Scotland’s National Portrait Gallery, reimagined

I had a painting displayed in here when I was sixteen. Our High School was chosen for an Exhibition of Modern Art. I wish I still had the picture.

Que Sera Sara?

 

I once briefly mentioned the deliciously anticipated reopening of the National Portrait Gallery, part of the National Galleries of Scotland.

It’s been open six months and every time I’ve been in, the physical changes reinforce a new, surprising space in which a National institution supports a public engagement with art.

The traditional tenements of galleries and libraries and grand staircases remain of course, like any other National gallery I’ve visited in various parts of Europe it eptimises grandeur.

The grand entrance is a multi-storied vaulted gallery. The ground floor is home to busts of Scotland’s leading men, the upper depicts murals of climactic moments from the nation’s tumultuous history.

In between, there is a wrap around frieze showing the history of the nation and highlighting her key players in a parade of social history. The first figures are Stone Age men and Vikings, followed by kings, artists, traitors…

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