Gallery of the Day: Artistic Legacies

November 30, 2011

Scotland

Since it’s St Andrew’s Day today, I thought I should press on with my National Museum of Scotland gallery guide. Artistic Legacies is one of the top floor atrium galleries in the World Cultures stack:

“Art has always captured and conveyed human spirit, culture and imagination. What you perceive as art depends on your perspective. Neither art nor tradition have straightforward definitions – this applies as much to 2000 years ago as it does to today. In the contemporary world, art is debated by many, and artists interpret their own work. Their words can illuminate the thoughts and intentions of the anonymous makers of the past.” (gallery intro panel)

This gallery is more sleek in its design, with fewer contextual images and colourful background panels than some of the others. This serves both to make the art itself stand out more, and as the gallery is intended as one of the more contemplative spaces in the museum it’s visually not so busy.

The concept of the gallery is very interesting – while one side is dedicated to print designs from contemporary artists (see image), the other three sides juxtapose contemporary artists with ancient traditions. For example, displays on Northwest Coast carving and Italian glassmaking, both long-established artistic traditions, are juxtaposed by contemporary artist Preston Singletary’s sculpture Trance, which brings these two traditions together by carving in glass.

Highlights*

  • Scrolls by contemporary artist Haji Noor Deen Mi Guangjiang & prints by Qiu Zhijie, both from China
  • Glass sculpture ‘Trance’ by contemporary Tlingit artist Preston Singletary from the USA
  • Sculpture made from recycled dolls by contemporary Benin artist Gérard Quenum
  • 19th century Benin bronze sculptures

Things to do

  • Explore the touch screen map to find out more about the objects on display in the gallery. You can either search by time period (6th C BC to 4th C AD, 14th – 18th Cs, 19th – 20th Cs, contemporary) or by material (ceramics, glass, metalwork & jewellery, prints & paintings, sculpture & carving)

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* Please note that these are my own personal highlights and not necessarily recommended as such by the museum.

 

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