A Spectacle ol Spectacles, Royal Museum at Scotland, Edinburgh

This interesting exhibition begins with a pair at grim-looking iron-rimmed eyeglasses from the 14th century-just the sort ol gruesome example of medieval medicine that makes you shudder when visiting science museums - and delinitely not something anyone would be willing to pay to have their eyes tested lor.

As I progressed through the exhibits however, past jewelted lorgnettes, horn-rimmed pince-nez, whalebone eyeglasses and well-researched drawings and prints showing bespectacled Iigures, a strange theory began to suggest itsell. I have no idea whether it is true or not (and my one criticism at this otherwise imaginative exhibition is though the identifying labels are clear enough, there is not a descriptive or explanatory note in sight); but it seems to me, that in Europe at least, until round about the 19th century, it was pretty much

beyond the social pale to wear glasses.

Peering at one picture alter another

through my own pink-rimmed, snazzy American specs I was alarmed to see that, until recently, it was apparently

the evil-doers in society, the villians, the rustlcs or even hell-bent monsters who wore the glasses. ln Jacques Callot's picture at the Temptation at St Anthony (1635) tor example, where many a heady-eyed, spiky-horned imp is having a go at the saint, there is one with a gun, well in the foreground, who is clearly shown to be getting a better aim at St Anthony with the help at a pair of specs. In Johann Elias Ridinger's picture of The Fox in the Poultry Yard (1743) there is no doubt about the tyranny of the fox, poised to dine on the squawking chickens, and no doubt about his myopia his eyeglasses are prominently perched on the end 01 his

long pointed nose. And, more worryingly still, Balthasar Anton Dunker’s picture of The Reviewer and his Public (1780) portrays a hostile crowd clamouring to get at the evidently despised critic - shown seated at his desk wearing an enormous pair at stateot-the-art specs.

Happily, things seem to have been different in China. There, apparently. it was perlectly acceptable to be an optologist, optometrist oriust a plain wearer ol glasses. All kinds of artists, scientists and other industrious individuals are shown wearing spectacles without embarrassment and trom as early as 1790, glasses were even included in still lites, (presumably because their shape was considered so pleasing —the Iorm at nearly all the Chinese glasses exhibited is that at two pertectly shaped circles.) Unlike their vain, European counterparts moreover, the Chinese artists sensibly show individuals holding on their pince-nez by hand. Few laces are designed to hold this type at eyeglass without the help at side pieces and they would surely have lallen all many along nose without some torm of manual assistance. (Sally Kinnes)

Punch's Wile to Nov at 2.30pm and “Nov at lprn. Free. A conversation betweenthe wife of (ieorge I\'. Oucen ('aroline of Brunswick ( 1768-1821 ) and a modern day interviewer. An uncommonly flamboyant woman who would undoubtedly be taken to the hearts of the media today. (‘aroline's arranged marriage to (ieorge was an unadulterated failure. After separation the king was horrified by her behaviour which became even more outrageous. culminating in a street-parade in a short skirt on a shell-shaped carriage with her lover. A story which could adda bit of spice to your winter lunchtime.

I PRINTMAKERS WORKSHOP GALLERY 23 Union Street. 557 2479. Mon—Sat 1(1am-5.3llpm.

AtWork in the Fields ol the Bomb L'ntil t9 Nov. Photographs of the nuclear armaments industry by American Robert del Tradici taken in his home country. Europe and Japan.

I PSYCHOLOGY DEPT 7 George Square. Mon—Fri 9am—5pm.

Painting from Inside Out 14 Nov—9 Dcc. Recent paintings by Nick Chater.

I OUEEN'S HALL ('Icrk Street Box Office (>68 2(119. Mon-Sat 1(1am—5pm.(‘afe. John and Janice CartmeI-Crossley Until21

Nov. A new collection ofsmall. almost miniature paintings by the latter and landscape watercolours by the former.

I RIAS GALLERY [5 Rutland Square.229 7205. Mon—Fri 9.3(lam—5pm. Regeneration 01 Scotland Design Awards 1988 Until 2 Dec.

I ROYAL BOTANIC GARDEN 552 7171. (iardens Mon—Sat 9am-~sunset : Sun 11am— sunset. Due to renovation of lnverleith Ilouse. there will be no further exhibitions at the Botanic (iarden until next year.

I ROYAL MUSEUM OF SCOTLAND Chambers Street. 225 753-1. Mon—Sat 10am-5pm; Sun 2—-5pm.

Contact the museum for detailsoftheir popular film and lecture series. which has just begun its 27th season.

A Spectacle ol Spectacles L'ntil t5 Jan. See how others see.


225 59-15. Mon—Sat 1(1am--5pm; Sun 2—5pm

Society 01 Scottish Women Artists From 25 Nov.

I RICHARD DEMARCO GALLERY Blackfriars Church. Blackfriars Street (off High Street). 557 (1707. Mon—Sat l(l.3(lam—(ipm.

The Day Book Until 12 Nov. An unusual exhibition which logs British artists like



Nanny Mulder Janet Patterson Jacqueline Watt Alison Watt

Perspex Jewellery by Campbell/Kulagowski

Marie O’Mahony Janice Gray

94 George Street «- \I I m j Mon-Fri Edinburgh 7 7 9am-5.30pm 031 225 5955 - 'Sat 9.30am - 2pm

.st HI I l\ll

John Bellany. Peter Blake. Patrick 1 lerori and Alan Davie into a book of days. Published by Andrew Jones Art in

London. the book has each day accompanied by a specially produced “'("k- and it isoffered at a pre-publication price of £99. Pop into the Demareo (iallery to find out how to reserve your copy.

I SCOTTISH CRAFT CENTRE 140 ('anongate. 556 8136. Mon—Sat 9.3(Iant-5.3()pm.

Colours at Christmas 12 Nov—24 Dec. ()ne of the first (‘hristmas exhibitions to be announced this year. the information for this one came through on a large carrier bag. A hint there are goodies in store perhaps‘.’

I THE SCOTTISH GALLERY 94 (ieorge Street. 225 5955. Mon—l’ri 9am~5.3llpm; Sat 9.3llam— 1 pm.

Jack Firth - Watercolours 7—30 Nov.

Six Women Artists 7—30 Nov. Nanny Mulder. Jacqueline Watt. Alison Watt. Janet Patterson. Marie ()‘Mahony. Janice (iray.

Perspex Jewellery 7-r-3u Nov. By (‘ampbell Kulagowski.


Victoria Colliery. New tongrange.

.‘vlidlothian. (163 7519. Tue -l"ri lllam~-I.311pm; Sat cc Sun noon—5pm. Devoted to the history of ntiningin Midlothian. built on a mining site.

I SCOTTISH RECORD OFFICE West Register 1 louse. (‘harlotte Square. Mon—Fri 9at‘.t—~I..‘t(1pm. 800 Years Of Scottish HISIOI’V 'l'hroughout December.

I SCOTTISH STONE AND BRASS RUBBING CENTRE'l‘rinity Apse. ('halmers('1ose. High Street. lidinburgh. Mon Sat

Illam ~(ipm. .ltist what the title says? Dorothy Black and Claudia Petretti l'ntit 24 Nov. Two young Scottish artists with very different approaches to figuratiy e painting. I STILLS GALLERY “)5 I ligh Street. 557 11411. Tue Sat Noon (vpm. Family- My History— My Sell 12 Nov 24 Dec. (‘ontemporary photographers look at the theme of Iamily. Work by Jo Spence Rosy Martin. Martha .\Ic( ‘ulloch and ( iina (ilover among others. Organised by the l'ntitletl ( iallery. Sheffield. Talking Photography Wed to Nov 7.3upm. £1.5lll'75ri). (iina (ilov er talks about her work. some of w hich is in the current Stills exhibition ( see abov e ) and discusses ways of depicting motherhood and the family. There are three more talks in tliel';ilkirig Photography series in December. ( 'ontact the gallery for details. I TALBOT RICE ( )Id ( ‘ollege l 'uiversity of Iidinburgh. ho" III] 1 ext 1311.9. .\1on l-‘ri lllam 5pm. Dream Time I: Nov 1“ Dec. A traveller‘s imageot' Australia. Paintings by .lanet Patterson. an artist from Iidinburgli. A Bicentennial exhibition.

I THEATRE WORKSHOP .‘t-I I lanulton Place. 2265-125.

\\ ork by ethnic minority groups from 'I‘heatre Workshop activ ities.

I 359 GALLERY 2(19 ( 'ow gate. 225 3(113. .\1on Sat Ill..‘tllam 5..‘~llpnt.

Callum lnnes I ‘ntil 19 Nov .ltist returned from a year in the Scottish Arts ( ‘ouncil in Amsterdam. (’allum Innes mounts an exhibition of work drawn from that experience.

Janice McNab and Marion Coutts l ‘ntil 1*) Nov. Two young Iidinburgh ( ~ollcge of Art graduates.

I TORRANCE GALLERY 29b I )undas Street.

55(ih3oh. Mon-l’ri l lam (ipm; Sat 111.3(lam 4pm.

I. Lesley Main lintil I9 Nov , New work by this accomplished and prolific ( iIasgow artist. Flowers and landscape w III1 an eye for the Scottish colourist tradition.

I WARE ON EARTH 15 1 Iowe Street.

Mon Sat ltlam OPITI.

Joe Keogh l'ntil HI Dec. New work ona small scale befitting the gallery space. with a new look at w all pieces.

I WILKIE HOUSE (‘ovv gate.

Weekly Lile Drawing Class t-.v eiv 'l'ucsday at 7.311pm 9.30pm.



POLISH PERCEPTIDNS TEN CONTEMPORARY PHOTOGRAPHERS 1977 1988 co-organised with the Museum of Art, Iio/dz’ 4th 30th November

Mon—Fri, 10am—5pm; Sat 12 noon—4pm Subs/dised by the Scottish Arts COunCII

56 The List 11 24 November 1988