to editors:
• Investing in Volunteers is the UK quality standard for good practice in involving volunteers and has been achieved by 765 organisations across the UK.
• The standard is owned by the UK Volunteering Forum and managed by Volunteer Scotland, National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) in England, Volunteer Now in Northern Ireland and Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA).
• Investing in Volunteers is based on four areas of volunteer management: planning for volunteer involvement, recruiting volunteers, selecting and matching volunteers, and supporting and retaining volunteers.
6 June – 13 September 2015
SCOTTISH NATIONAL GALLERY, The Mound, Edinburgh EH2 2EL
0131 624 6200 | nationalgalleries.org
The National Galleries of Scotland is delighted to announce a major exhibition in the summer of 2015 celebrating one of the greatest yet little-known artists of the eighteenth century. The work of Jean-Étienne Liotard (1702-1789) has rarely been exhibited and this is the first time it will be comprehensively celebrated in Britain. Liotard enjoyed a long career and his finest portraits display an astonishing hyper-realism achieved through a combination of incredible, intense observation and remarkable technical skills.
Liotard was one of the most sophisticated artists of eighteenth-century Europe; a brilliant, witty portraitist, he excelled at the delicate art of pastel, but also drew, painted in oil, created enamels and was a refined miniaturist and printmaker. According to his contemporary Horace Walpole ‘Truth prevailed in all his works.’ In some respects he also displayed striking modernity as a highly accomplished self-publicist, formulating a powerful ‘eastern’ image of himself following his period in Constantinople, by wearing exotic clothes and growing a long beard, which became as much a focus of curiosity as his portraits. His activity was prodigious: Liotard wrote a treatise on painting, was a collector, a dealer, a traveller and an artistic innovator. In the age of Mozart and Casanova, he was a key international figure, whose achievement deserves to be better known.
Born in Geneva, he travelled extensively, working in Amsterdam, The Hague, Venice, Rome and Naples. He spent four years in Constantinople depicting foreign residents in the city and developed a fascination with near-eastern fashions and customs. His career also took him to the courts of Vienna, Paris and London, where he portrayed the families of Empress Maria Theresa, King Louis XV and Augusta, Princess of Wales, creating images of great candour and charm.
Christopher Baker, Director of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery and one of the exhibition's curators, commented: “This exhibition will be a revelation to many visitors who are unfamiliar with Liotard’s dazzling achievement. He was undoubtedly one of the most remarkable and idiosyncratic artists of the eighteenth century, and his work and career are fascinating, as they touch on themes such a travel, orientalism, court art, fashion and technical experimentation.’
Liotard depicted a number of important British patrons, in addition to members of the Royal family, such as the actor David Garrick, and some of his key works remain in U.K. public and private collections. Highlights of the exhibition will also include a selection of his startling self-portraits and brilliant experiments with genre and still life subjects that date from late in his career.
Notes to Editors:
- The exhibition will be shown at the Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh, from 6 June to 13 September 2015 and is a collaboration with the Royal Academy of Arts, London, where it will be seen from 11 October 2015 to 16 January 2016.
- The exhibition has been curated by MaryAnne Stevens (on behalf of the Royal Academy), Dr William Hauptman (independent scholar) and Christopher Baker (on behalf of the National Galleries of Scotland). It is to be accompanied by a major scholarly catalogue published by the Royal Academy of Arts and a rich programme of lectures and events both in Edinburgh and London.
- In Edinburgh the exhibition is generously supported by anonymous donors and the Friends of the National Galleries of Scotland.
- The Patron of the exhibition is His Excellency the Swiss Ambassador, Dominik Furgler
FAIR FACES, DARK PLACES: PRINTS AND DRAWINGS BY WILLIAM STRANG (1859–1921)
18 October 2014 – 15 February 2015
Scottish National Gallery, The Mound, Edinburgh EH2 2EL
Admission free | 0131 624 6200
A captivating and diverse selection of prints and drawings by the great Scottish artist William Strang will feature in a new display at the Scottish National Gallery this autumn. Strang, who was born in Dumbarton in 1859, was a highly skilled and imaginative printmaker and painter, who produced one of the most innovative and varied bodies of original etched work by any Scottish artist of the period. Fair Faces, Dark Places will include a selection of over 30 key works from the Gallery’s extensive collection of works on paper by Strang, spanning the breadth of his career.
Strang, with fellow Scots David Young Cameron, Muirhead Bone and James McBey (collectively known as ‘The Big Four’), was instrumental in stimulating an international revival of original printmaking during the late nineteenth and early twentieth-century. After serving a brief apprenticeship with a Clydeside shipbuilding firm, he moved to London in 1876, where he enrolled at the newly opened Slade School of Art. There he studied under the realist artist Alphonse Legros (1837–1911), whose teaching remained a powerful influence for the rest of his life. On completing his studies, Strang became Legros’s assistant in the printmaking class, after which he worked for two decades predominantly as an etcher. Though he went on to achieve recognition as a painter, printmaking remained central to Strang’s work until his death in 1921.
The works on show in Fair Faces, Dark Places will reflect Strang’s versatility as an artist, as well as his consummate technical skill. His subjects ranged from those based in reality - highlighting the stark poverty and social injustice of Victorian Britain with powerful images such as Despair (1889) - to the truly fantastical, including strange and macabre allegories such as Grotesque (1897), which was inspired by a dream and reflects the influence of Goya, European Symbolist painting and the celebrated illustrator Aubrey Beardsley (1872–1898).
Strang was also an advocate for the revival of the hand-printed book and made many narrative illustrations for books, periodicals and his own Scots dialect ballads. On show will be Toomai of the Elephants (1900) a fine example of his illustrations for Rudyard Kipling’s short stories, as well as examples of his etchings of subjects from Miguel de Cervantes’s Don Quixote.
He was also a prolific portraitist who produced memorable images of leading artistic and literary figures, as well as his family and friends. Inspired by Rembrandt, he made many self-portraits, including one example on show here in which he typically depicts himself surrounded by a printing press, prints in various states, bottles of ink and other tools of his trade.
The display will also include two portraits of Strang’s most famous sitter, the poet and novelist Thomas Hardy (1840–1928), offering a fascinating comparison between a pencil study made with tremendous honesty, directly from life, and the finished, more famous (and more flattering) etched version for which it was as a preparatory study.
Undoubtedly one of the innovators of the modern style in Britain, Strang’s striking images fuse a range of influences from his teacher, Legros, to old masters such as Rembrandt, Dürer, Holbein and Goya. Throughout his career, right up until his sudden death from heart failure aged 62, he was continuously experimenting with technique and subject. According to Strang “there are no beauties but technical ones”; for him, beauty lay in fine draughtsmanship, technical skill, sincerity and authenticity.
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REMEMBERING THE GREAT WAR
4 August 2014 – 5 July 2015
SCOTTISH NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY
1 Queen Street, Edinburgh EH2 1JD
Admission free | 0131 624 6200
A largely unknown painting which profoundly impressed the poet Wilfred Owen will be one of the highlights of a new exhibition at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, marking the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War.
Avatar, an elegiac meditation on the fallen of the War, painted by Henry Lintott in 1916, was seen by Owen while he was being treated for shell shock at the Craiglockhart War Hospital in Edinburgh in 1917. He was moved to describe the work, which depicts a deceased warrior, covered in a black shroud, being carried to heaven by four ethereal figures, as the ‘finest picture now in the Edinburgh Gallery.’ Avatar, which will be on loan from the Royal Scottish Academy has only been on show to the public a handful of times since the War, and has been specially conserved with the aid of a grant from AIM and the Pilgrim Trust Award, to feature in the exhibition.
Remembering the Great War, which opens at the Portrait Gallery on 4 August, will make a significant contribution to this year’s global commemorations. Largely drawn from works in the National Galleries of Scotland collections, the thought-provoking and poignant selection of portraits and related images will reflect the stories of a wide range of people, from famous figures to ordinary men and women, and the many different ways in which their lives were touched by the conflict.
The exhibition will feature depictions of senior statesmen, military figures, writers, poets, painters and musicians, and photographs of servicemen and women, as well as preparatory drawings for the Scottish National War Memorial at Edinburgh Castle. It will also include a remarkable group of etchings inspired by the war experiences of the German artist Otto Dix.
Remembering the Great War will begin with an exploration of some of the significant figures who played a part, as both proponents and opponents, in the run up to the outbreak of war. These include a striking portrait of King George V by Charles Sims and an oil study of Field Marshall Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig, by John Singer Sargent. Portraits of the Scottish socialist and Labour leader James Keir Hardie, and the first Labour Prime Minister James Ramsay MacDonald, represent those who were strongly opposed to the war.
The exhibition will also address issues connected with the role of women and the war effort, touching on the social changes brought about by the conflict and the opportunities it gave to those at home. Among the women represented here are Flora Drummond, a militant figure in the Suffragette movement which on the outbreak of hostilities put on hold its demands for emancipation to support the war; and the poet and children’s author Lady Margaret Sackville who published The Pageant of War, a collection of anti-war poems in which she declared that women who supported the war were betraying their sons.
Also on display is a collection of significant figures in the Scottish artistic landscape at the start of the 20th-century. These include the music hall artist Sir Harry Lauder, described by Winston Churchill as ‘Scotland’s greatest ever ambassador’ for his contribution to the entertainment of troops, who tragically lost his only son in France; artist William McCance who was imprisoned as a conscientious objector; and Lord Reith, later the Director-General of the BBC, who fought with distinction for the 5th Scottish Rifles and was shot in the face by a German sniper, sustaining the famous scar clearly visible in his portrait by Sir Oswald Birley.
The exhibition will also reflect the contribution of Scottish people to the medical response to the war through figures such as Mary Garden, an opera singer who worked as a nurse after failing in her attempt to enlist, disguised as a man, in the French army; Dr Elsie Ingles, who helped to establish the Scottish Women's Hospital for Foreign Service Committee, and served in field hospitals in Serbia (where she was captured) and Russia; and Sir Alexander Fleming whose service in the Army Medical Corps informed his later research and subsequent discovery of Penicillin.
Images of nurses and wounded men on the wards of Springburn Hospital in Glasgow are among the fascinating selection of photographs in the exhibition, which also includes a series of prints by George P. Lewis, who was commissioned by the Women’s Work Committee for the Imperial War Museum in 1918, to document the role of Scottish women in transport and heavy industries during the war.
Contemporary photographs by Scottish photographer Peter Cattrell shift our wartime reflections into the present, with haunting black and white images of the Somme battlefield in France as it stands today, still bearing the scars of war. Cattrell has also depicted the spot where Wilfred Owen died on 4 November 1918. Born in Glasgow in 1959, Cattrell’s interest in the Somme took flight after discovering a photograph of his great uncle, William Wyatt Bagshawe, who died on the first day of the Somme in July 1916. Some 57,000 men were killed on that day alone.
Within the exhibition space, a projected display of images of unidentified servicemen and women reiterates the important point that the Great War profoundly affected society as a whole, leaving nobody untouched.
Christopher Baker, Director of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery said: “Our hope is that this moving exhibition will remind our many visitors of the terrible sacrifice and enduring impact of the Great War and the special role that Scotland played.”
AMERICAN IMPRESSIONISM: A NEW VISION
19 July 2014 – 19 October 2014
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (Modern Two)
73 Belford Road, Edinburgh EH4 3DS
Admission £8 / £6 | 0131 624 6200
Supported by Terra Foundation for American Art
A major international exhibition which explores the impact of French Impressionism on American artists in the late nineteenth century will be one of the highlights of the National Galleries of Scotland’s summer exhibition programme. American Impressionism: A New Vision will bring together nearly 80 paintings by some of America’s most celebrated artists, such as James McNeill Whistler, John Singer Sargent and Mary Cassatt. It will also feature the work of a number of significant artists who are probably better known to American audiences – among them Theodore Robinson, Childe Hassam, William Merritt Chase, Edmund Tarbell and John Twachtman. Paintings by the major French artists Claude Monet, Berthe Morisot, and Edgar Degas will demonstrate how closely the Impressionists worked with their American colleagues.
The exhibition will reflect the impact of Impressionism on both Americans working abroad in the period from 1880 to 1890, and those working at home in the following decade. It will begin with iconic paintings by Cassatt and Sargent, who cultivated friendships with French Impressionists – in particular Monet and Degas - and participated in the development and promotion of this revolutionary new way of painting.
More than any other American artist working in France Mary Cassatt (1844-1926) helped to shape Impressionism. Through her friendships with French artists Edgar Degas and Berthe Morisot she participated in four Impressionist exhibitions between 1879 and 1886. Two of her finest works, Children on the Beach (1884) and Young Girl at a Window (c.1884), appeared in the eighth and final Impressionist exhibition in Paris in 1886 and are included in the Edinburgh show.
John Singer Sargent (1856-1925) was one of several young artists from North America who worked at Giverny in Normandy in the late nineteenth century. He developed a close friendship with Monet and visited him at his house in Giverny on several occasions; he immortalised their shared work sessions in his 1885 painting Claude Monet Painting by the Edge of a Wood. The work shows the French artist at work on a canvas that has been identified as Meadow with Haystacks near Giverny, one of the earliest works in his famous series of haystacks paintings.
Other artists assimilated Impressionism in a more gradual way: Theodore Robinson (1852-1896) experimented with the changing effects of light while working outdoors alongside Monet at Giverny, as seen in the luminous painting Blossoms at Giverny (1891). Frederick Childe Hassam (1859-1935) incorporated impressionist colours and subjects into his more traditional ‘Salon-style’ pictures, using bright colours to capture the effect of a bright sunny day in Grand Prix Day (le jour du grand prix), c.1888.
In America, artists turned to Impressionism slightly later. Between 1890 and 1900 painters such as Hassam, Chase, Tarbell and Twachtman adapted Impressionism by responding to the new subject matter, compositions and colours of the movement in scenes depicting their native country and creating a new vision for an American audience. Their subjects included New York parks, East Coast beaches, New England villages and, of course, the image of the American woman. Prismatic colour, broken brushwork and purple shadows became prevalent at exhibitions in New York, Philadelphia and Boston in the early 1890s. Chase, for instance, created a series of bright, urban park scenes as well as bright, outdoor pictures of women and children at leisure during summers on the coast of Long Island in the 1890s. The exhibition will include four of his paintings of East Coast scenes at Shinnecock from the 1890s.
Michael Clarke, director of the Scottish National Gallery, commented: “We know that Americans became great collectors of Impressionism, now we can see how American artists responded to Monet and his fellow Impressionists. This should be an eye-opener for European audiences and we are delighted to be hosting its only UK showing.”
This major international exhibition has been organized by the musée des impressionnismes Giverny and the Terra Foundation for American Art with the collaboration of the National Galleries of Scotland and the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, with the generous support of the Terra Foundation for American Art. For its only UK showing, it will be on display at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (Modern Two).
The exhibition is accompanied by a lavishly illustrated catalogue American Impressionism: A New Vision, 1880-1900, published on the occasion of the exhibition. The catalogue reproduces more than 80 paintings by significant American artists (160 pages, 120 colour illustrations, price £20.00).
American Impressionism is part of the Edinburgh Art Festival.
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Notes to editors:
For further information and images please contact the National Galleries of Scotland's press office on 0131 624 6314 / 6325 / 6247 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Impressionism originated in France in the second half of the nineteenth century, where Claude Monet (1840-1926), Edgar Degas (1834-1917) and other Paris-based artists produced works focusing on landscapes and scenes of everyday life. They worked outdoors, rather than painting from sketches and in a studio, and in contrast to the academic emphasis on careful draughtsmanship, used visible, broken brushwork to illustrate the changing light and colours of outdoor scenes. Impressionists came to prominence in the late nineteenth century thanks to their independent group exhibitions, which were held at intervals from 1874 and 1886. The name of the movement stems from a work by Monet, entitled Impression, Sunrise, which featured in the first exhibition.
Three venues in Europe:
musée des impressionnismes Giverny: L’Impressionnisme et les Américains (28 March – 29 June 2014)
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art: American Impressionism: A New Vision (19 July – 19 October 2014)
Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza: Impressionismo Americano (4 November 2014 – 1 February 2015)
PHILL JUPITUS BRINGS ‘SKETCH COMIC’ TO THE NATIONAL GALLERIES OF SCOTLAND THIS SUMMER
4 – 22 August 2014
NATIONAL GALLERIES OF SCOTLAND
0131 624 6200 | nationalgalleries.org
The celebrated, award-winning stand-up comic, performance poet and broadcast personality Phill Jupitus will return to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this summer with Sketch Comic, a new show which highlights his deep love of art.
From 4 to 22 August, Phill will be let loose on the collections at the National Galleries of Scotland, sketching some of his favourite works and encouraging visitors to watch, join in, and share their own sketches. Together with fellow stand-up comic and art historian Hannah Gadsby, he will also present a free talk each Thursday during those weeks about his love of painting and the experience of sketching in the Galleries.
The National Galleries of Scotland comprises three galleries in Edinburgh and looks after a world-famous collection, ranging from the sixteenth-century to the present day. One of the artworks to be sketched will be John Singer Sargent’s Lady Agnew of Lochnaw (1865-1932) of 1892, a favourite of Phill’s and one of the most popular works amongst our visitors.
Perhaps best known as a team captain on the popular BBC Two pop quiz Never Mind the Buzzcocks, Phill Jupitus is a multi-talented artist whose repertoire includes poetry, acting, radio DJ and drawing. Phill will use his iPad and the “Paper” app, which works as a sketchbook and allows artists to capture drawings and illustrations with a stylus, to sketch one work per Gallery.
Sketch Comic will take place from 10am-12pm at the Scottish National Gallery from 4 to 8 August, followed by the Scottish National Portrait Gallery from 11 to 15 August, and a final week at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art from 18 to 22 August. The lectures will take place at the Hawthornden Lecture Theatre, Scottish National Gallery, from 6.30-7.30pm on 7, 14 and 21 August. The lectures are free and unticketed.
Hannah Gadsby is an award-winning comedian with a background in Art History. She has presented comedy art tours with the National Gallery of Victoria, Australia, and written and presented art programmes for the Australian TV channel ABC.
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THE ART OF GOLF: THE STORY OF SCOTLAND’S NATIONAL SPORT
12 July – 26 October 2014
Scottish National Gallery, The Mound, Edinburgh EH2 2EL
Admission £8 (£6)
0131 624 6200 | nationalgalleries.org
The Scottish National Gallery is delighted to take part in the sporting celebrations taking place this summer in Scotland with The Art of Golf: The Story of Scotland’s National Sport. The exhibition will overlap with two important events: the Commonwealth Games, Glasgow (23 July – 3 August) and the Ryder Cup, Gleneagles (23 – 28 September), the biennial competition played between teams of professional golfers representing the United States and Europe. The Art of Golf, which opens on 12 July in Edinburgh, will explore golf as a subject of fascination for artists from the seventeenth century to the present day, with a particular emphasis on the emergence of the sport in Scotland.
The Art of Golf will bring together around 60 paintings and photographs - as well as a selection of historic golfing equipment - with works by artists such as Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669), Sir Henry Raeburn (1756-1823), Hendrick Avercamp (1585-1634) and Paul Sandby (1731-1809) illustrating the origins of the game. Other highlights will include Sir John Lavery’s (1846-1951) beautiful 1920s paintings of the golf course at North Berwick, a coastal resort 25 miles east of Edinburgh, and colourful railway posters for popular destinations such as Gleneagles, which illustrate the boom in golfing tourism in the inter-war years. Stunning images of golf courses from Brora to the Isle of Harris by contemporary photographer Glyn Satterly and spectacular aerial shots by artist and aviator Patricia Macdonald will bring the exhibition up to present day.
The centrepiece of the show will be the greatest golfing painting in the world, Charles Lees’ famous 1847 masterpiece The Golfers. This commemorates a match played on the Old Course at the Royal and Ancient Golf Club, St Andrews, by Sir David Baird and Sir Ralph Anstruther, against Major Hugh Lyon Playfair and John Campbell of Saddell. It represents a veritable ‘who’s who’ of Scottish golf at that time and was famously reproduced in a fine engraving which sold in great quantities. Lees (1800-80) made use of photography, at a time when it was in its infancy, to help him design the painting’s overall composition. The image in question, taken by photography pioneers D O Hill & Robert Adamson, will be included in the show and Lees’s preparatory drawings and oil sketches will also be displayed alongside the finished painting to offer visitors further insight into the creation of this great work. Impressions of The Golfers are now in many of the greatest golf clubhouses around the world. The painting is jointly owned by the National Galleries of Scotland and the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews.
Golf has been played in Scotland since at least the fifteenth century. Whilst its origins are obscure, it is undoubtedly close to the Netherlandish game of ‘colf’, which was played over rough ground or on frozen waterways, and involved hitting a ball to a target stick fixed in the ground or the ice. ‘Colvers’ playing on the frozen canals are seen in Dutch seventeenth-century paintings which form the earliest part of the show. In Scotland the game is often played over ‘links’ courses, originally rough common ground where the land meets the sea. The majority of Scotland’s famous old courses, such as St Andrews or North Berwick, are links courses. In Edinburgh, the early links courses of Bruntsfield, Leith and Musselburgh are shown in works by Sandby and Raeburn.
Michael Clarke, Director of the Scottish National Gallery, said: “This show is designed to be fun and to bring together two publics, lovers of art and lovers of golf. Where better to do this than in this world-class gallery, with its great Old master and Scottish paintings, which is situated in Scotland’s beautiful capital city of Edinburgh, and through which so many golfers pass on their way to our internationally renowned courses.”
Generous loans from a number of famous Scottish golf clubs, the British Golf Museum in St Andrews and private collectors have been secured for this exhibition.
The Art of Golf will be accompanied by a lavishly illustrated catalogue, with essays by Michael Clarke and Kenneth McConkey, Professor of Art History at the University of Northumbria at Newcastle. 72 pages, colour illustrations throughout, soft cover, priced £12.95.
NEW ACQUISITION of a fine seventeenth-century child portrait for the Scottish National Portrait Gallery
The Scottish National Portrait Gallery has acquired an extremely distinguished and sensitive seventeenth-century portrait of Robert, Lord Bruce (1626-1685), as a child. It is one of very few child portraits of this early period in the collection. The painting has been acquired for £35,000 from the Weiss Gallery in London.
He is depicted in the height of contemporary fashion, wearing a delicate pink satin doublet, trimmed with buttons and braiding, all created from precious silver thread.
Robert, Lord Bruce was from a noble Scottish family: he was born in 1626, the only child and heir of Thomas Bruce, 1st Earl of Elgin. As an adult he travelled across Europe, undertaking a Grand Tour many years before such educational journeys were commonplace. On his return to Britain in 1646 he married Lady Diana Grey: they had seventeen children, nine of whom survived to adulthood. In the 1650s, during the Civil War, he was campaigning and raising money for the royalist cause. In 1660 he was one of the Commissioners who travelled to The Hague to invite the exiled King Charles II to return to Britain to reclaim the throne.
This is the first portrait by the artist Cornelius Johnson (1593-1661) to enter the Gallery’s collection. Johnson was born in London and may have trained in the Netherlands. He painted portraits of the gentry, merchants and courtiers and became renowned for his sensitive depictions of his sitters and their clothes. The lack of a work by this most prolific and successful 17th-century portraitist was a significant gap in the collections.
The artist was appointed ‘his Majesty’s … Picture drawer’ to Charles I in 1632. He fell from favour however the same year, following the arrival of the outstanding painter Anthony van Dyck at court. The portrait of Lord Bruce has been displayed beside Van Dyck’s portrait of the Stuart princesses in Gallery 1 at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.
Christopher Baker, Director of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery commented: “This is a very welcome addition to the Gallery’s seventeenth-century collections; a work of considerable refinement,it provides a fascinating insight into 17th-century fashion and the careers of both a significant sitter and artist.”
For further information please contact the NGS Press Office on 0131 624 6325/6332/6314 or at email@example.com.
JOHN RUSKIN: ARTIST AND OBSERVER
4 July – 28 September 2014
Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh, 1 Queen Street, Edinburgh EH2 1JD
Admission £8 / £6 | 0131 624 6200
The extraordinary artistic talent of one of Britain’s most celebrated writers and thinkers will be revealed in an ambitious new exhibition, which will have its only UK showing at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh this summer. John Ruskin (1819-1900) was the leading art critic of his day and one of Victorian Britain’s most influential social theorists, whose writings and interests embraced a breath-taking range of subjects. Famous as the champion of Turner and the Pre-Raphaelite painters, he was also a brilliantly skilled and prolific artist, who, though he rarely exhibited his work, was driven by an intense and passionate desire to draw.
John Ruskin: Artist and Observer will be the most extensive exhibition to date devoted to Ruskin’s achievements as an artist in his own right. It has been organised in collaboration with the National Gallery of Canada, and will bring together 130 drawings and watercolours, representing Ruskin’s entire 60-year career, on loan from important private and public collections in the UK, Canada and the USA, including the Pierpont Morgan Library, New York; the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, Connecticut; the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford; and the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.
Ruskin was obsessively interested in many aspects of the world around him, and used drawing as a means of observing, recording and understanding what he saw. His fascination for architecture, natural history, geology and meteorology is reflected in works such as Study of the Marble Inlaying on the Front of the Casa Loredan, Venice (1845), Rocks and Ferns in a Wood at Crossmount, Perthshire (1847) and his beautiful studies of plants, fruit, birds, feathers and reptiles. All are rendered in meticulous detail and combine a keen sense of scientific inquiry with a delight in the textures, colours, and intricate forms of his subjects.
For Ruskin, drawing was a powerful physical compulsion - at times an uncontrolled and spontaneous response to the world. His outstanding talent allowed him to work fluently and instinctively in different media, using pen, pencil or chalk, and painting in watercolour and gouache (opaque watercolour). Certain works incorporate a rich variety of different methods and media, so that the forms become superimposed and are allowed to merge into one another. Creating drawings for his own use (rather than for exhibition or display), Ruskin developed a way of working that was distinctive, personal and highly expressive. It echoed his emotional state, which ranged from manic despondency to periods of elation and consequently the drawings offer a fascinating window into a brilliant and sometimes troubled soul.
Although he grew up in suburban London, Ruskin came from a Scottish family and his parents helped to instil in him a love of wild and elemental landscapes. Visiting Scotland frequently, he created spectacular watercolours of its dramatic scenery and geology, such as Coast Scene near Dunbar (1847), In the Pass of Killiecrankie (1857) and Study of Gneiss Rock, Glenfinlas (1853-54). Ruskin also made many visits to the Alps, where he produced elaborate drawings of the glaciers of Chamonix and careful studies of rocks, which helped him to understand the geological forces that shaped the landscape.
Ruskin was a powerful advocate for the Gothic Revival movement in architecture, so it is fitting that this exhibition will be at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery – a magnificent Gothic fantasy, which makes reference to his beloved Venice. Among the finest works in the exhibition will be watercolours and drawings which illustrate both his forensic study of, and poetic response to, the architecture and fabric of the north Italian city. Also on show will be a number of daguerrotypes – examples of a very early type of photography – taken by Ruskin and his contemporaries as an aid to revealing the hidden details of façades and stone carvings and inform some of his expansive studies of mountain scenery.
Christopher Baker, Director of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, commented on the exhibition: “Ruskin’s drawings and watercolours can be enjoyed in various ways: as intense and delightful responses to the beauty of the natural world and insights into the complex mind of one the most sophisticated of Victorian thinkers and writers. Our hope is they will be a revelation to many visitors, who will then want to discover more about Ruskin’s remarkable and multi-faceted achievement.”
Ruskin himself will be present in the exhibition through self-portraits and the magnificent portrait of him by John Everett Millais of 1854 (Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, above). It was painted in Scotland and is one of the finest of all nineteenth-century artist portraits; it has an intriguing history that touches on both Ruskin’s private life and development as a painter. Just as it was being created Ruskin was learning from Millais about how to observe nature in the Pre-Raphaelite manner (meticulously recording the surrounding rocks); however, at the same moment Millais was falling in love with Ruskin’s wife, Eufemia (Effie) Gray. The painting was completed in London, Ruskin’s marriage was dissolved, and Millais and Effie were later married.
Effie Gray, a new film based on Effie’s life, written by Emma Thompson and starring Dakota Fanning in the title role, is due for cinema release in October. This lavish production was shot in Scotland, London and Venice and also stars Greg Wise in the role of Ruskin and Tom Sturridge as Millais, with a supporting cast that includes Emma Thompson, Derek Jacobi, Julie Walters, James Fox and Robbie Coltrane. There will be a special preview screening at the Scottish National Gallery on 15 August.
The exhibition has been guest-curated by the distinguished Ruskin scholars Christopher Newall and Conal Shields, both of whom have made major contributions to the accompanying catalogue. This richly illustrated book also includes contributions from Christopher Baker and Ian Jeffrey (376 pages, colour illustrations throughout, soft cover in matt art paper, priced £37.50).
RENOWNED SCOTTISH PHOTOGRAPHER HARRY BENSON UNVEILS NEW PORTRAIT OF HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN
The Scottish National Portrait Gallery has commissioned the renowned Scottish photographer Harry Benson CBE to create a new portrait of Her Majesty The Queen. The photograph unveiled today, Tuesday 1 July, depicts Her Majesty in the private study at Buckingham Palace where she holds her weekly audience with her prime ministers: Her Majesty wears a gold and diamond brooch featuring thistles, Scotland’s national emblem.
Born in Glasgow, Harry Benson moved early in his career to the competitive world of Fleet Street newspapers, working first for the Daily Sketch and the Daily Express. He then took photographs for LIFE Magazine and Vanity Fair. His reputation was secured 50 years ago when he created a seminal series of photographs of The Beatles on their first international tour. He has photographed every American president since Eisenhower and has created some truly iconic images, including the famous photograph of the Reagans dancing at the White House. A hugely successful retrospective of his work was held at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in 2006.
Mr Benson commented on the commission: “To have been asked by the Scottish National Portrait Gallery to photograph Her Majesty The Queen for an official portrait is truly a highlight of my career. I first photographed Her Majesty in Scotland opening a coal mine in 1957, and thereafter visiting towns in Lanarkshire, Glasgow, Edinburgh, and the Western Highlands, and later in London at the opening of Parliament … It was always an honour and a privilege, but the most memorable was when I had the opportunity to take an official portrait in Buckingham Palace for the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. I was given the opportunity of selecting the colour and dress that The Queen would wear for the portrait. My teachers at the Eastwood School in Glasgow would be amazed!"
Christopher Baker, Director of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, added “We are delighted with this new portrait, which is the first the Scottish National Portrait Gallery has commissioned of The Queen. It is also an especially fitting way of marking a key moment in Harry Benson’s distinguished career, as 2014 is the 50th anniversary of his great portraits of The Beatles, which established his reputation as one of the finest modern photographers. Harry Benson’s portrait of Her Majesty is a respectful and thoughtful work, which will, I am confident, prove extremely popular.”
This commission has been supported by the Friends of the National Galleries of Scotland.
LANDMARK EXHIBITION AT NATIONAL GALLERIES CELEBRATES 25 YEARS OF CONTEMPORARY ART IN SCOTLAND
The National Galleries of Scotland will launch its largest exhibition to date this summer with the opening of GENERATION, the centrepiece to a landmark celebration of 25 years of contemporary art in Scotland, in which the work of more than 100 artists will be shown at over 60 venues across the country.
Organised by the Galleries in partnership with Glasgow Life and Creative Scotland, this hugely ambitious programme of exhibitions is part of the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme, and places the spotlight on a generation of artists living and working in Scotland, whose work has created enormous excitement and attracted international acclaim over the last quarter-century.
At the centre of GENERATION will be a ground-breaking, three-part exhibition to be shown across the National Galleries’ three sites in Edinburgh. Taking in the flagship exhibition space at the Scottish National Gallery, the whole of Modern One at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and the Contemporary Gallery at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, GENERATION will offer an unprecedented view of the richness, diversity and range of contemporary art in Scotland.
The exhibition will include some of the most historically significant works created in Scotland in the last 25 years, as well as recreations of significant shows and major installations. It will bring together loans from public and private collections in the UK and abroad, many of which are being shown for the very first time in Scotland.
GENERATION will also reflect the continuing dynamism of art in Scotland, with the inclusion of six newly commissioned installations as well as new paintings, drawings and photographic works.
At the Scottish National Gallery, a number of important exhibitions from the period will be re-staged. These include: On Form and Fiction, an immersive environment of ink and acrylic drawings, benches and music by Steven Campbell that proved highly influential when first shown at the Third Eye Centre in Glasgow in 1990; and Turner Prize winner Martin Boyce’s Our Love is Like the Flowers, the Rain, the Sea and the Hours, originally created at Tramway in Glasgow in 2002. Also on show will be a room of Exposed Paintings by Callum Innes, three portfolios of woodcuts by David Shrigley that have never been exhibited in the UK previously, two video projections by Rosalind Nashashibi, the first woman to be awarded the prestigious Beck’s Futures Prize in 2003, and L’Homme Double, a sculptural installation by Christine Borland, which has never been shown in Scotland. Karla Black, who represented Scotland at the Venice Biennale in 2011, will create a new sculptural hanging piece in response to the Gallery’s imposing neo-classical Sculpture Hall.
At the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, the whole of Modern One – the larger of the Gallery’s two buildings – will be given over to GENERATION. As well as room-sized installations by Ross Sinclair (Real Life Rocky Mountain, 1996), Graham Fagen (Peek-A-Jobby, 1998), and Turner Prize winner Simon Starling (Burn-Time, 2000), a diverse range of work by artists such as Charles Avery, Kate Davis, Lucy McKenzie, Victoria Morton, Jonathan Owen, Julie Roberts and Alison Watt will demonstrate the continuing vitality of painting and drawing in Scotland. Newly commissioned installations by Claire Barclay, Toby Paterson, Ciara Phillips and Alex Dordoy will express different approaches to sculpture, painting, printmaking and collage. Turner Prize winner Douglas Gordon’s celebrated 24 Hour Psycho 1993 will be among several video works on show. Other film and video works include Henry Coombes’s The Bedfords (2009), Smith/Stewart’s Breathing Space (1997), Roderick Buchanan’s Soda Stream (1997), lent by Glasgow Museums, and Torsten Lauschmann’s At the Heart of Everything A Row of Holes (2011).
At the Scottish National Portrait Gallery visitors will have the opportunity to view a recent film by Turner Prize nominee Luke Fowler, The Poor Stockinger, the Luddite Cropper and the Deluded Followers of Joanna Southcott (2012), which builds a portrait of the Marxist historian and activist E P Thompson (1924–1993), using both newly shot and found film footage.
As well as the three main sites, a new digital-based work by Sue Tompkins will lead visitors on a walk between the Scottish National Gallery and the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art buildings, exploring ideas about location and place.
Speaking of GENERATION, Simon Groom, Director of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, said: “There is an amazing story to tell about art in Scotland over the past 25 years and we believe that we have found a very compelling way to tell it with what surely must be one of the most ambitious programmes of exhibitions ever mounted by a single country. Our own exhibition, which spans our three sites in Edinburgh is also unprecedented in scale and scope. It has been tremendously exciting to put together, and I hope it will give people a real sense of the huge impact made by a remarkable generation of artists.”
Culture Secretary, Fiona Hyslop said: “2014 is an exciting year for Scotland as we welcome the world to join us in the celebration of the second year of Homecoming, and as the host of the Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup. With the eyes of the world upon us, exhibitions like GENERATION, part of the Cultural Programme for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, showcase the depth and the breadth of talent in Scotland, and give us a chance to introduce a whole new generation to the vibrancy of contemporary art.
“GENERATION promises to be an exciting opportunity to see the very best of Scottish contemporary art from the past 25 years.”
The exhibition is accompanied by two publications, the GENERATION Guide and GENERATION Reader.
In addition, a significant public programme will accompany the exhibition, including talks, lectures, film screenings, practical art courses and weekly exhibition tours. Every Thursday at the Scottish National Gallery between 5pm and 7pm, and every month at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, visitors to GENERATION can explore the exhibition through pop-up talks, experimental drawing- and writing workshops and curator-led tours. There will also be a programme of talks by exhibiting artists and our regular fortnightly lunchtime lecture series will include contextual talks by experts and scholars.
From 21 July to 17 August, the Scottish National Gallery will host ‘The Generator’, an immersive experimental studio space for children and families to make and explore contemporary art. Painting to music, dressing like an artist and adding contributions to a specially created mural will be just some of the things on offer. Additionally, there will be new tours and workshops for schools and CPD sessions for teachers plus a new tour for visually impaired visitors, devised and designed by pupils from Drummond High and the Royal Blind School in Edinburgh.
28 June 2014 – 25 January 2015
Scottish National Gallery Of Modern Art (Modern One)
75 Belford Road, Edinburgh EH4 3DR
28 June – 2 November 2014
Scottish National Gallery, The Mound, Edinburgh EH2 2EL
28 June – 2 November 2014
Scottish National Portrait Gallery, 1 Queen Street, Edinburgh EH2 1JD
Admission FREE | 0131 6246 6200
Notes to Editors
The full list of artists to be shown across the three National Galleries of Scotland sites is: Charles Avery, Claire Barclay, Karla Black, Christine Borland, Martin Boyce, Roderick Buchanan, Steven Campbell, Henry Coombes, Kate Davis, Alex Dordoy, Graham Fagen, Luke Fowler, Douglas Gordon, Callum Innes, Torsten Lauschmann, Lucy McKenzie, Jonathan Monk, Victoria Morton, Rosalind Nashashibi, Jonathan Owen, Toby Paterson, Ciara Phillips, Julie Roberts, David Shrigley, Ross Sinclair, Smith/Stewart, Simon Starling, Sue Tompkins, Alison Watt, Richard Wright, The Bothy Project (Laura Aldridge).
GENERATION is a nationwide series of exhibitions celebrating 25 years of contemporary art in Scotland. The wide-ranging programme will feature over 100 artists exhibiting in over 60 venues, galleries and exhibition spaces the length and breadth of Scotland between April and November 2014. Part of the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme, GENERATION is being delivered through a partnership between the National Galleries of Scotland and Glasgow Life, supported by Creative Scotland. GENERATION is being produced with the assistance and expertise of partners including EventScotland, British Council Scotland, Museums Galleries Scotland, VisitScotland, BBC Scotland, Education Scotland, Children in Scotland and Young Scot.
Children celebrate success in Tesco Bank Art Competition for Schools at the Scottish National Gallery
Today (Wednesday 18 June) children from across Scotland will gather at the Scottish National Gallery in Edinburgh to celebrate winning Tesco Bank Art Competition for Schools.
The judges were kept busy as talented youngsters from schools across all 32 Scottish local authorities submitted a grand total of 7,171 entries.
At the special awards ceremony the winning young artists will be commended in their respective categories, and see their artwork go on display to the public for the very first time. All 53 prize-winning entries will remain on show at the Gallery until 28 October 2014, before touring across Scotland.
The competition was set up by the National Galleries of Scotland in 2004 to encourage children to interact with, and be inspired by, artworks in the national collection. Tesco Bank has proudly supported the competition for the last three years.
Every year a selection of works in the National Galleries’ collection is chosen to inspire entrants in each of the six age categories.
In celebration of the theme for this year’s Primary 1-3 group ‘Drumming Soldiers and Fluttering Fairies’, children at the awards ceremony will have a chance to meet a ballet dancer Claire Pentony in fairy costume and Fusilier McEntee from the Royal Regiment of Scotland in full dress uniform.
These special guests will be available for a photo-opportunity with four of winners from this category: Katherine Bruce, Portree Primary School (Highland Council), Megan McVey, Sanquar Primary School (Dumfries and Galloway Council), Aaron Maclarty, Easdale Primary School (Argyle and Bute Council) and Joel Lyth, McLean Primary School (Fife Council).
This category was partly inspired by the striking image Piper and Drummer of the 92nd Gordon Highlander (pictured) by the great Scottish pioneers of photography, D O Hill and Robert Adamson, as well as Sir Joseph Noel Paton’s celebrated painting The Quarrel of Oberon and Titania.
Thanks to Tesco Bank’s support the Galleries has been able to hold a series of roadshows across Scotland, which have helped the competition to grow enormously in the last three years. Of the 54,000 entries in the competition’s 11-year history nearly 25,000 have been submitted since Tesco Bank became the competition partner in 2011.
John Leighton, Director-General, National Galleries of Scotland, commented:
“We continue to be impressed by the wonderful selection of entries to the Tesco Bank Art Competition for Schools – a real indication of the immense creative talent to be found in young people all across Scotland. In our eleventh year we were delighted to once again receive entries for all 32 council areas from across the country. It is so important to us that this competition reaches as many young people as possible, giving them – and their teachers - an opportunity to discover and experiment with art, inspired by their surroundings and their very own national collection.”
Karl Bedlow, Managing Director, Insurance at Tesco Bank, who was involved in this year’s judging panels said:
“It was a great pleasure to see so many wonderful entries from across the country. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing how much enthusiasm there is for the magic of visual art. At Tesco Bank we strive to support the communities in which we operate by using our scale for good. That means providing valuable opportunities to help customers and their families live healthier and happier lives.”
For media enquiries please contact:
National Galleries of Scotland Press Office 0131 624 6332 / 325 / 247 / 314
Lawrence Broadie, Progress Sponsorship & Communications 07966 216 270
NOTES TO EDITORS
Category A – Nursery – Fish
1st Cillian Lynch (Roseburn Primary School)
2nd Zack Nicholson (Jigsaw Nursery)
3rd Owen Davies (Knightsridge Primary School)
Special Merit Abbie McManus (The Cottage Kindergarten), Oscar Cobham (Bruntsfield Community Nursery), Kitty Palmer (Roseburn Primary School), Aditi Chowdhury (Roseburn Primary School), Callum French (Levenhall Nursery School), Darcie O’Connor (The Kindergarten), Katie Ewesor (Knightsridge Primary School)
Category B – Primary 1-3 – Drumming Soldiers and Fluttering Fairies
1st Katherine Bruce (Portree Primary School)
2nd Ailee Templeton (Dunipace Primary School)
3rd Megan McVey (Sanquhar Primary School)
Special Merit Rhys Thomson (Alford Primary School), Zoey Overton (Udny Green Primary School), Aaron Maclarty (Easdale Primary School), Angus Robson (George Watson’s College), Mark Berroya (Roseburn Primary School), Joel Lyth (McLean Primary School), Madison McGill (Knightsridge Primary School)
Category C – Primary 4-7 – Amazing! I could do that!
1st Eva Fletcher (Portree Primary School)
2nd Ben Lawrence (McLean Primary School)
3rd Jessica Reed (George Heriot’s School)
Special Merit Andrew Ian Christie (Corstorphine Primary School), Bethany Macdonald (Flora Stevenson Primary School), Rowan Busby (Victoria Primary School), Jessica Cordiner (Dunipace Primary School), Saul Paton (McLean Primary School)
Category D – S1 and S2 – Speed
1st Erin Campbell (Dumfries Academy)
2nd Oskar James (Focus School)
3rd Hannah Fearn (Dollar Academy)
Special Merit Carla Smith (George Watson’s College), Catriona Leslie (Dollar Academy), Jaiden Irvine (Dollar Academy), Charlotte Johns (Dollar Academy), Finlay Quinn (Largs Academy), Josh Cameron (Girven Academy), Brian Robertson (St Modan’s High School)
Category E – Schools for Pupils with Special Educational Needs – Fire
1st Moesha Mustoe (Stanecastle School)
2nd Abodi Khogeer (St Crispin’s)
3rd James October (Galashiels Academy)
Special Merit Jack Hay (Hazelwood School), Clare Foggo (Prospect Bank School), Paul King (St Crispin’s), Brendan Thorburn (Donaldson’s School), Cameron Howey (Hillside School), Luke Johnston (Kilmaron Special School), Zara Glyn (Stanmore House School),
Category F – Group Entries
1st Fairview School (Perth and Kinross)
2nd Moniaive Primary School (Dumfries and Galloway)
3rd Hillside School (Fife)
About Tesco Bank’s Community Programme
Tesco Bank endeavours to use its scale for good for the benefit and well-being of our communities across Scotland and the North East. Activities in the programme include:
Tesco Bank Football Challenge: a partnership with the Scottish FA which has, so far, introduced more than 70,000 P2 and P3 children to physical activity through football in a fun and friendly way.
Tesco Bank Summer Reading Challenge Scotland, in association with The Reading Agency, encourages at least 40,000 young school children per year to read over the summer holidays.
Tesco Bank Art Competition for Schools, in partnership with the National Galleries of Scotland, aims to inspire 10,000 young people to get creative every year.
Fundraising for local children’s charities (partners for 2014/15 arePlace2Be, Aberlour and Tiny Lives) and for Tesco’s National Charity Partner Diabetes UK.
Volunteering to support the local communities in which we live and work.
About Tesco Bank
Tesco Bank offers a range of simple personal banking products, principally credit cards, personal loans, savings, mortgages and general insurance.
Our aim is to be a financial services provider of choice for Tesco customers by giving them good service, great value and by rewarding their loyalty for shopping at Tesco.
Last year we gave more than £100 million in Clubcard points to Tesco customers and we give a Clubcard discount on some of our insurance premiums to Tesco Clubcard holders.
Our customers hold 7 million accounts and policies.
We opened for business in 1997 and since 2008 have been owned by Tesco plc.
We now have approximately 4000 staff based in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Newcastle.
We use our scale for good and aim to be a valued part of the communities we operate in.
Tesco Bank is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.
FIRST SIGHT: Recent Acquisitions of Prints and Drawings
14 June − 12 October 2014
Scottish National Gallery, The Mound, Edinburgh EH2 2EL
Admission free│0131 624 6200
A group of around 30 outstanding drawings, watercolours and prints will go on display at the Scottish National Gallery this summer in an exhibition which highlights some of the superb recent additions to the permanentcollection.
The aptly named First Sight exhibition will provide the general public with the chance to see many of these fabulous acquisitions for the first time following careful conservation treatment. It also offers an incredibly diverse experience, with pieces ranging from large-scale exhibition watercolours to small working sketches, from Rembrandt in the 17th-century to Paul Cézanne in the late 19th-century.
Acquisitions on show for the first time include an evocative watercolour by James Skene of Rubislaw which was inspired by The Heart of Midlothian, the celebrated novel by his close friend Sir Walter Scott; a delicate watercolour of Glasgow Cathedral by painted by David Roberts in 1829; and a colourful Neapolitan costume study by Giovanni Battista Lusieri from the late 18th-century (pictured).
J M W Turner’s spectacular watercolour of Rome from Monte Mario, 1820, will once again be on show after it was briefly included in the Turner in January exhibition in 2013, along with a delicate red chalk drawing from about 1710 by Jean-Antoine Watteau. Both these pieces were allocated to the Galleries by the Government’s Acceptance in Lieu scheme.
There are also landscapes by artists new to the collection, such as the Italian watercolourist Carlo Labruzzi and British artists Thomas Miles Richardson Junior and Francis Nicholson, as well as prints from the magnificent bequest made by celebrated art collectors Henry and Sula Walton in 2012 which includes etchings by Goya, Jean-Franҫois Millet and Edouard Manet.
The Scottish National Gallery’s collection of prints and drawings has been built up through purchase, donation and bequest over many years. The generosity of supporters, donors, funding bodies and organisations has together helped to make the continued growth of this much treasured collection possible.
Works of art on paper make up the largest area of the Gallery’s permanent collection, comprising around 30,000 prints, drawings, watercolours, sketchbooks and antiquarian volumes. When not on display, this vast resource is made available to the general public in the Prints and Drawings Study Room at the Scottish National Gallery, open Monday to Friday 10am-12.30pm and 2pm-4.30pm.
JOHN BYRNE: SITTING DUCKS
14 June – 19 October 2014
SCOTTISH NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY
1 Queen Street, Edinburgh EH2 1JD
Admission free | 0131 624 6200
Organised in partnership with Inverness Museum and Art Gallery. Part of High Life Highland.
Part of the Edinburgh Art Festival, 31 July – 31 August 2014
A stunning new exhibition of portraits by one of the UK’s most versatile and accomplished artists will open the summer season at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery this week.
Born in Paisley in 1940, John Byrne has had a remarkable career over the last five decades, enjoying huge success as an artist, theatre designer, playwright and screenwriter. As a painter, as in life, Byrne is difficult to pin down, skillfully switching between an extraordinary array of styles, in a manner which betrays his restless intelligence and his remarkable ability to absorb disparate influences from the art of the past and draw upon them at will.
John Byrne: Sitting Ducks will explore and celebrate Byrne’s innovative and richly varied portraiture, with a selection of around 30 paintings and drawings, dating from the early 1970s to the present day. Focussing mainly upon sitters who are close to him - his children, partners, family members, friends and colleagues - it will also feature many witty and insightful self-portraits, such as Self-portrait with Yellow Cigarette (1986) and Ceci n’est pas un Auto-Portrait (c.2003), his homage to the Belgian surrealist Magritte.
Among the highlights will be a number of striking portraits of the actress Tilda Swinton, the artist’s former partner; iconic images of Billy Connolly, whom Byrne first met through their mutual friend, the singer-songwriter Gerry Rafferty (whose beautiful, hand-painted guitar will also be on show); and an unforgettable portrait of the actor Robbie Coltrane in the guise of Danny McGlone, one of the principal characters in the six-time BAFTA award-winning series Tutti Frutti, which Byrne wrote for the BBC in 1984.
Alongside these well-known images will be a fascinating selection of more intimate and revealing works, generously lent by a number of private collectors, which have rarely been seen in public. These include brilliant and touching images of Byrne’s children: John and Celie from his first marriage (the latter featuring in an extraordinary pastel sketch from the early 1970s, Celie Watching TV); and Tilda Swinton’s twins Honor and Xavier, who appear, singly and together, in a number of memorable portraits.
The exhibition’s punning title underlines the significance of loved ones in Byrne’s work. Falling so easily within his sights, they are a source of endless fascination for him, and are often, as a result, the subject of his most powerful works. Byrne is also an obsessive painter of his own likeness, having created hundreds of self-portraits in the course of his long career. For Byrne, identity is fluid, shifting and inconstant, and he appears in his paintings in a dizzying range of guises, somehow concealing as much as he reveals.
Indeed, Byrne’s first success as an artist came in the late 1960s when he submitted a series of paintings to a London gallery, claiming they were the work of ‘Patrick’, a retired labourer who painted as a hobby. The works were painted in a faux-naïve style which stemmed from Byrne’s admiration for the work of ‘primitive’ painters like his great hero Henri ‘Le Douanier’ Rousseau (a self-taught French artist who was championed by Picasso and the surrealists). They were an instant hit, and though he quickly had to reveal his true identity, Byrne continued to produce work in a similar vein. Sitting Ducks will feature some key works from this period, including Self-Portrait in a Flowered Jacket (1971-3) and the remarkable The American Boy (1971), a powerful and enigmatic image, painted on an epic scale.
Byrne’s ‘Patrick’ paintings belied his training and sophistication as an artist (he had been described by the registrar at Glasgow School of Art as one of the most gifted young painters ever to have studied there), and demonstrate how easily he can shift gear in his work. Some portraits, such as Xavier Asleep (2001),are dashed off with breath-taking facility while others, Sir Raymond Johnstone (1993) for example, are executed with immense control and precision. Many are done partly or wholly from memory rather than from life, with their realism filtered through Byrne’s imagination. Works such as Red and Unread (2002/04, a painting of Tilda Swinton), which are part-portrait and part-caricature, are described by Byrne as ‘formal’ portraits – images which capture and present the essence of the sitter unmistakably. Tellingly, Xavier Swinton-Byrne was once asked about the length of time he had to sit for his father and replied with a smile “My Dad knows what I look like.”
A profoundly individual artist, John Byrne has always admired painters who broke the rules, or who, like Rousseau, didn’t seem to realise that there were any. The prodigious range of work on show in Sitting Ducks illustrates how aptly the same claim can be made for Byrne himself, as well as the remarkable technical prowess, versatility, ingenuity, inventiveness, fun and gravity that he has brought to the genre of portraiture.
Speaking of the exhibition Christopher Baker, Director of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery said, “It is especially fitting that we should be celebrating the wonderfully diverse and accomplished portraiture of John Byrne – as he was the man who re-opened the doors of the Portrait Gallery following its successful re-development in 2011. I think visitors will find this a hugely enjoyable exhibition, as it combines iconic works with surprises, public figures and private moments. Underpinning them all is great warmth, wit and technical skill.”
Following its appearance in Edinburgh the exhibition will tour to Inverness, 1 – 29 November 2014.
LAST CHANCE FOR YOUNG ARTISTS TO WIN EXCLUSIVE CREATIVE OPPORTUNITY WITH URBAN OUTFITTERS AND THE SCOTTISH NATIONAL GALLERY OF MODERN ART
Urban Outfitters and the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art have teamed up in the search for a young artist or designer to create a new piece of window art, to coincide with the Gallery’s major summer exhibition GENERATION: 25 years of Contemporary Art in Scotland. The winner of the Window Art Competition will have their design installed at the Urban Outfitters store on Edinburgh’s Princes St, where it will remain on show during August, at the height of Edinburgh’s Festival period.
The competition was launched earlier this month, and the deadline for entries has been set for Thursday 29 May. The winning artist will collaborate with the store’s display artist to bring their vision to life and create a unique and exciting display which both encapsulates the feel of Urban Outfitter’s brand and GENERATION: 25 Years of Contemporary Art in Scotland.
The competition is open to 16-30-year-olds living in Scotland, offering a chance for budding and more established artists to see their work featured in a highly prominent location.
GENERATION: 25 Years of Contemporary Art in Scotland is a landmark series of exhibitions that celebrates some of the very best art to have emerged from Scotland in the last 25 years, and will be shown at more than 60 venues across the country from June to October 2014. This nationwide programme will be one of the most ambitious celebrations of contemporary art ever held by a single country, recognising the huge international acclaim that artists working with Scotland have achieved over the last generation.
As part of this the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art will mount a ground-breaking, three-part exhibition at Modern One, the Scottish National Gallery and Scottish National Portrait Gallery, offering an unprecedented view of the diverse ways contemporary art has developed in Scotland over the past 25 years.
More than 30 artists will be represented across the three sites, bringing together show-stopping, room-sized installations and iconic works made at pivotal moments. As well as looking back over the last 25 years, the exhibition shows the continuing dynamism of art in this country, with the inclusion of six newly commissioned installations and several new paintings, drawings and photographic works.
The winner of the Window Art Competition will receive £500 of Urban Outfitters gift vouchers, as well as invitations to the GENERATION opening events.
Closing date for entrants is 29 May 2014.
Notes to Editors:
For further information please contact the press office at the National Galleries of Scotland on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0131 624 6314/6332/6247/6325/.
Entry form and full Terms and Conditions are available at http://www.nationalgalleries.org/aboutus/special-projects/urban-outfitte...
GENERATION is a partnership between the National Galleries of Scotland and Glasgow Life, supported by Creative Scotland, and is part of Culture 2014, the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme.
GARETH HOSKINS ARCHITECTS ANNOUNCED AS ARCHITECT FOR SCOTTISH NATIONAL GALLERY PROJECT
The National Galleries of Scotland announced today, 1 May 2014, that Gareth Hoskins Architects has been appointed to oversee a major transformational project at the Scottish National Gallery over the next 4 years.
Galleries devoted to the national collection of historic Scottish art will be radically overhauled and significantly expanded whilst greatly improving visitor circulation and facilities at the Scottish National Gallery. The iconic building situated at The Mound in the centre of Edinburgh currently welcomes over a million visitors each year. The development aims to almost double the display space for Scottish art within the Scottish National Gallery designed by William Henry Playfair (1790-1857) and which opened in 1859.
Gareth Hoskins Architects is one of Scotland’s leading architectural practices. With studios in Glasgow and Berlin the practice is involved in a wide range of projects across Scotland and internationally. The practice has established a particular reputation for their design of arts and cultural schemes and the Scottish National Gallery project follows on from recent developments such as the Mareel Concert Hall in Shetland and the RIAS Doolan Award winning redevelopment of the National Museum of Scotland.
Michael Clarke, Director of the Scottish National Gallery said: “The outstanding collection of Scottish Art held at the Scottish National Gallery has an international significance and this transformational project will allow for the creation of new and innovative displays to inspire our growing number of visitors from all over the world. We look forward to working with Gareth Hoskins and his experienced team to deliver this exciting project.”
Gareth Hoskins commented: “We and our wider team are incredibly excited at the opportunity of working with the National Galleries to create new spaces for their fantastic collection of Scottish art as part of the ongoing evolution of one of Edinburgh and Playfair’s most significant groupings of cultural buildings.”
For further information please contact the press office at the National Galleries of Scotland on email@example.com or 0131 624 6325/6314.
Notes to Editors:
Gareth Hoskins Architects - Further Information
The practice has worked with a wide range of cultural organisations including the Victoria & Albert Museum, National Museums Scotland and the National Theatre for Scotland and is currently working with the Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh, Aberdeen Art Gallery, Strawberry Fields in Liverpool and Bird College of Arts in London. Further afield the practice designed Scotland’s pavilion for the Venice Biennale and recently won the international competitions for the Landesmuseum in Schleswig Holstein, the redevelopment of the Berlin State Library and the World Museum in Vienna.
Brief history of the Scottish National Gallery
Designed by the architect William Henry Playfair (1790-1857), the Royal Scottish Academy and the National Gallery of Scotland stand in the heart of Edinburgh. Although originally built as separate structures, their histories have long been intertwined, and since the completion of the Playfair Project in 2004, they have been physically joined by the underground Gardens Entrance.
Playfair was Scotland’s leading architect of his era and was responsible for a number of Edinburgh buildings, although his two galleries on The Mound are generally regarded as his finest. For the Royal Scottish Academy building (originally the RI), Playfair had chosen the Doric order, and designed a programme of sculptural decoration to reflect its inhabitant’s interest in ornament and design. For scenic effect, he made a deliberate contrast in his designs for the National Gallery building and opted for the graceful Ionic order. His two classical temples to the arts achieved a picturesque harmony with the dramatic backdrop of Edinburgh Castle.
The latest phase in The Mound’s history saw the completion of a link between the Royal Scottish Academy Building and the National Gallery of Scotland. Award-winning architects John Miller and Partners rose to the challenge of developing the two grand architectural pedigrees for modern use. The newly refurbished RSA is now a world-class exhibition space, while the underground Gardens Entrance houses a range of new visitor facilities, including the Clore Education Centre, a 200-seat lecture theatre and cinema, an IT Gallery and a 120-seat restaurant.
Other NGS redevelopment projects-
The Scottish National Gallery underwent a transformation with the Playfair Project completed in 2004. This £32 million project included the complete refurbishment of the Royal Scottish Academy and the creation of an underground link between the SNG and the RSA with additional visitor facilities such as a lecture theatre, café, restaurant and shop. The transformation allowed the site to become one of the key visitor attractions to the city.
The Scottish National Portrait Gallery reopened to the public on 1 December 2011 after a major refurbishment project. The £17.6 million was the first major refurbishment in the Gallery’s 120-year history and restored much of the architect’s original vision, opening up previously inaccessible parts of the building and increasing the public space by more than 60 percent.
SKILLS FOR THE FUTURE PROGRAMME FUNDING FOR THE NATIONAL GALLERIES OF SCOTLAND
The National Galleries of Scotland (NGS) has received a £611,100 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund under its Skills for the Future programme to support the National Galleries of Scotland Heritage Lottery Fund Collections Online Traineeships, a training programme for 18-24 year-olds. The project will be a dedicated training programme focussing on developing skills which are in demand throughout the heritage sector.
Starting in September 2014, 2 groups of 6 trainees will spend 18 months gaining first-hand experience of handling, documenting, digitising and researching the NGS collection of photography and works on paper. It is estimated that 20,000-30,000 works from the collection will be digitised during the project, due to end in July 2018. The outcome of the trainees’ work on the collection will be available online through the NGS website.
As museums and galleries across the UK and the world continue to widen access to collections online, the NGS recognises the need to provide the heritage sector with trained, qualified professionals who are able to deliver digitisation and online curatorial projects. The Traineeships will offer a unique opportunity for its participants to learn a range of heritage skills and to gain an SQA-accredited qualification relevant to a future career in heritage. The trainees will learn skills ranging from art and object handling and storage, curatorial research to online curatorial interpretation and writing skills to copyright clearance and research.
Sir John Leighton, Director-General of the National Galleries of Scotland said: “We are delighted to have been awarded this generous grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to enable young people to have access to and training in the skills required for a career in the heritage sector. It will also help enormously in making our collections even more accessible.”
The project will also be an opportunity for NGS to share their own leading expertise in this area and further collaborate with the National Library of Scotland, their shared-services partner. The trainees will be able to spend 20 weeks working with the National Library Scotland to learn from the Library’s experience with works such as books, maps, manuscripts and their extensive photography collection.
The trainees will be based in Edinburgh at the Scottish National Gallery and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, where the prints, drawings and photography collections are located, and the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art where the Collections Care department is based.
NGS is already strongly committed to offering volunteer placements across the organisation; over the last 3 years several volunteers have worked on digitisation-related projects, with the vast majority gaining employment in the culture sector and beyond following their internship. It is expected that at the end of the project, the trainees will become highly employable in the heritage sector, from galleries and museums to collections management, professional imaging, publications, research and more widely in cultural management.
For further information please contact the National Galleries Press Office on 0131 624 6314/6325 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notes to editors:
• Launched in July 2009, Skills for the Future is an HLF programme supporting organisations across the UK to develop vocational learning programmes. HLF has awarded grants totalling £47m under this programme enabling high-quality work-based training, the development of new qualifications and capacity building in the sector.
• Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) aims to make a lasting difference for heritage, people and communities across the UK and help build a resilient heritage economy. HLF has supported 36,000 projects with £6bn across the UK www.hlf.org.uk @heritagelottery.
RARE CUBIST DRAWING BY PICASSO ACQUIRED BY THE SCOTTISH NATIONAL GALLERY OF MODERN ART
The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art is delighted to announce the acquisition of a highly important drawing by Pablo Picasso, which goes on display for the first time today. This landmark purchase was made thanks to an enormously generous legacy made by Henry and Sula Walton.
Dating from 1912, Head is a large charcoal drawing of exceptional quality. Drawings from this crucial period in Picasso’s career are extremely rare and the larger works, such as Head, which measures 64.9 x 49.5 cm, are nearly all in museum collections.
Henry Walton (1924-2012) was Professor of Psychiatry and Professor of International Medical Education at the University of Edinburgh; Dr Sula Wolff (1924-2009) was an eminent Consultant Child Psychiatrist and the author of internationally acclaimed books on child psychiatry. Not only did they bequeath their art collection to the Gallery, but they also established the Henry and Sula Walton Charitable Fund, specifically to help the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art make new and important acquisitions.
Henry and Sula Walton were particularly passionate about Picasso’s work, assembling a collection of more than a dozen prints by the artist. Picasso’s cubist work dates from about 1907 to 1915. Rather than try to copy nature, Picasso was interested in recreating it by pulling it apart and recomposing it. Part of the impetus behind cubism comes from the desire to view an object from different sides, and re-compose these different views in a single picture. Cubism is arguably the most important development in art since the Renaissance, and its influence on art and design can hardly be over-estimated.
Simon Groom, Director of the Gallery of Modern Art announced: ‘I think Henry and Sula Walton would have been thrilled by this acquisition. They were passionate about art, passionate about the Gallery, and passionate that the very greatest artworks should be available for our visitors to see. This drawing lies right at the start of modern art. It is bold, dramatic and hugely inventive: with works such as this Picasso completely re-wrote the rules on art. There are comparable drawings in museums in Paris and New York, but nothing like it in any UK public collection. I think Henry and Sula would have been proud to change that.’
Picasso hoarded huge numbers of his drawings, and at his death in 1973, most of them passed to the French state and in turn became part of the new Musée Picasso in Paris. This drawing belonged to Picasso’s grand-daughter, Marina Picasso, from whom it was purchased by Jan Krugier (1924-2008), one of the world’s leading dealers in modern art. He kept it for his own collection. His celebrated collection of drawings was offered for sale at a Sotheby’s auction in London in February this year; the Gallery acquired it directly at auction.
The Gallery now boasts a world-class group of works by Picasso. The drawing relates to several works by Picasso already in the collection: a collage Head, 1913; and the large Weeping Woman etching of 1937.
Prof Elizabeth Cowling, a world-renowned expert on Picasso, will deliver a lunchtime talk on the work in the Studio, at the Gallery of Modern Art on 14 April at 12.45: admission free.
IMPORTANT LOAN FROM ROYAL COLLECTION TRUST TO SCOTTISH NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY RE-UNITES FRIENDS
1 March – 14 June 2014
SCOTTISH NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY, 1 Queen Street, Edinburgh EH2 1JD
Admission free | Telephone 0131 624 6200
Two paintings from the Royal Collection, generously lent by Her Majesty The Queen, will be on show at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery this spring. The display of the two paintings - a spectacular full-length portrait of King Charles I painted by the Dutch master Daniel Mytens in 1628, and an enigmatic, late-sixteenth-century portrait of an unknown woman by Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger – complements the exhibition In Fine Style: The Art of Tudor and Stuart Fashion, which opens at The Queen's Gallery, Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh on 14 March and runs until 20 July.
Mytens’s dazzling, brilliantly coloured portrait of Charles has been hung alongside the SNPG’s portrait of James Hamilton, Duke of Hamilton, which Mytens painted a year after completing the image of the King – the first time that these two portraits have been shown together. Hamilton was a close advisor and friend to Charles I. The two men were similar in age and shared a passion for collecting art - Hamilton was the only Scottish noble whose collection rivalled the King’s. In 1646 Charles appointed him as the first hereditary Keeper of the Palace of Holyroodhouse, a title retained to this day by the current Duke of Hamilton. However his relationship with the King could not hide the fact that he was a disastrous military leader: he was defeated and captured by Cromwell at the battle of Preston in 1648, and within six weeks of Charles I’s execution he was put to death on the same scaffold. This display shows these two important figures and friends reunited through major portraits by the same artist.
Portrait of an Unknown Woman by Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger, is believed to depict a woman wearing masque costume. The masque, an Elizabethan form of court entertainment and revelry, which featured dance, music and complex allegories, was revitalised at the Stuart court by the masques produced by Inigo Jones and Ben Jonson, under the patronage of James VI and I’s wife Anne of Denmark. Anne was responsible for commissioning and performing in the most sophisticated and extravagant productions that the court had ever seen. The portrait, which has never been on display in Scotland, shows the type of costumes worn in such displays, and now hangs alongside portraits of Queen Anne’s Jester Tom Derry and the poet William Drummond of Hawthornden - works which explore the theme of culture and performance at the Stuart court.
The two loans from Royal Collection Trust will be shown at the Portrait Gallery as part of its exhibition Reformation to Revolution, which charts the evolving use and style of portraiture from a time of Catholic absolute monarchy in the mid-16th century, to the Protestant revolution at the end of the 17th century.
The loans coincide with the opening of In Fine Style atthe Palace of Holyroodhouse, which explores the sumptuous costume of British monarchs and their court during the 16th and 17th centuries, through portraits in the Royal Collection.
Christopher Baker, Director of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, commented: “We are delighted that these major portraits have been generously lent to the Gallery, as they enable us to explore with wonderfully rich imagery key aspects of court life in the early seventeenth century.”
For more information on Royal Collection Trust please contact Sophie Lawrenson, email@example.com 020 7024 5549.
Royal Collection Trust, a department of the Royal Household, is responsible for the care of the Royal Collection and manages the public opening of the official residences of The Queen. Income generated from admissions and from associated commercial activities contributes directly to The Royal Collection Trust, a registered charity. The aims of The Trust are the care and conservation of the Royal Collection, and the promotion of access and enjoyment through exhibitions, publications, loans and educational programmes. Royal Collection Trust’s work is undertaken without public funding of any kind.
The Royal Collection is among the largest and most important art collections in the world, and one of the last great European royal collections to remain intact. It comprises almost all aspects of the fine and decorative arts, and is spread among some 13 royal residences and former residences across the UK, most of which are regularly open to the public. The Royal Collection is held in trust by the Sovereign for her successors and the nation, and is not owned by The Queen as a private individual.
At The Queen’s Galleries in London and Edinburgh and in the Drawings Gallery at Windsor Castle, aspects of the Collection are displayed in a programme of temporary exhibitions. Many works from the Collection are on long-term loan to institutions throughout the UK, and short-term loans are frequently made to exhibitions around the world as part of a commitment to public access and to show the Collection in new contexts.
TITIAN AND THE GOLDEN AGE OF VENETIAN ART
22 March – 14 September 2014
SCOTTISH NATIONAL GALLERY, The Mound, Edinburgh EH2 2EL
Telephone 0131 624 6200
Exhibition generously supported by the Friends of the National Galleries of Scotland
Two of the world’s most celebrated paintings will be at the heart of a fascinating new exhibition which opens at the Scottish National Gallery this week. Titian’s Diana and Actaeon and Diana and Callisto were jointly acquired by the Scottish National Gallery and the National Gallery in London in 2009 and 2012, following a nationwide fundraising campaign. Titian and the Golden Age of Venetian Art will draw upon the Gallery’s superb collection of sixteenth-century Venetian paintings, drawings and prints to provide context for these paintings and illuminate this exceptionally creative period in the city’s history.
A major coup for the exhibition is the opportunity to show for the first time in Scotland Titian’s late masterpiece, the Death of Actaeon, from the National Gallery, London. This is the first time it has been lent anywhere since the National Gallery acquired it in 1972. The picture was intended as part of the same series as the two Diana scenes, but was never fully resolved by the artist and remained in his studio until his death.
The exhibition will include 16 paintings and some 30 drawings and prints by most the top names in Venetian art of the period, including Lorenzo Lotto, Palma Vecchio, Jacopo Bassano, Jacopo Tintoretto and Paolo Veronese. Highlights will include Bassano’s festive pageant, the Adoration of the Kings, and Tintoretto’s altarpiece, Christ Carried to the Tomb, as well as Titian’s early pastoral masterpiece, the Three Ages of Man.
This latter painting is part of the incomparable Bridgewater Loan of Old Master Paintings to the Scottish National Gallery. Crucially, the acquisition of the two Diana paintings from the same collection has guaranteed the continuation of this entire loan until at least 2030. Notable among the selection of works on paper is a rare, recently identified drawing by Titian, which the Gallery acquired, unrecognised for what it was, at auction in 2007. Also on show will be a fine selection of prints reproducing works by Titian.
Diana and Actaeon and Diana and Callisto formed part of a series of six large mythological paintings by Titian with subjects drawn from the ancient writer Ovid’s Metamorphoses. One of the greatest series of paintings in European art, the works were painted over a ten-year period (about 1552-62) for the Spanish king, Philip II, who was Titian’s most important patron for the last two decades of his career. The two Diana scenes have been admired by artists ever since they were painted, from Peter Paul Rubens and Diego Velázquez in the seventeenth century, to the great twentieth-century British painter Lucian Freud, who described them as ‘simply the most beautiful pictures in the world’.
The exhibition also affords the National Galleries of Scotland and the National Gallery, London, an opportunity to recognise and thank the many organisations and individuals who contributed so generously to the acquisitions of these extraordinary pictures
Ben Thomson, Chairman of the Trustees of the National Galleries of Scotland, said: ‘Thanks to a fantastic collaboration with the National Gallery in London we were able to secure two superlative masterpieces for the public. We look forward to building on this collaboration in the future.’
A free Titian & Diana app is available to download from nationalgalleries.org. Generously supported by the Art Fund, the app offers extensive audio and visual content, including curatorial interviews, about these iconic paintings.
Notes to editors
Diana and Actaeon, 1556-59
Purchased jointly by the National Galleries of Scotland and the National Gallery, London, with contributions from The Scottish Government, the National Heritage Memorial Fund, The Monument Trust, the Art Fund (with a contribution from the Wolfson Foundation), Artemis Investment Management Ltd, Binks Trust, Mr Busson on behalf of EIM Group, Dunard Fund, The Fuserna Foundation, Gordon Getty, The Hintze Family Charitable Foundation, J Paul Getty Jnr Charitable Trust, John Dodd, Northwood Charitable Trust, The Rothschild Foundation, Sir Siegmund Warburg’s Voluntary Settlement and through public appeal 2009
Diana and Callisto, 1556-59
Purchased jointly by the National Galleries of Scotland and the National Gallery, London, with contributions from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Art Fund (with a contribution from the Wolfson Foundation), The Monument Trust, J Paul Getty Jnr Charitable Trust, Mr and Mrs James Kirkman, Sarah and David Kowitz, Chris Rokos, The Rothschild Foundation, Sir Siegmund Warburg’s Voluntary Settlement and through private appeal and bequests 2012
Diana and Actaeon and Diana and Callisto are jointly owned by NGS and the National Gallery London. The two paintings are displayed together on a rotating basis between Edinburgh and London.
IAN RANKIN PORTRAIT GIFTED TO SCOTTISH NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY BY ALEXANDER McCALL SMITH
Two of Scotland’s most admired authors will be at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery (SNPG) in Edinburgh his week for the unveiling of the latest addition to the national collection - a striking new portrait of renowned crime writer Ian Rankin. The meticulous and thoughtful painting was commissioned from Edinburgh-based artist Guy Kinder by another of Scotland’s most high-profile contemporary writers, Alexander McCall Smith, who has generously presented it to the Gallery.
Guy Kinder’s insightful portrait depicts Rankin in a contemplative pose, in the surroundings of the Oxford Bar, the Edinburgh pub famously frequented by both his fictional creation, Inspector Rebus, and the author himself. The portrait was commissioned in 2013 by McCall Smith, the bestselling author and friend of Ian Rankin, and was first shown, to great acclaim, in the annual exhibition of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters in May of last year.
Following an unveiling at the SNPG on 27 March, the portrait will join the Gallery’s rich collection of portraits which celebrate the achievements of Scotland’s great literary figures, from Burns and Scott to Stevenson and Barrie.
Born in Cardenden in Fife in 1960, Rankin graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1982 and began writing books while working towards a PhD on modern Scottish fiction. His Rebus novels, the first of which was published in 1987, have been translated into 36 languages and are bestsellers across the world, winning Rankin numerous awards, including four Crime Writers’ Association Dagger Awards, America’s Edgar Award, Denmark’s Palle Rosenkrantz Prize and the French Grand Prix du Roman Noir.
In 2009 the author was rewarded for his outstanding contribution to the cultural and social landscape of Edinburgh when he became the first recipient of the Edinburgh Award and was also appointed Deputy Lieutenant of Edinburgh. He has received honorary degrees from the universities of Abertay, St Andrews, Edinburgh, Hull and the Open University, and was awarded the OBE for services to literature in 2003.
The artist Guy Kinder was born in 1960 and studied drawing and painting at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art under the eminent Scottish artists Alberto Morrocco and David McClure. He ran a successful commercial gallery for many years and is an award-winning filmmaker. Kinder has painted throughout his career, undertaking commissions and taking part in exhibitions in London, Manchester, Edinburgh, Perth and Dundee. He now paints full-time from his Edinburgh studio, and specialises in portraiture.
Speaking of the painting, Christopher Baker, Director of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery said, ‘This is a very welcome addition to the national collection – a powerful portrait of one of Scotland’s greatest contemporary writers by a highly skilled local artist. It is also a most generous gift to the Gallery from a friend of both the painter and the sitter.’
Alexander McCall Smith added, ‘It gives me the greatest possible pleasure to present this portrait to the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. I think that Guy Kinder has captured Rankin perfectly. Ian is a good and kind man and I think that this comes out in the portrait, while at the same time the artist has somehow managed to hint at the atmosphere of Ian’s novels. The result, I think, is something of a triumph.’
Ian Rankin added, ‘I've only been painted a few times in my life, usually as a caricature to accompany a newspaper review of one of my books, so it was slightly unnerving to see how well Guy Kinder had captured me. Of course, he found me in my natural habitat - the Oxford Bar - so I'm more at ease than in some situations. I like the painting a lot, but I do wonder what I was thinking at the time. Maybe my drink is just out of view...’
- Ends -
FUR, BIZMUTH & SPINY OYSTER ZOË FOTHERGILL
8 March-6 April 2014
SCOTTISH NATIONAL GALLERY OF MODERN ART (Modern One)
75 Belford Road, EH4 3DR
Telephone 0131 624 6200
The winner of the 2012 John Watson Prize, which is awarded each year to a graduating student at Edinburgh College of Art, will present her most recent work in a new display at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art this week. Zoë Fothergill, whose impressive degree show earned her the award, is fascinated by the ways in which digital technologies have begun to alter our experience of the world. The three new pieces she has created for Fur, Bizmuth & Spiny Oyster are based on her research into the internet phenomenon Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR).
The term describes the physical response, generally felt as a pleasurable tingling in the head and scalp, which is reportedly caused by exposure to a range of sensory triggers, and which has been closely linked in recent years to the experience of watching homemade ‘whisperer’ videos posted on internet sites such as YouTube. These videos are posted by people known as ‘ASMRtists’, who attempt to stimulate the viewer’s response by addressing the camera in a soft voice, and generating gentle, soothing sounds, by touching, handling and describing inanimate (and sometimes animate) objects - crinkling paper, tapping fingernails, or brushing hair for example.
To date there has been no dedicated research to establish a physiological basis for ASMR, but news reports have suggested that many people successfully use the videos as a means of alleviating the effects of stress or insomnia. The experience is described in a variety of ways, but for some it is akin to synaesthesia (where the stimulation of one sense produces a secondary, involuntary stimulation of another), or to hypnosis. For others it has a titillating or confessional thrill, but for most of the hundreds of thousands of people in the online community that has grown up around ASMR these intimate, non-sexualised exchanges are the source of the specific, euphoric sensation which has variously been described as a ‘brain massage’, ‘head tingle’ and ‘braingasm’.
Fur, Bizmuth & Spiny Oyster, comprises three new works which explore the different forms that ASMR videos can take, and celebrates Fothergill’s fascination with the phenomenon, combining found online footage with studio-based material produced by the artist.
The first film, Keep Delete (2014), focuses on the show-and-tell format adopted by many ASMRtists, as they handle a range of objects and describe for the viewer their tactile, material qualities. The work combines a beautifully edited collage of YouTube video clips with a whispered narrative recorded by the artist. This follows the transcript of an online editorial discussion around the absence of scientific evidence which preceded the deletion of the first ASMR page on Wikipedia.
How does that feel? (2014) will be presented on a small screen with headphones, positioned at a desk and chair, to allow visitors to experience the work individually. The film brings together a succession of clips from ‘role-play’ videos, the other principal format used by ASMRtists. In these the performer enacts a scenario which mimics a direct, one-to-one interaction between themselves and the viewer – such as a session at the hair salon, an eye examination or a make-up application – which is again accompanied by a softly-spoken or whispered monologue, recorded on binaural (or 3-D) microphones to intensify the illusion of a personal, intimate encounter.
The final film casts three objects - fur, bizmuth and spiny oyster- as its principal characters, who together enact a ‘transactional analysis’ (a form of psychoanalysis that originated in 1960s California) of ASMR. The work explores the nature of the interaction between the performer and the viewer, as well as the psychological motives behind individuals’ involvement in the ASMR community.
A limited edition publication has been hand-made by the artist to accompany the exhibition. It includes two commissioned texts, a contextual piece by Emma Balkind and a fictional work by James Clegg, in addition to an interview between SNGMA curator Linsey Young and the artist. Imagery produced by the artist is combined with specific paper/fabric selection to make the publication both a visual and tactile experience. The publication has been made possible by the generous support of Arts Trust Scotland.
The research for this body of work was initiated during a residency at Hospitalfield Arts, Arbroath in July 2013 for which the artist was awarded funding by Creative Scotland’s Professional Development Programme.
Since graduation Fothergill has exhibited extensively including at Embassy, in Edinburgh (2013), at Flood, in Dublin (2013) and at FilmForum in Los Angeles (2014).
Artist Talk: Monday 31 March, 12.45-1.30 pm The Studio, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (Modern One)
Artist Workshop: Thursday 3 April, 5.30-6.45 pm Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (Modern One)
EDWARD LEAR IN GREECE
15 February–8 June 2014
Scottish National Gallery
The Mound, Edinburgh EH2 2EL
Telephone 0131 624 6200
A collection of 27 outstanding watercolours by the famous Victorian writer, poet and artist Edward Lear (1812-1888), is on show at the Scottish National Gallery this spring. Edward Lear in Greece highlights the superb draughtsmanship of this versatile artist and examines his enchanting depictions of Greek landscapes, all part of the SNG’s permanent collection. The display includes both highly finished studio watercolours, such as Athens 1849, and sketches drawn in situ and annotated with Lear’s notes about details of the landscape and weather. Lear’s sketches, in particular, are now widely admired for the elegance and precision of his drawing and for their vivid and spontaneous evocation of place.
Although now perhaps best known for his limericks and nonsense verse, Edward Lear (1812-1888) was also a superb zoological draughtsman, a talented musician and a celebrated landscape artist. He began to draw commercially at the age of 16 and his illustrations of birds quickly brought him to the attention of an affluent patron, Lord Stanley, who commissioned drawings from his private menagerie. In 1834 he turned his attention to landscape drawings and moved to Rome three years later; he kept travelling until his death and produced over 10,000 sketches inspired by his journeys
Lear first visited Greece in 1848 and was immediately mesmerized by the landscape. Unlike many other artists of the time, he was as captivated by the recent history and contemporary life of Greece as by the country’s antique past. Despite suffering poor health he travelled widely throughout Greece, from Athens and the Peloponnese to the remote mountains of the Epirus region in the north-west which are represented in the two stunning Suli watercolours. Lear wrote of his aim to travel to and paint sites not previously represented by other artists; he visited Mount Athos, the Holy Mountain of the Orthodox Church, in 1856. Also widely depicted in the display is the island of Corfu, where Lear lived and worked on-and-off for a decade
The works in the display have recently received conservation treatment, which has transformed their appearance and revealed delightful colours. During the process a previously unknown sketch by Lear was revealed on the back of one work. The display offers further information about these fascinating discoveries. The watercolours on show were accepted by HM Government in lieu of tax and allocated to the SNG in 2003. They come from the outstanding collection of the distinguished historian Sir Steven Runciman (1903-2000) whose portrait by Steven Conroy is in the SNPG.
THE TAYLOR WESSING PHOTOGRAPHIC PORTRAIT PRIZE 2013
1 March – 14 June 2014
SCOTTISH NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY, 1 Queen Street, Edinburgh EH2 1JD
0131 624 6200
Exhibition organised by the National Portrait Gallery, London
The best new portrait photography from around the world will feature in a stunning exhibition which opens at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery (SNPG) in Edinburgh this week. The Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize brings together 60 outstanding entries from the 2013 competition, which attracted more than 5,000 submissions from some of the most talented photographers working today.
Established in 1993, this prestigious prize is organised by the National Portrait Gallery in London and has been sponsored by international law firm Taylor Wessing for the last six years. The £12,000 first prize was awarded this year to Spencer Murphy, 35, for his mesmerising portrait of Irish jump jockey Katie Walsh. Taken at Kempton Park racecourse when she was shooting a series of jump jockeys’ portraits for Channel Four’s The Original Extreme Sport campaign, the portrait shows the mud-spattered and dishevelled Murphy in the racing colours of Seabass, the horse which she rode to third place in the 2012 Grand National.
Speaking of his winning portrait, Spencer Murphy said: ‘I wanted to show both her femininity and the toughness of spirit she requires to compete against the best riders in one of the most demanding disciplines in horse racing. I chose to shoot the series on large format film, to give the images a depth and timelessness that I think would have been hard to achieve on a digital camera.’
Second prize was taken by Giles Price, a former Royal Marine Commando who took up photography during the first Gulf War in Iraq. His image Kumbh Mela Pilgrim Mamta Dubey and infant is part of a series shot in a makeshift, pop-up studio at the 2013 Kumbh Mela, the annual congregation of up to 100 million Hindu pilgrims in Allahabad, India.
Anoush Abrar’s simple but hugely powerful portrait of former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan took third prize. The Iranian-born photographer’s achievement is made all the more remarkable by the fact that he had only three minutes of the Ghanaian diplomat’s time to complete his commission for the German publication Zeitmagazin.
The competition creates a fascinating mix of work by established professionals, photography students and gifted amateurs, working in a diverse range of styles and approaches, from editorial and advertising images to fine art. This year Dorothea Deiss, a paediatric endocrinologist in a Berlin clinic, who works on photographic projects in her spare time, was awarded fourth prize for her striking portrait of seventy-five-year-old identical twins Esther and Ruth, whom she photographed at their home for her series VisibleInvisible.
Among the diverse range of sitters and subjects featured in the show are a number of engaging portraits of well-known figures such as the actor Vanessa Redgrave, novelist Zadie Smith, Classical historian Mary Beard, ex-footballer Sol Campbell; and columnist and TV personality Charlie Brooker. Portraits taken in Ghana, USA, South Africa, the Dominican Republic, Syria, Mexico, Kazakhstan, Peru and Switzerland demonstrate the international scope and continuing significance of the competition.
Speaking of the exhibition, Annie Lyden, International Photography Curator at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, said: ‘Portraiture is a critical component of photography dating back to the 1840s. This exhibition celebrates the genre from a contemporary perspective—presenting a multitude of portraits from celebrity figures to the unknown; the joyous to the melancholic; the everyday to the quirky, all of which are represented by these works.’
Sandy Nairne, Director of the National Portrait Gallery London and competition judge, added: ‘The 2013 Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize exemplifies photographic portraiture at its most perceptive. These are sharp, engaging portraits. My congratulations to all the prize-winners.’
Tim Eyles, UK Managing Partner at international law firm Taylor Wessing and competition judge, added: ‘The photographic talent in the competition this year was as outstanding as ever. The selection of these winning portraits from the thousands submitted is a great testament to their quality. Our congratulations to all the shortlisted photographers.’’
For further information and images please contact the National Galleries of Scotland's press office on 0131 624 6314 / 6325 / 6247
Notes to Editors
The fully illustrated book which accompanies this year’s exhibition features an essay by Kate Bush, Curator, and interviews with the prize-winners by Richard McClure. £15 paperback.
The competition was judged from original prints at the National Portrait Gallery London, by: Sandy Nairne, Director, National Portrait Gallery, London (Chair); Kate Bush, Curator; Suki Dhanda, photographer; Tim Eyles, UK Managing Partner, Taylor Wessing; Terence Pepper, Senior Special Advisor, National Portrait Gallery, London; and Rebecca Valentine, photographic agent.
An extraordinary and challenging self-portrait by the celebrated Scottish artist Angela Palmer, which has been acquired by the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, goes on display to the public for the first time today. Brain of the Artist (2013) is a striking example of Palmer’s unique sculptural technique, in which digital information provided by medical scanners is used to inspire a three-dimensional image, engraved or drawn on glass, which reveals the inner architecture contained within an object.
Palmer’s subject matter most often relates to the human form, taking in both portraiture and self-portraiture, although she has also explored the structures of animals and plants. The artist’s beautiful sculptures are painstakingly built up, plane by plane, from individual sheets of glass, onto which she has engraved the contours of a cross section of her subject, in this instance the artist’s own brain.
Each glass sheet ‘maps’ a section of the brain, using information from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, which the artist underwent at University College London. Brought together, the layered ‘maps’ create a 3D image which appears to float in a glass chamber, and which can only be perceived from certain angles, disappearing when the work is viewed from the side. The result is a most unusual and highly objective form of portraiture with a powerful, poignant beauty. Illuminated from below, Brain of the Artist is an elegant, ethereal work, which evokes the complexity and fragility of the human body. This stunning sculpture also prompts intriguing questions about the nature of portraiture and self-representation today.
Born in Aberdeen in 1957, Palmer had a distinguished career in journalism before studying at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art at Oxford University and the Royal College of Art in London from 2002 to 2007. She came to international prominence in 2009 when her work Ghost Forest, an installation of West African rainforest tree stumps, was shown in Trafalgar Square in London and at the UN’s Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, to highlight the depletion of the World’s natural resources. It is now on permanent display at The National Botanic Garden of Wales, Carmarthenshire.
Palmer developed her sculptural technique while studying anatomy at the Ruskin School and has subsequently worked on many projects with scientists at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, Aberdeen University and University College London. One of the most sensational displays in the Egyptian galleries of the refurbished Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, which opened to great acclaim in 2011, is Palmer’s Ashmolean Mummy Boy, a work which reveals the contours of the child’s body wrapped within a 2,000-year-old Egyptian mummy.
She has also made similarly intimate portraits of an eighth-century BC Theban priest Djeddjehutyiuefankh and the legendary eighteenth-century thoroughbred racehorse Eclipse. Another notable series of portraits is based upon scans of the head of novelist Robert Harris, who drew upon Palmer’s work for one of the main characters in his 2011 novel The Fear Index.
Brain of the Artist is the first work by Angela Palmer to enter the collection of the SNPG. Speaking of the acquisition, Christopher Baker, Director of the Gallery, said: “This remarkable sculpture is a most welcome addition to the collection. A delicate and ethereal work, it develops in a novel and arresting way the nature of self-portraiture, and showcases the creativity of a highly inventive Scottish artist.”
Angela Palmer added: “It is an extraordinary experience, staring at your brain floating in a glass chamber before you. Unlike traditional portraiture, an image of one's brain does not depict anything recognisably ‘you’ and yet it could not be more intensely personal. I hope through this work, visitors will contemplate their own brain - the organ which makes us who we are, the command centre which controls our senses, our behaviour, our very being. It is an enormous honour to be exhibited in the Gallery, and all the more daunting in the Great Hall beneath the frieze depicting the most illustrious Scots in the world. Perhaps visitors will now glance up at these great figures above and reflect on the prodigious minds bearing down at them.”
The artist’s work is represented in the collections of the Wellcome Trust; the Institute of Medical Sciences, Aberdeen; the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford; the Royal Bank of Scotland; and The Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, Washington.
UNIQUE REMBRANDT ETCHING REDISCOVERED
A unique Rembrandt etching has been rediscovered in the Print Room of the Scottish National Gallery in Edinburgh. The print, a portrait of the Amsterdam preacher Jan Cornelis Sylvius (1564-1638), was previously catalogued as a copy of a work by Rembrandt. However, recent research by Dr Tico Seifert, the Gallery’s Senior Curator for Northern European Art, has established that the etching is the work of the Dutch master himself. Dr Seifert’s research has also confirmed that this is the only known version of the image to have been printed in red ink. Portrait of Jan Cornelis Sylvius will be on display to the public from today, Wednesday 22 January.
Speaking of his discovery, Dr Seifert said: ‘I became suspicious once I found that all the known copies of this print are in reverse – which this one obviously wasn’t. With mounting excitement I made further comparisons and it became increasingly clear that I was not dealing with the work of a copyist but looking at an etching by Rembrandt himself. I then contacted colleagues in Amsterdam to find out about impressions in red ink, which are generally very rare. To my great surprise and delight they told me it is a unique print.
The Print Room of the Scottish National Gallery houses more than 100 impressions of Rembrandt etchings, with some superb examples, and it is immensely thrilling when we make a discovery of this kind.’
Rembrandt (1606-1669), who is renowned as one of the most skilled printmakers in the history of art, made his Portrait of Jan Cornelis Sylvius in 1633, shortly after moving to Amsterdam from his hometown of Leiden. The subject of this lively portrait was a relative of Saskia van Uylenburgh (1612-1642) whom Rembrandt married in the same year. Sylvius became the godfather to the couple’s first child and baptised their daughter Cornelia in 1638, the year he died.
The red impression of the portrait was printed from the so-called ‘second state’ of Rembrandt’s etching plate, when wear (from heavy use) had been repaired by a different hand, after the artist’s death, most likely in the early eighteenth century.
Portrait of Jan Cornelis Silvius will be shown alongside an impression of the same image in black ink, which shows further reworking, and which was probably printed later in the eighteenth century, as the market for Rembrandt etchings continued to flourish. Also on show will be one of the artist’s rare original copper etching plates Beggar Woman Leaning on a Stick of 1646.
Dramatic portrait takes pride of place alongside paintings by Sir Henry Raeburn.
The National Galleries of Scotland announces the acquisition of a photographic portrait of Queen Elizabeth II that goes on display today at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. Photographer Julian Calder’s Queen of Scots, Sovereign of The Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of The Thistle and Chief of The Chiefs, depicts Her Majesty The Queen standing by the Gelder Burn on the Balmoral estate in Royal Deeside.
The formal portrait, set against a dramatic highland backdrop was made in August 2010 and the photographer was inspired by the work of great Scottish artist, Sir Henry Raeburn (1756-1823), who included evocative landscapes as backgrounds for some of his most memorable paintings. It has been hung in Gallery 7 at the Portrait Gallery with examples of Raeburn’s portraiture.
In this photograph Her Majesty The Queen is presented as Sovereign of The Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of The Thistle, a chivalric Order that dates from the seventeenth century. Her Majesty wears the robes of the Order and insignia bearing the emblem of the thistle (the national flower of Scotland) and the cross of Saint Andrew (the patron saint of both the nation and the Order).
This memorable portrait first appeared in a book called Keepers: The Ancient Offices of Britain (2013), by Alastair Bruce, Julian Calder and Mark Cator. This edition of the book was published to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of The Queen’s Coronation. The photograph now on show at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery is however the only version of the portrait in a gallery collection.
Christopher Baker, Director of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, commented:
“This unusual and impressive portrait of Her Majesty The Queen is a very welcome addition to the Scottish National Portrait Gallery’s collection. Her Majesty visited the Gallery in 2012 to formally re-open, following its highly successful re-development, and so it is especially pleasing to be able to show here such a striking and distinctly Scottish portrait, which represents an accomplished and fresh interpretation of traditional imagery.”
Notes to editors
This work was acquired with the aid of the Patrons of the National Galleries of Scotland, 2013.
The support of the Patrons of the National Galleries of Scotland is vital for the work of the galleries; their generosity has made possible the acquisition of over 1,200 individual items, including paintings, drawings, prints, sculpture and photography. Additionally, the Patrons provide valuable help with funding for special exhibitions and major projects, such as the recent transformation of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.
The Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs today announced the appointment of six new Trustees to the Board of the National Galleries of Scotland.
The National Galleries of Scotland cares for, develops, researches and displays the national collection of Scottish and international art and, with a lively and innovative programme of activities, exhibitions, education and publications, aims to engage, inform and inspire the broadest possible public.
Alistair Dodds has held senior management positions in the Highland Council over a period of 18 years in HR, Corporate Governance, and was Chief Executive for over six years until August 2013.
He is a former Company Secretary to Eden Court Theatre, Inverness and has a keen personal interest in the arts, having been a Friend of the National Galleries of Scotland for many years.
Mr Dodds has an Economics degree from Edinburgh University, a post graduate Diploma in Personnel Management from Strathclyde University and an MBA (Distinction) from Dundee University.
Edward Green is a specialist in jewellery and antiques. During his 30 years career, he has held the positions of Deputy Chairman of Garrard the Crown Jewellers and Managing Director, Mappin & Webb, and was responsible for taking both companies into Asia. Following that, he was a main board director of Asprey and President of Asprey in the United States.
Mr Green graduated from Strathclyde University with a BA in business and administration (HCM).
Benny Higgins began his career at Standard Life where he qualified as an actuary and progressed to RBS and subsequently HBOS where he was Chief Executive of their Retail Banking divisions. He took the helm at Tesco Bank in 2008 following Tesco’s buyout of the RBS share.
He is a member of the Glasgow Economic Leadership Board and the Commonwealth Games Legacy Board. He is also a non-executive director of Buccleuch Group, a member of the Scottish Government’s Financial Services Advisory Board (FiSAB) and a Princes Trust Ambassador.
Tari Lang is an international advisor to corporations and governments/government bodies providing senior specialist counsel on reputation risk and management, and leadership development. Ms Lang was the Founding Partner of Reputation lnc, a reputation management consultancy in London, Dublin and Dubai and before that, CEO of Edelman Public Relations Worldwide in London.
Ms Lang currently sits on the Board of the National Theatre of Scotland, the Edinburgh International Festival Council and the Nominating Council of Women of the Year.
Professor Nick Pearce holds the Sir John Richmond Chair of Fine Art at the University of Glasgow. Since joining the University in 1998, he has held the position of Head of History of Art and latterly Head of the School of Culture & Creative Arts within the College of Arts. A specialist in the arts of China, his career has straddled both academe and museums, having previously held curatorial positions at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, The Burrell Collection in Glasgow and the Oriental Museum at the University of Durham.
Professor Pearce is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London and of the Royal Society of Arts. He is also a Visiting Professor on the Smithsonian Institution’s Masters Program in the History of the Decorative Arts in Washington D.C. and a Trustee of the Textile Conservation Foundation.
Willie Watt is chief executive of Martin Currie Investment Management Ltd. He joined Martin Currie as chief executive in January 2001. Before that, he spent 16 years with 3i Group, latterly as a managing director responsible for the Scottish part of its UK business. He ran specialist venture, buy out and the oil and gas teams.
Martin Currie has developed over the last ten years as a specialist international equities boutique focussing on Global, Asian and Emerging Markets.
Mr Watt received a First-Class Honours degree in Geography from the University of Aberdeen and then went on to complete a 3 year Carnegie research scholarship in Geography and Archaeology.
These appointments are for four years. The appointments of Alistair Dodds, Edward Green, Benny Higgins and Tari Lang will commence on 1st January 2014. The appointments of Nicholas Pearce and Willie Watt will commence on 1st October 2014.
Following these new appointments the National Galleries Of Scotland board will comprise seven men and five women from 1 September 2014.
These appointments are part-time. The time commitment is approximately 6 days per year. These appointments are not remunerated.
These appointments are regulated by the Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland.
Other Public Appointments
None of the appointees currently hold any other Public Appointments.
All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for appointees’ political activity within the last five years (if there is any to be declared) to be made public. None of the appointees have had any political activity in the last five years.