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BEYOND CARAVAGGIOBEYOND CARAVAGGIO
Added: 22 Jun 2017
Beyond Caravaggio at the Scottish National Gallery. The exhibition runs from Saturday 17 June to 24 September 2017.

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571 – 1610) was a radical and revolutionary artist whose work had a transformative impact on art in Italy and beyond during his lifetime and in the decades following his premature death. Brilliant, challenging, argumentative and violent, our image of his work is inseparable from his tumultuous personal life, which combined support from several of the most discriminating patrons of the day, with repeated appearances in the Roman law courts. In 1606 he murdered a man after a quarrel over a game of tennis and spent the last four years of his life as a fugitive, although he also produced his most profound and moving works during this time.

This is the first exhibition of works by Caravaggio and his followers – the so-called Caravaggesque painters – ever to be shown in Scotland. Caravaggio’s dramatic lighting and compositions, and his radically new approach to subject matter exerted a huge influence on a host of contemporary artists from all over Europe, many of them painters of the very highest calibre, such as Gentileschi, Ribera, Valentin and Ter Brugghen.

This exhibition is a collaboration between the National Gallery, London, the National Gallery of Ireland and the National Galleries of Scotland.

Part of the Edinburgh Art Festival 2017.

Image: Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, The Taking of Christ, 1602
On indefinite loan to the National Gallery of Ireland from the Jesuit Community, Leeson St., Dublin who acknowledge the kind generosity of the late Dr Marie Lea-Wilson. Photo © The National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin.
Website: http://www.nationalgalleries.org
 
FLOW COUNTRY TOURING EXHIBITIONFLOW COUNTRY TOURING EXHIBITION
Added: 16 Jun 2017
Bright has worked with the Peatlands Partnership since 2015 providing interpretation across the Flow Country landscape including within visitor centres at Forsinard, Thurso, and Strathnaver; and most recently to create a touring exhibition.

Starting with a launch event at The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh on 14th June; the ‘Flow Country Touring Exhibition’ will travel throughout Scotland and England over the next two years, introducing and connecting people with all that The Flow Country has to offer, including some of the finest peatlands on the planet. The exhibition also highlights the special wildlife, people stories and ongoing restoration work. The design of the exhibition is drawn from the landscape of the Flow Country itself using the undulating flowing landforms and unique pool shapes, which are represented in the visual design style and stunning photography and film footage used across the project for the Visitor Centres and external interpretation. Dynamic and flexible the touring exhibition is both informative and impactful, the key to engaging with audiences remote from the Flow Country, particularly those who do not live close enough to visit.

James Simpson, Senior 3D Designer, from Bright says ‘the landscape of the Flow Country is breath-taking, it is vast and unique and the more you look at it the more it reveals its outstanding beauty. We have worked collaboratively with the team at The Peatlands Partnership not only to interpret the landscape but to highlight how important the restoration of the blanket bog is to climate change. With the Touring Exhibition, we want to connect people with the amazing landscape, introducing them to the stories and the people of the place encouraging them to support, however remotely, the restoration project. We have designed the exhibition in such a way that it can be easily moved from location to location, and into different sized venues without impacting the importance of the story.’

Caroline Eccles, Flows to the Future Project Manager says ‘with their understanding of how visitors interact with places and spaces Bright has been key in helping us to develop the interpretation for the whole site. The touring exhibition which is part of the Heritage Lottery Funded Flows to the Future Project is a fun, dynamic and interactive way to connect people remotely with the precious habitat, and we are delighted to have worked so collaboratively with Bright on the project.’ Further information on the journey of the touring exhibition is available on the Flow Country website
Website: http://theflowcountry.org.uk
 
Edinburgh’s Royal Yacht Britannia in TripAdvisor’s UK Top 10Edinburgh’s Royal Yacht Britannia in TripAdvisor’s UK Top 10
Added: 16 Jun 2017
The Royal Yacht Britannia, in Edinburgh, has held its position TripAdvisor’s Top 10 UK Travellers’ Choice Landmark attractions awards for the fifth year running.

Coming in at No.8 Britannia once again has the highest percentage of ‘Excellent’ reviews (72.4%) in TripAdvisor’s UK Top 10 (see list below), which also includes Edinburgh Castle at No.4.

Delighted with the news, Britannia’s Chief Executive Bob Downie said: “Being included in TripAdvisor’s Top 10 for five years in a row is a real testament to our excellent staff, who consistently provide great customer experiences that lead to such positive feedback from our visitors. There is a significant difference in the quality standards required to gain a 5 star Excellent review than a 4 star Very Good review – the former crucial in convincing new customers to invest their time in visiting your attraction.”

Tripadvisor’s Top 10 UK Travellers Choice Landmarks Awards:

1. Big Ben, London (69% Excellent)

2. Tower of London, London (65% Excellent)

3. Tower Bridge, London (62% Excellent)

4. Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh (58% Excellent)

5. Westminster Abbey, London (66% Excellent)

6. Buckingham Palace, London (53% Excellent)

7. The Roman Baths, Bath (70% Excellent)

8. The Royal Yacht Britannia, Edinburgh (72% Excellent)

9. The Cavern Club, Liverpool (71% Excellent)

10. St Paul’s Cathedral, London (63% Excellent)


Travellers’ Choice Landmarks awards honour top landmarks worldwide based on the millions of valuable reviews and opinions from TripAdvisor travellers. Award winners were determined using an algorithm that takes into account the quantity and quality of reviews for landmarks worldwide, gathered over a 12-month period.

This success for Britannia, follows on from the iconic attraction reporting 2016 as its most successful year since opening 18 years ago, with 348,272 visitors in 2016 and this year, 22% up on all previous records. The iconic yacht has also been rated by national tourism agency, VisitScotland’s quality assessors, as Scotland’s Best Visitor Attraction for the 11th successive year.
Website: http://www.tryb.co.uk
 
Bonnie Prince Charlie and the JacobitesBonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites
Added: 05 Jun 2017
This summer National Museums Scotland will present the largest exhibition about the Jacobites to be held in over 70 years, opening 23rd June.

As well as drawing on National Museums Scotland’s own collections, the exhibition will feature spectacular loans from the United Kingdom and Europe. More than 300 paintings, costumes, documents, weapons, books and many unique objects owned by the exiled Jacobite kings will help tell the wider story of Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites.

David Forsyth, the exhibition’s lead curator, said:

“The story of Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites has had an enduring and generally romantic fascination for subsequent generations, from Sir Walter Scott to the current Outlander TV programme, along with many other representations in literature, TV and film. This exhibition will enable us to use the best material there is – real objects and contemporary accounts and depictions – to present the truth of a story more layered, complex and dramatic than even these fictional imaginings”

The Jacobites (from Jacobus - the Latin for James) were supporters of a movement to reinstate the Roman Catholic Stuart king, James VII & II and his heirs to the throne after his exile to France in 1688. Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites presents a detailed and dynamic, multi-faceted re-examination of this familiar yet much-contested story, showing how the Jacobite challenge for the three kingdoms was a complex civil war, which even pitched Scot against Scot. Support for the cause was drawn from Scotland, England, Ireland and Continental Europe; it was part of the broader dynastic and political rivalries of Europe’s great powers.


Friday 23 June to Sunday 12 November 2017
National Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street, Edinburgh
Website: http://www.jacobitetrail.co.uk
 
Cutting-edge technology takes medieval Rosslyn Chapel around the worldCutting-edge technology takes medieval Rosslyn Chapel around the world
Added: 17 May 2017
Rosslyn Chapel’s renowned stonework can now be appreciated more easily all over the world thanks to a new app launched at the Chapel.
The app has been developed for Rosslyn Chapel Trust by The Centre for Digital Documentation and Visualisation (CDDV), a partnership between specialists at Historic Environment Scotland (HES) and experts in 3D visualisation at The School of Simulation and Visualisation at the GSA. Since 2008, the interior and exterior of the Chapel and its grounds have been digitally documented using laser scanning technology and the results have been used to create unique features in the app such as animations showing how the medieval Chapel was constructed, a virtual tour and a 360-degree panoramic tour.
Ian Gardner, Director of Rosslyn Chapel Trust said: ‘Rosslyn Chapel is known throughout the world for its unique architecture and ornate stonework and we hope that this app will introduce the Chapel to new audiences in an innovative way and inspire future generations of visitors.’
Alastair Rawlinson, Head of Data Acquisition in the School of Simulation and Visualisation at the GSA and Project Manager at CDDV said: ‘We have undertaken 3D laser scanning at Rosslyn Chapel over the course of several years, and our skilled team has been able to apply cutting-edge digital gaming technologies to transform these laser scans and other 3D data into a rich interactive and explorable experience.’
Dr Lyn Wilson, Digital Documentation Manager at HES and Project Manager at CDDV said: ‘This is an exciting day for us as we launch our dynamic and innovative app. It cements our longstanding relationship with Rosslyn Chapel Trust, which has been a great template for collaborative working with other partners across the country. The app is a fantastic way of giving digital access to this beautiful site, which is something we’re looking to do a lot more of at HES in the future – and of course we hope this digital glimpse of Rosslyn Chapel will encourage even more visits to the Chapel itself.’
The new app can be downloaded from the App Store for £1.99.
 
Kelvingrove Museum begins final preparations for Mackintosh Exhibition in 2018Kelvingrove Museum begins final preparations for Mackintosh Exhibition in 2018
Added: 08 May 2017
Glasgow Museums will commemorate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Glasgow born architect, designer and artist Charles Rennie Mackintosh with an extensive programme of events throughout 2018. One highlight will be a significant temporary exhibition, hosted at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.

It will showcase works by and relating to Mackintosh and his Glasgow Style contemporaries, many of which come from Glasgow Museums’ internationally important collection and will be on display for the first time in a generation, with others making their debut public appearance.

While the exhibition will span the lifetime of Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868-1928), it will feature work by many of his contemporaries including some works by The Four: Charles Rennie Mackintosh, his future wife Margaret Macdonald, her younger sister Frances Macdonald and her future husband James Herbert McNair.

Head of Glasgow Museums, Duncan Dornan, added: “Glasgow is Scotland’s cultural powerhouse, a position that is as relative today as it was over 100 years ago when Charles Rennie Mackintosh and his contemporaries created Glasgow Style, which remains instantly recognisable and continues to permeate the designs of many different things we see today. His contribution to cultural life in Scotland cannot be understated. It is fitting therefore that we are planning to mark the 150th anniversary of his birth with an exhibition at Kelvingrove Museum.”

A Museums Galleries Scotland grant has enabled Glasgow Museums to recruit an Assistant Curator to assist in the development and delivery of the exhibition and in conjunction with the wider Charles Rennie Mackintosh programme.

Further details of the exhibition and wider programme will be released later this year.
 
“Scotland sends a huge welcome to China!”“Scotland sends a huge welcome to China!”
Added: 05 May 2017
Edinburgh is Scotland’s first City to be ‘China ready’ with its new fully translated ‘Welcome to Edinburgh’ Guide.

Scotland’s capital is the most visited destination outside London for Chinese visitors. Last year 160,000 Chinese travellers visited Edinburgh. This figure is expected to double by 2020.

The new guide with a print run of 100,000 is an initiative of Landmark Press who are already heavily involved in Edinburgh tourism. They publish 1.5 million copies annually of an Edinburgh Guide with editions in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Dutch.Landmark Press general manager, Andrew Murphie said: ‘A recent survey showed that a translated guide is the 3rd most common request by Chinese hotel guests, behind free WiFi and a kettle!’

‘The Chinese edition of the Edinburgh Guide is a natural extension of the service we offer. We have been working in Edinburgh for over 30 years and have a very good distribution system with 600 attractive display stands in key locations across the City including Edinburgh Castle.’ ‘We are really proud’ he continued ‘that some of the largest and some of the smallest tourism businesses across Scotland are our customers. These include:

VisitScotland; the National Trust for Scotland; Historic Environment Scotland; the Scottish Parliament; and the Royal Botanic Gardens’.

The Edinburgh Tourism Action Group (ETAG) have been heavily involved in the production of the new guide and have contributed a special four page ‘survival guide’ welcoming Chinese visitors to the City.

Rob Lang, Head of Marketing at Edinburgh Airport and Chair of Edinburgh Tourism Action Group’s China Ready Initiative said: “The continued growth of the Chinese visitor market to Edinburgh presents a great opportunity for the city’s tourism sector. The city’s first-ever Mandarin “Welcome to Edinburgh” Guide from Landmark Press is packed with information from businesses offering a warm welcome to Chinese visitors. The guide is another welcome addition to the range of media being provided to our Chinese guests as we strive to become a “must see, must visit” destination for this influential market.”

Landmark Press, managing director, Danny Fullerton said ‘It is our ongoing aim to provide an excellent national tourism information service. Our ‘Welcome’ bedroom folders are on display in 95% of the hotels, guest houses, B&Bs, and self-catering properties across Scotland.’

‘In addition to the Welcome to Edinburgh Guide we also publish and distribute a ‘Welcome to Scotland’ Guide, with 800,000
copies and editions in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Dutch.’

‘On the digital front our ‘Welcome to Scotland’ website www.welcometoscotland.com is the country’s most comprehensive tourism gateway and the UK’s only national tourism site to be fully translated into French and German.’

‘We also operate the only national app for Scotland’s tourism industry’ he continued. ‘The app is fully translated into French and German. If the numbers of visitors from China continues to grow as expected, we may soon have to translate our website and app into Chinese a prospect we would welcome hugely!

To advertise in the Welcome to Edinburgh Guide, contact raffael@landmark-press.com
Website: http://www.landmark-press.com/
Download file: click to download attached file
 
Culture Secretary Experiences A New Sense of Scotland at The Scotch Whisky ExperienceCulture Secretary Experiences A New Sense of Scotland at The Scotch Whisky Experience
Added: 03 May 2017
On Wednesday 3 May, the Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, launched the new Sense of Scotland tour at Edinburgh’s Scotch Whisky Experience.

The revamped tour takes visitors on a stunning 180° panorama bird’s eye tour of Scotland’s five whisky-making regions. The specially commissioned film sees Scotland’s landscape come to life as it is delivered to the heart of the capital as part of the new tourism offering.

The footage, which was captured throughout 2016, also demonstrates how the landscape and geography of the country contributes towards the final flavour of different Scotch whiskies. Visitors are then introduced to the art of blending in a recreated 19th century Blender’s Sample Room. In the beautifully styled surroundings, guests are taken back to 1870 and the birth of blending in Edinburgh, delving into both the history and alchemy of Scotland’s most famous export.

The new tour uses the latest in audio and visual technology, including unique “holo-drams” that bring the art of blending to life.

Tourism Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “Food and drink remains a key component of the visitor experience and culinary tourism is increasingly being sought out by global travellers. We know visitors want to try authentic, local flavours and specialties and that is why attractions like The Scotch Whisky Experience are a huge draw for tourists and local people.”

Susan Morrison, director and general manager at The Scotch Whisky Experience, said: “Our rolling programme of development has seen us invest more than £8m in upgrading the visitor experience in recent years. Our latest changes to the tour use different sights and sounds to bring Scotch whisky to life, whilst also giving our visitors a sense of Scotland, the stunning locations in which different whiskies are made, and how this helps to make the drink so special.”

The Scotch Whisky Experience reported its busiest ever year last year, with a 9% increase in visitors to 326,000 and the number of people taking the tour rising 12% to 176,000.

For more information, log-on to www.scotchwhiskyexperience.co.uk or call 0131 220 0441.

Photo credit: Tony Marsh
 
New Easter Record for the Royal Yacht Britannia New Easter Record for the Royal Yacht Britannia
Added: 03 May 2017
• Record 37,355 visitors in April 2017, up 39 % on 2016
• Busiest April since first opening in October 1998
• Britannia’s Chief Executive Bob Downie said: “Commitment to exceeding customer expectations is at the heart of our continuing success.”

The Royal Yacht Britannia announced today its busiest April ever, with an increase of 39% (10,573 visitors) on 2016. A massive increase which beats all previous records for Easter, since the Royal Yacht opened its doors to the public in 1998.

Bob Downie, Britannia’s Chief Executive said: “Our great staff did a magnificent job in what was an incredibly busy Easter, with some days on par with a busy July, which is astonishing and augers well for the year ahead. At the heart of this success is our unrivalled commitment to deliver great value for time, through delivering exceptional visitor experiences, that in turn results in Britannia being the top attraction in Scotland on TripAdvisor”.

The positive trend in tourism is reflected across Edinburgh and the Lothians, with the majority of attractions recording excellent figures for Easter, due to the growing popularity of Edinburgh as a safe destination for a high quality and value for money break. This is also reinforced by the monthly growth in Edinburgh’s hotel occupancy levels, and airport passenger numbers, further helped by the pound’s poor exchange rate.

Visitors travel from across the world to visit Her Majesty the Queen’s former floating palace to follow in the footsteps of royalty and experience the highest standards of customer service. Britannia’s five decks are fully accessible and the complimentary audio tour is available in 30 languages, as well as British Sign Language.

Britannia has been officially Scotland’s Best Attraction for 11 years running, rated by VisitScotland, and is also now proud to be one of the country’s most accessible attractions.

Photo credit: Britannia by Marc Millar
 
Rare rockhopper penguin born at RZSS Edinburgh ZooRare rockhopper penguin born at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo
Added: 03 May 2017
Penguin keepers at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo are delighted to announce the arrival of the Zoo’s first rockhopper penguin chick in eight years, which hatched in time for World Penguin Day on Tuesday 25 April.

It is hoped that the chick – which is the first northern rockhopper penguin to hatch in the UK this year – will go on to play an important role in bolstering the captive population of this threatened species, which is listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List.

Dawn Nicoll, Senior Penguin Keeper at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo, said:
“We are so pleased to welcome an endangered rockhopper penguin chick to our colony at Penguins Rock, the first rockhopper to be born at the Zoo for eight years. The chick couldn’t have hatched on a better date, as World Penguin Day is a great opportunity to highlight the plight of these amazing birds.

“Mum Brucetta and dad Al have been taking it in turns to feed and care for the chick and so far, they are doing a great job; however, the first 30 days are crucial for the newborn’s development so we aren’t out of the woods yet.”

The arrival of a rockhopper chick is the latest milestone in RZSS’s conservation efforts with the species. In addition to the colony at Penguins Rock, RZSS is playing a key role in tackling the species’ decline in the wild, particularly on the remote islands of the South Atlantic Ocean, where populations have declined by as much as 90%.

Project Pinnamin, funded by the Darwin Initiative, is led by RSPB in partnership with RZSS, the Tristan da Cunha Government, British Antarctic Survey and the Government of South Africa. The project aims to better understand the reasons behind this precipitous decline, increasing our understanding of the species and creating a conservation action plan which will identify key measures required to protect the species from extinction.

Listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List, the majority of northern rockhopper penguins are found on the Tristan da Cunha island group.

The rockhopper chick joins the colony at Penguins Rock, which is also home to 87 gentoo, 20 northern rockhopper and 9 king penguins. Penguin breeding season at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo typically lasts from March to August, with further births expected over the coming weeks.

Visitors can keep an eye on progress at the penguin nest site via our live webcam http://www.edinburghzoo.org.uk/webcams/penguin-cam/.

Photo credit Stuart McGeachie RZSS
 
 “The Father of Blending” honoured in Edinburgh “The Father of Blending” honoured in Edinburgh
Added: 01 May 2017
From the start of May, The Scotch Whisky Experience will be playing host to a new display honouring “The Father of Blending” and one of Edinburgh’s most famous sons, Andrew Usher of Andrew Usher and Co.

Brought together as part of the upcoming Edinburgh 101 project, the new display will comprise examples of Usher’s OVG and Green Stripe whiskies – two of Usher’s most famous creations.

It will also feature samples of the brand’s retro advertising from the early 1900s and nineteenth century photography featuring the people behind the whisky’s production.

Andrew Usher and Co, the great Scotch whisky blending house of Edinburgh, was founded in 1813, and was one of the foremost whisky companies of its time. Andrew Usher (1785-1855) was a prominent Scottish brewer who experimented with blending whiskies in the 1840s, but it was his son Andrew Usher II who perfected this skill and became known as “The Father of Blending”.

Andrew Usher II went on to found North British Distillery and, just a few years prior to his death in 1898, he donated £100,000 to the city of Edinburgh to fund the construction of the Usher Hall, which today hosts orchestras, concerts and stage productions from all over the world.

Susan Morrison, director and general manager of The Scotch Whisky Experience, said: “Andrew Usher II was instrumental in bringing Scotch whisky to the world and putting Edinburgh on the map. Bringing together this unique set of artefacts will show our visitors the important part Usher and his blending house played in the development of the Scotch whisky industry in the latter half of the 19th century.

“Our upgraded Sense of Scotland tour has also seen us recreate a 19th century Blender’s Sample Room, which allows us to bring the art and history of blending to life for all our visitors.”

The collection has been brought together by Diageo head archivist, Christine McCafferty, with supporting materials coming from the Diageo Global Archive in Clackmannanshire. The bottles themselves form part of The Diageo Claive Vidiz Scotch Whisky Collection which has been on permanent display at The Scotch Whisky Experience since 2009.

It has been brought together at part of Edinburgh 101 – a year-long project which aims to tell the history of the city in one hundred and one individual objects.

The display can be viewed by all visitors taking any of the tour experiences at The Scotch Whisky Experience from 1 May 2017, for 12 month duration.

For more information, log-on to www.scotchwhiskyexperience.co.uk or call 0131 220 0441.

Photo credit - Neil Hanna
 
Scottish Seabird Centre unveils proposed plans for a National Marine Centre Scottish Seabird Centre unveils proposed plans for a National Marine Centre
Added: 06 Apr 2017
Conservation and education charity, the Scottish Seabird Centre, North Berwick, is sharing proposals to create a National Marine Centre for Scotland.

The project, which will cost in the region of £5.5million, focuses on delivering new and enhanced education and conservation programmes at the Centre and nationwide. It will transform the Seabird Centre to explore marine life above and below the waves, including seabirds. Working with partners throughout Scotland, it will provide a national hub to increase appreciation and understanding of Scotland’s amazing marine wildlife and communicate ground-breaking marine research taking place nationwide. The National Marine Centre is a working title.

Grace Martin, Project Director for the National Marine Centre, said: “The Scottish Seabird Centre currently offers visitors an opportunity to engage with nature in a sustainable way. As a conservation and education charity, we welcome 4,000 school children a year and lead projects such as SOS Puffin.

“But, as with all charities, we must move with the times to remain viable and to achieve our objectives of inspiring people to care for wildlife and the natural environment. We have more education requests that we can accommodate and visitor expectations are at an all-time-high. Our vision is to create a centre that is of national significance and one that the local community is proud of.”

The proposed plans will create a new education centre for visiting school groups as well as provide outreach and online educational resources. Within the new visitor attraction, a range of interactive exhibitions will take visitors on a fascinating journey, exploring the marine world that is often hidden and inaccessible. There will be a new welcome area as well as new retail and catering facilities, which provide valuable income to support the charity’s objectives. Plans also feature an observatory with 360° views which will allow visitors to view North Berwick’s stunning coastline.

The plans are being shared in North Berwick on 10, 13 and 19 April and people are invited to meet the project team and offer ideas and feedback. The plans will also be available online at www.seabird.org and feedback can also be provided by emailing the Centre: nmcproject@seabird.org

The Scottish Seabird Centre has been awarded development funding of £290,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to progress plans. HLF has also given its initial support for a £3.5million bid for the project. A further £2million must be secured through fundraising.

The new Centre is planned to open in 2020, timed for VisitScotland’s Year of Scotland’s Coasts and Waters.
Website: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJWI4O7CIoc
 
Frank Quitely: the Art of Comics @ KelvingroveFrank Quitely: the Art of Comics @ Kelvingrove
Added: 03 Apr 2017
Responding to the recent global fascination with the comic book and superhero genre, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum will host Frank Quitely: The Art of Comics from 1st April to 1stOctober 2017.

The exhibition explores the work of Glasgow born artist Frank Quitely, who is one of the world’s top comic book artists, working on titles such as DC’s Superman, Batman and Marvel Comics X-Men. His book collaborations with Scottish writers Alan Grant, Mark Millar and Grant Morrison have sold millions. But like many of the superheroes he draws, he has a secret identity – his real name is Vincent Deighan. It will be the largest collection of his work ever displayed.

Frank Quitely: The Art of Comics will focus on Glaswegian and Scottish comic book industry heroes Frank Quitely, Mark Millar (of KickAss fame) and Grant Morrison (DC’s Batman and All Star Superman), revealing the amazing influence and contribution Scotland has had on the global industry of comics.

Bolstered by unique art work from titans of the genre, including Frank Miller and Neal Adams, the exhibition showcases an original Batman comic strip by the superhero’s creators Bob Kane with Bill Finger, alongside the comic strip that inspired Frank Quitely, featuring one of Scotland’s most legendary families, The Broons.

Visitors will see some of Quitely’s most visually stunning poster designs, including original artworks from major titles such as All Star Superman and Batman and Robin, including drawings from his first Batman Story, The Scottish Connection which was written by fellow Scot Alan Grant and is set in and around Edinburgh. This story imagines Batman / Bruce Wayne’s ancestors as Scottish and places him in Scottish landmarks such as Rosslyn Chapel, Glencoe, on the Forth Rail Bridge and at Edinburgh Castle. The public will get to see the intricate process from script through sketches to the meticulous final drawings then print and hear/ read interviews with Scottish giants of the comic book industry, Grant Morrison, Mark Millar and Alan Grant. Comic book aficionados of all ages will revel in the digital interactives that allow visitors to design their own comic page. There is an opportunity to create your own super hero costume and pose for a special-effects snap of you soaring through the air.

Born in 1968 in Glasgow, Vin Deighan still lives and works in the city. This year he will receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Glasgow in recognition of his achievements.
Website: http://www.glasgowlife.org.uk
 
National Museums Scotland Acquires Rare Renaissance JewelNational Museums Scotland Acquires Rare Renaissance Jewel
Added: 03 Apr 2017
National Museums Scotland has acquired an exceptionally rare Scottish Renaissance jewel – a 16th century enamelled gold pendant locket set with an almandine garnet and dating from c.1570-80. An exquisite work of art, the Fettercairn Jewel is also a key to the wider culture of the Scottish Renaissance.

The pendant was sold at auction alongside numerous works of art and artefacts from the private collection of the Forbes family whose ancestral home is Fettercairn House in Pitsligo, Aberdeenshire. The Forbes of Pitsligo descend from Sir William Forbes, brother of Alexander Forbes, first Lord Forbes. Both branches were prominent, elite families in the 16th century. The first Lord Forbes married the granddaughter of King Robert II of Scotland and daughter of Douglas, earl of Angus.

The purchase has been made possible thanks to the generosity of Art Fund, The National Lottery and the National Museums Scotland Charitable Trust.

The Jewel is oval in form with a scroll fastening at the top to hold a gold ring. It would have been worn as a pendant on a chain and probably had a pearl or precious stone hanging beneath it. The image on the reverse centres on the figure of Mercury, wearing a winged helmet and striding from left to right. To the right of Mercury’s feet sits a white dog looking upwards, and to the left a vase containing a striking arrangement of vibrant flowers. An urban scene sits in the background, with an array of exotic and domestic birds and insects flying over clusters of buildings. The enormous rectangular almandine garnet on the front of the piece is set prominently amongst a decorative enamelled scheme to enhance its beauty.

During the Scottish Renaissance there was a practice of extensive court gift-giving of jewellery and a vast amount of jewellery was gifted each year by the royal family to Scotland’s elite families. National Museums Scotland will investigate potential links between the Jewel and the Scottish royal court. It will also investigate the potential of its links to the Darnley Jewel, now in the Royal Collection, commissioned at some time between 1564 and 1571 by Lady Margaret Douglas, Countess of Lennox, for her husband Matthew Stewart, Earl of Lennox and Regent of Scotland, and owned by both Horace Walpole and Queen Victoria. It is possible that the Fettercairn Jewel was made by the same jeweller in Edinburgh.

National Museums Scotland has the best collection of Scottish Renaissance material in the world. The bulk of surviving material tends to be items produced in larger quantities – arms and armour, tableware and architectural fragments. Personal and individual objects are much rarer due to their bespoke production and their low survival rates. Jewellery is very rare as, historically, materials were re-used as time passed by; objects like the Fettercairn Jewel are almost unique.
Website: http://www.nms.ac.uk
 
New Lanark reaching out with Autism Friendly Brick City SessionsNew Lanark reaching out with Autism Friendly Brick City Sessions
Added: 22 Mar 2017
New Autism Friendly Sessions will be available when New Lanark hosts Brick City, an exhibition of over 60 models made from an estimated half-a-million LEGO Bricks this summer from 28th June – 9th August.

On Thursday 13th July and Thursday 3rd August the exhibition will be open exclusively from 9am-11am for families of children with autism and additional support needs.
New Lanark decided to offer the Autism Friendly Sessions of the exhibition after undertaking public consultation on the exhibition’s public programmes through an online survey offered to their newsletter subscribers and Facebook fans in late 2016.

The Autism Friendly Sessions will have a much lower capacity than the standard exhibition viewing times, meaning they will be much quieter and less crowded. New Lanark staff will also be undergoing special training to prepare for the sessions and allow them to offer the best visitor experience.

The sessions are being run in association with REACH Lanarkshire, a local organisation founded in 2012 to provide support to families who have a young person with an Autism Spectrum Condition living within the authority of South Lanarkshire.

Brick City is a celebration of some of the world’s favourite buildings and urban icons, recreated solely using LEGO bricks. Brick City has previously been enjoyed by tens of thousands of visitors across the UK and now fans of LEGO young and old will have the chance to catch this must-see exhibition at New Lanark during the summer of 2017.
Prices for the Autism Friendly Sessions are £6 for Adults, £5 for Concessions, £4 for Children (3-15) and free for Under 3s. Essential carers are also free.

For those with autism who wish to attend the exhibition at other times, it’s advised they visit at 10am any day of the week during 28th June – 9th August for a quieter experience.

2017 marks the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology, making it the perfect time for visitors to enjoy a trip to New Lanark to see Brick City which includes a variety of historical icons like the Mona Lisa and landmarks including the Colosseum in Rome, Arc De Triomphe in Paris and Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.

For further information about Brick City and to book tickets for the Accessible Sessions visit: www.newlanark.org/brickcity
Website: http://www.newlanark.org/brickcity
 
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