A new digital exhibition has opened thanks to Museums & Galleries Edinburgh. Featuring 22 works from the City’s Collection of Scottish art, regarded as one the country’s finest, and housed in the currently closed City Art Centre (CAC), the exhibition is entitled Edinburgh: Our City.
The exhibition offers a chance to explore Scotland’s capital through the centuries as captured by some of Scotland’s most celebrated artists including John Wilson Ewbank (c.1799–1847), Edwin George Lucas (1911–1990), William Crozier (1893–1930), Maggie Milne (b.1957) and Wilhelmina Barns-Graham (1912–2004).
The show is curated by Learning & Public Programmes Manager Margaret Findlay, with Museums & Galleries Edinburgh and features works selected by members of the Front of House Team, who have chosen their personal favourites.
Margaret Findlay said “At the moment, while our venues are closed, we have been looking at new and exciting ways to engage the public with our collections and as such, we have moved our very diverse public programme online. In the midst of the current crisis, we are learning the value of digital engagement and it has given us the opportunity to think in new ways to reach new audiences.
We are mindful how much our visitors love to see paintings from our collection depicting Old Edinburgh, so it was a perfect opportunity to curate a digital exhibition on this subject, also involving our valued Front of House team who are currently furloughed. Edinburgh: Our City harnesses the rich stories in our paintings with the tales and memories our colleagues have to tell. I am also delighted to feature a guest choice by David McLean.”
Some of the selections for the show reflect very personal memories and associations for staff that will surely resonate with viewers, as exemplified by the likes of Retail and Reception Assistant Patrick Vaughan who said of his chosen work (Window View at Sighthill, Edinburgh by Donald Provan) “I spent 6 years of my life gazing out of this window (my bedroom to be exact). The artist has caught everything that I remember from this view, so with one simple picture there are a large number of memories invoked. The subtle greyness encapsulates all that is endearing about this exhibit. Many pictures of Edinburgh show a vibrancy of colour and show iconic landmarks, which makes this picture unusual.”
Or Visitor Assistant Margaret Lowrey, whose choice was The Pub by Alberto Morrocco and said of it “For me Edinburgh is about people and memories. There was a very similar pub near my first flat. A friend used to knock on my window after a Hibs match and we’d go for a pint. This was nearly 40 years ago and Leith pubs were not designed for ladies. There was a tiny little cubby beside the bar where women (my granny would have disapproved) could drink. We called it the confessional. There was no ladies loo so I had to run home when necessary!”
With only limited access to the fine sights of the Capital, local citizens with memories like the CAC staff or anyone else with a love of the ancient city that is Edinburgh, can enjoy what looks like a perfect wee vicarious trip across years and streets with this exhibition that runs until July 2021 and can be viewed via Art UK’s Curations strand.