My love of museums has been well-documented on this blog as evidenced through my various posts including Ancient Egypt, East Asia, and the Museum of Edinburgh to name just a few. This week I am thrilled to take you on a wee journey to the temporary exhibition, Wild and Majestic, at the National Museum of Scotland. The exhibition will soon be ending on 10 November so be sure to check out the Museum’s website for more planning information. This brief post highlights some of the aspects I found particularly fascinating, but please be sure to visit the exhibit in-person to get the full experience.
Romanticism, Tourism, and Culture
An overarching theme of the Wild and Majestic exhibition is that it showcases the dichotomy of the romance and reality regarding the way people have portrayed and viewed Scotland’s past- specifically in the Highlands. Thanks to romantic portrayals of the Highlands through art and literature, tourists flocked to the Highlands starting in the late 1700s. The railways arrival in the 1840s helped to increase the flow of people. Historically, one of the biggest advocates to promote Scotland and the Highlands was Sir Walter Scott. The various ways that Scott did this are illustrated in various sections throughout (as a side note, last week we finished our three-part miniseries on Scott and more information can be found here, here, and here).
The exhibition does a great job at highlighting and celebrating various aspects of Highland life including dress, language, and fascinating artefacts. For example, the picture below is a ledger of certified tartans collated by the Highland Society of London.
Related to this are the numerous displays of beautiful tartan clothing worn through the centuries.
Throughout the exhibition, I was quite impressed with the discussion of the Gaelic language (and the fact that all the information boards were in English and Gaelic) and the ways it was and is a part of life in the Highlands. Finally, what would be a museum exhibit be without captivating artefacts? Below are a few that caught my eye.
When you visit Scotland, a trip to the Highlands should definitely be a part of your itinerary. Yes, it is a place that has been romanticised. However, the reality is that Scotland and the Highlands really are majestic, and the nature is wild and enchanting. Those are not exaggerations. The culture, history, and present-day activities offer experiences you won't soon forget.
When you return from your trip to the Highlands, be sure to go on one of our Edinburgh walking tours. That way you can learn about the history, culture, and riveting stories of the capital city.
And, be sure to stay tuned to the National Museum's website for future exhibitions. An exciting upcoming event on Tyrannosaurs will be interesting for many- including our Golden Retriever tour guide, Sawyer (or should I say Tyranno-Sawyer Rex after looking at the photo 'evidence' below).
Until next time- Explore & Discover