Thursday, 14 March 2013

the national portrait gallery

I've been feeling pretty overwhelmed this week with all of my impending deadlines. That being said, I can't seem to focus for the life of me. It's more frustrating than I can really say. For every hour of actual work I do, I spend at least three reading irrelevant books/articles, flicking through blogs, and watching corgi videos. So I'm taking a break from "working" and just allowing myself to do the things that I keep thinking about instead of my papers. Maybe if I do them, I'll be able to get some real work done...right? 

A few weeks ago, my class on Heritage and Cultural Informatics had a guest lecturer from the National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh. The Gallery has undergone a major refurbishment recently, and our lecturer talked to us about the process, both from an informatics/cataloguing side and a practical side. When a building hasn't been updated in over 100 years, things tend to be complicated.
We all enjoyed the lecture so much that our professors arranged for us to have an on-site tour, which entailed a day trip to Edinburgh. 

Mary, Queen of Scots.

One of the most important things to the museum staff during the refurbishment was a return to its original architectural goals, including lots of natural light. This presents its own issues, of course, with object care and conservation. 

Jacobite glass.

Anne Erskine, Countess de Rothes, and her children. 

This lady only really caught my attention because of one thing...can you guess?

THAT'S RIGHT--HER SUPER CREEPY HAND. Countess de Rothes, I'd be upset with this portrait if I were you, because your one hand is about the size of your children.

Just look at that creepy hand. creepy...

Another feature of the refurbishment involved taking this library apart, piece by piece, and transplanting it onto the second floor, where the architect originally wanted it. 

Can I have one of these in my house, please?

Cast of John Keats' face, cast from life.

Painted miniatures.


It's like a dream.

What Robert the Bruce's face looked like, as reconstructed from the teeth in his skeleton.

The main entry of the Gallery is ringed with paintings of Scotland's notables, including (much to my dismay) Thomas Carlyle. ICK.

It's beautiful, even if Thomas Carlyle's stupid face is included. 

Looking down into the main entrance.

The ceiling is painted to look like the sky, with accurate placement of the constellations and everything.

Robert Burns.

The statue above of Robert Burns was actually the only artwork that remained in the building during the refurbishment. He had a special little box to protect him from the hazards of construction.

The National Portrait Gallery was a really great trip. It was free to get in, fairly easy to find, and had some amazing artwork. Overall, it was a pleasant space to wander around and explore. And did I mention that it's free? If you're in Edinburgh, you should definitely add the National Portrait Gallery to your itinerary. 


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All materials on this blog belong to me, unless stated otherwise. I try to give credit where it is due, but the internet is a vast wasteland of images separated from their creators. If you own something I post that is not attributed to you, please contact me and I will fix it stat. STAT. Like a doctor running down the hallways of the hospital to restart someone's heart. Exactly like that.