Museums & Galleries Edinburgh has announced the first event in plans for how marking the bicentennial of the Royal Visit of King George IV to Edinburgh will be marked this year.
Museums & Galleries Edinburgh has announced the first event in plans for marking the bicentennial of the Royal Visit of King George IV to Edinburgh this year.
The Royal Visit in 1822 was the first one by a reigning monarch to Scotland in nearly two centuries, and now 200 years later Museum & Galleries Edinburgh has planned a series of exhibitions and talks as well as a display of iconic paintings.
Auld Reekie Retold Collections Live! 18-19 June 2022
Members of the project team will be working in the exhibition spaces of the Museum of Edinburgh on Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 June to inventory our amazing collections as part of Auld Reekie Retold Collections Live! The museum will be open to the public at this time, allowing visitors to see objects up close and ask the curatorial team about their work.
As part of our ongoing care for our collections, curators will be photographing, cataloguing and checking the condition of a surprising array of objects. These include Field Marshal Earl Haig’s coffee pot, silver medals and candle holders from the Royal Visit of King George IV to Edinburgh in 1822.
Auld Reekie Retold Project Manager Nico Tyack says:
We’re committed to the care and understanding of our collections, and inventorying our museums plays an important part in this. We also want to make sure we provide opportunities for people to see objects up close, ask questions and share their knowledge and opinions with us. Auld Reekie Retold Collections Live! is the perfect chance to bring people and objects together.
History Curator Vicky Garrington says:
The event will give us a chance to take good quality photographs of some of our important collections, including objects relating to the Royal Visit of King George IV to Edinburgh in 1822. These images will be shared in an online exhibition in August 2022, spreading awareness of the Royal Visit and its importance in Scottish history.
I hope visitors to Auld Reekie Retold Collections Live! enjoy seeing staff working on our collections. The objects we hold relating to the Royal Visit tell such a fascinating story of the way Scotland’s past was harnessed in 1822 to encourage its people to accept a monarch. 1822 also sees the explosion of a growing interest in Highland dress and culture, and the romanticising of Scotland’s past.
Culture and Communities Convener Cllr Val Walker added:
Auld Reekie Retold is the largest collections inventory project we’ve ever undertaken. Over the past three years, this ambitious project has recorded, catalogued and revealed thousands of items housed in stores and venues across the city and this is a fantastic opportunity to see how this works up close.
In July, a selection of pottery from the Alastair Leslie collection related to the Royal Visit of George IV will be on display in the pottery galleries at the Museum of Edinburgh.
In August, the City Art Centre is loaning a large work of the Landing of the King at Leith for display in the New Town gallery at the Museum of Edinburgh, to give visitors a fuller picture of the visit during the month of the bicentenary.
Then on Monday 22 August at 2pm, there will be a special lecture taking place in the City Art Centre where historian Eric Melvin will discuss the excitement in Edinburgh 200 years ago. With no monarch having visited the city since the fugitive Charles II in 1650 and no recent precedents to follow, the city turned to the only man with the authority to take charge of the Royal Visit – Sir Walter Scott. After all it was Scott who had suggested the idea of a visit to George IV in the first place. With very short notice, could Scott and the city pull it off?
Later that day there will be an online event on the City Art Centre Facebook page where the team will look at the paining in detail and then people can learn how to weave some fun tartan!