It's been a long time coming, but after the successful refurbishment of the National Museum on Chambers Street earlier this year we can now look forward to another grand old Edinburgh museum, The Scottish National Portrait Gallery on Queen Street, re-opening this week.
I had a look at their website to see what's happening and what is new. Hopefully old favourites like Ralph Abercromby, David Baird and Walter Rankin will be back on show, and a couple of exhibitions caught my eye:
1st December 2011 − 31st October 2012
Featuring rarely-seen paintings from the Imperial War Museum, this exhibition is devoted to the art of Sir John Lavery and shows the conflict of the First World War through the eyes of a war artist.
Explore the story of how the two greatest navies in the world fought an epic battle on the North Sea. Experience Scapa Flow in the depth of winter and see the great battleships on the Firth of Forth, and the airfields, shipyards and munitions factories geared up for war.
The Scottish National Portrait Gallery would like to thank the Imperial War Museum for the loan of most of the paintings in War at Sea and acknowledges gratefully the assistance of Professor David Stafford, University of Edinburgh, who first proposed the exhibition, and Angela Weight, former Keeper of Art at the Imperial War Museum, who curated it.
1st December 2011 − 31st December 2015
This dramatic exhibition considers the Jacobites - those loyal to the deposed Stuart dynasty at home and abroad. The Scottish National Portrait Gallery has the most extensive and significant collection of Jacobite visual material in the world.
The term ‘Jacobite’ derives from ‘Jacobus’, the Latin form of James, and describes those who supported James VII and II, the exiled Catholic monarch of Scotland, England and Ireland, and his heirs. Jacobitism was launched as a political and ideological cause by the birth of a son to King James in 1688 and the subsequent coup d’état led by his Protestant son-in-law, William of Orange. For nearly 100 years Jacobitism was a major factor in European affairs and it was responsible for the last battles on British soil.
This fascinating display focuses on the way Jacobites presented themselves in portraiture.