Edinburgh: Modern 2

Modern Scottish Women catalogueIn 1885 Sir William Fettes Douglas, President of the Royal Scottish Academy, declared that the work of a woman artist was “like a man’s only weaker and poorer”. Despite this view, between then and 1965 an unprecedented number of Scottish women trained and worked as artists. An exhibition at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art paid tribute to 45 of them, none, I can assure you, weak or poor!

Photography was not allowed in the exhibition (which is now closed – we caught it right at the end) so you will have to make do with this detail from the catalogue. It shows a stunning portrait of Anne Finlay (herself an artist featured in the exhibition) by Dorothy Johnstone. It was good to learn about names like these which were new to me, as well as to see work by old favourites such as Anne Redpath and Joan Eardley.

You would not, of course, expect us to take on an art exhibition without a good lunch inside us. The café at the gallery is excellent – look at that counter laden with cake and scones! I seem to have neglected to photograph my main course, but rest assured it was delicious – and followed by cake. The tiling is in the Ladies Room – not something I would normally take a picture of, but this one is particularly striking and, possibly, disorienting.

However, if you can’t take pictures of the art inside, you certainly can outside. The exhibition was in Modern 2, which originated as the Dean Orphan Hospital in 1833. A beautiful building, and beautiful grounds with sculptures by Nathan Coley, Richard Long and others.

The sculpture below (and, stupidly, I didn’t note its title or the artist’s name) looked like either scissors or knitting needles depending on which way I approached it, and John has cropped one of his pictures to make a Saltire. (I think some lying on the grass might have been involved there too.)

On our way back to the station, our glance was caught by St Mary’s Cathedral (Scottish Episcopal) which we’ve walked past many times but never entered. An orchestra was rehearsing inside so, once again, no interior shots as we could only tiptoe round the edges.

The cathedral dates from 1879 and was built thanks to Barbara and Mary Walker who left their estate in trust for its endowment. The 17th century Old Coates House next door was their home.

We’ve given up, in recent years, visiting Edinburgh at festival time – it’s just too exhausting – but it’s lovely to be able to pop over for the odd day here and there. There’s always something new (to us) to discover.

Advertisements

31 thoughts on “Edinburgh: Modern 2

  1. jazzfeathers July 22, 2016 / 07:34

    Loved all the picture.

    And hey, I’m relieved to know that, as a woman, I can write as any man, only weaker and poorer. You know. I fear I could not write at all 😉

    Like

  2. Candia July 8, 2016 / 22:27

    Try to see the Traquair murals in the Song School at St Mary’s next time you are through.

    Like

  3. thatssojacob July 2, 2016 / 03:13

    Anabel – the results of my June blog experiment are up on my blog; you’re there, check it out!

    Like

    • Anabel Marsh July 4, 2016 / 10:41

      Thanks – I’ve been to look. (Sorry for the delay, your comment ended up in spam for no good reason!)

      Like

  4. njmagas June 29, 2016 / 19:20

    That is some gorgeous old architecture! And I’d be scared to walk into that restroom. Flashes of color like that put me on edge. It looks like a maze!

    Like

I'd love to hear what you think!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s