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Conservator, National Museums of Scotland:

Variety. That's the most enjoyable aspect. Like any job there are things you like doing more than others. lam sometimes glad to see the back of things like archeological iron work. Before a site is assessed overall there is a massive amount of material to be X-rayed and studied and it can be quite boring. Imagine a pile of iron nails all the same size and all the same condition. They all have to be looked at. Usually about 40% is worth conserving and the other 60% not worth

conserving. In contrast there is prehistoric jewellery, an area where you can make lantastic finds. And recently we had a good chance to get some at the best and most priceless pieces out of the collection and into the laboratory to make conservation estimates for a loan exhibition to Harrods.

yourown childhood celebrate with a play (only lllpion the nickelodeon.

I MUSEUM OF COMMUNICATION .lames ('lcrk Maxwell Building. l'niycrsity of ladinbtirgh. Mayfield Road. l-or information 5 83-1 50’.

(‘ommunication comes in all guises in this hcciic collection. Spy -scts. first World War spark transmitters and distress senders are just some of the items w hich might grab the imagination of the real enthusiast. We found it difficult togct information about opening times so good luck?

I MUSEUM OF LIGHTING St Stephen Strccl. 5504503. Sat 1 lam- opm or by appointment.

Mr Purscs' pris ate collection has simply burgeoned in this lighting shopof Victorian dimension in a ( ieorgian street I NATIONAL GALLERY OF SCOTLAND 'l'hc Mound. 5508931. Mon Sat lilam 5pm. Sun 3 5pm.

Repuicd to be one of the fittest small collections in Izuropc. the National (iallery has a sampling of the whole ofart him"). As well as ow ning masterpieces by Raphael. ‘1'intoreiio and Rembrandt there is of course a \ ital collectionol Scottiin paintings. Look otii tor .\'iagra falls on a grand scale. for the dclightsof the Scottish kalcyard and the mystery of [if (irecola superb artist the gallery will

be highlighting later on this sumnicri.1.ast year. the gallery w as caught in a fierce debate oy er its new decoration. Asthe country house atmosphere settles. we can now get back to lookingat what is really important. .

I PALACE OF HDLYROODHOUSE Abbey Royal Mile. 556 7371 . Scycn days 9.3ilam—5. 15pm. Adtilis £1.8tl(‘hildren £1 . (‘losed 15-30 May and l‘).lune-*)July.

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_ . The official residence of the Queen in Scotland. the palace has the spirit of Mary Queen of Scots in its foundations as w ell as the earthly delights ot‘ornament. tapestries. paintings and at least one four-poster bed. befitting a city palace of its kind. t'nlil 1b April there is itCUIOllI'IllI collection of w alcrcoloiirs of Scotland‘s clansmen in full tartan rigout.

I THE PEOPLE'S STORY ( ‘anongalc 'l’olbooth. 1(i_‘s (‘anongate. Royal Mile. Disabled access.

It's a new museum due to open June which brings together ration books. tobacco tins. photographs of ilie old trams. trade union banners in fact cycrythingthal marksthe life and times of cy eryday people in lidinbtirgh from late lSih century to present day including smells and sounds! In keeping with current tliinkingon museum display . most of the objects w ill be shown in reconstructed set with characters based on real people to giyc a theatrical cspcricnce.

I PORTOBELLO TOWER PROJECT 47' 4‘) l‘iggate lane. Portobello.

Anew eomrntmity museum to be opened later this year. I’ortobcllo 'l'ow er w ill include working exhibits.

I REID COLLECTION OF MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS Reid (‘onccrt llall. Bristo Square. ith-7 1111 I . Wed 3-‘5pm. Sat

lilam 1pm.

(her one thousand instruments hay c been s\\til'l1 to silence in this fascinating museum which puts bagpipes along with horns and African percussion.

I THE ROYAL COLLEGE OF SURGEONS OF EDINBURGH MUSEUM \icolson Street. 55b (i3ilti. By appointment only. (‘oniact the curator Mr Kirkland.

(iory to sortie. fascinating toothcrs. this museum conccnti'aieson surgery -both the tools that go in and the organs w hich come out. lidinburgh has been (and still is) an important international centre for medical research and this museum iakcsa look at methods 5”“ years ago up tothe present. At present it isopen only ona sery limited basis but later this year hopes to open some of the collection on a more public basis.

I ROYAL MUSEUM OF SCOTLAND ('hambers Street. 335 7534. Mon- Sat lilam 5pszun 3 5pm. l‘ree but sortie charges for major temporary exhibitions. The national collections are fortunate to be housed in one of lidinluirgh‘sfinest Victorian interiors. An airy greenhoUseof a hall is a place for cultural basking. ('ollcclionsof decoratiyc arts. ethnography . natural sciences. science and technology . costume etc. all under this elegant roof. Some galleries are under repair so check before y isiting if there is something specific you would like tosee. Museums and You t’niil May. An exhibition which looks at the work and role of museums in the community.

Robes otthe Realm t'niil 25 June. An exhibition which will delight all those with royalist tendencies. Robes by liye and Ra\'clisct'ott. a 31111 year-old company in the business of proyiding ceremonial garments. hay e been sent on a regal tour making their first stop here.

Drawn from Britain tfnni lo April. A l)csign ('ouncil exhibition. See Science l-cstiyal listings.

I ROYAL MUSEUM OF SCOTLAND 1 Queen Street. 335 7534. Mon—Sat lilani -5pm; Sun 3- 5pm. Disabled access.

Scottish historical and archeological collections in a building shared with ilic Portrait (iallery.

I ROYAL OBSERVATORY CENTRE Blackf'ord Hill. 6683-10-1. Mon-~l’ri lilam~4pm. Sat noon—5pm. Disabled access difficult but possible.

Rough parkland makes an ideal setting for lhisworking observatory. Specialdisplays on astronomy and panoramic views ofthc city. L'ntil 3(lJuly (commemerating3ll

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Keeper, Burrell Collection:

It's very enjoyable at the Burrell. Walking through the park every morning and evening you can watch the seasons changing. But sick trees are a problem in the museum just now. We have the best infestation of meaty bugs ever seen here! The parks department are assisting us and we should have it sorted out very soon. We all enjoy meeting the public here. One minute we’re dealing with a delegation from one of Glasgow’s twin cities and the next we're meeting a member of the public who lives just outside the park. It’s quite extraordinary but I don’t have a favourite object. My subject is Scottish silver and there’s not much of that here. I enjoy the tapestries, stained glass and am teaming a great deal more about Chinese ceramics and ancient civilisations than ever before. As far as things that the museum needs —well, new trees of course and perhaps more transport in the park and a loop system lorthe lecture theatre. Oh, and fixing the leak so that Rodin can take off his shower curtain. It's all in hand.

July 196‘) when man first stepped on the moon ) there w ill be a special exhibition on man‘s exploration of the moon. Sec Science l-csliy al section for more.

I RUSSELL COLLECTION OF HARPSICHORDS AND CLAVIDCHDRDS Si (‘ecilia's l lall. Niddry Street.(‘owgaie. (m7 till 1. Wed ck Sat 3~5pm. Adtilt 35p. (‘Iosed liastcr Saturday.

.\'ot well known locally but internationally renowned for ilie fine instruments within. this elegant (icorgian concert hall makcsa beautiful setting for a only crsity collection which includes clay‘ichords. chamber organs. and early pianos. Many of'thcm are exquisitely painted. (‘onccrls field all year round.

I SCOTTISH AGRICULTURAL MUSEUM Ingliston (near the airport). ()pens 1

May- 3‘) Sept Mon- Fri “lam—5pm. During July AtigalsoSai 105. Disabled access. A museum conycnicntly next door to the Royal Highland Show which looks at the history of life in the Scottish countryside. I SCOTTISH MINING MUSEUM Lady Victoria (‘ollicry. New-tongrange. .‘slidloihian. (m3 751‘). Tue ~l‘ri 1()am---l..‘illpm;Sat Sun noon--5pm. Izasicr Monday 3- 5pm. (iuidcd tours by cx-miners eycry half hour.

Opened in 1985. this is one of a new breed ofmuseums set to prcseryc our industrial history. This museum coy'ers the history of coal and mining on two sites. one at Newtongrange and the other at Prestongrange ( Prestonpans. same opening hours) As well as large outdoor exhibits the latter includes exhibitionson A (‘cntury of(‘oal and (‘oaI-cuiting machinery while at New'tongrangc anew exhibition called Danger-(ias! has just opened. A Fun Day has been organised


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for children on Easter Sunday - the day will include liastcr egg painting. a model railway demonstration. traditional story telling and music. Phone for details. Information on Scotland's six other. industrial museums is as ailable here. I SCOTTISH NATIONAL GALLERY OF MODERN ART Beltord Road. 5568931. Mon- Sat ltiam 5pm; Sun 3--5pm. A y cry intimate modern art gallery with an idiosyncraticcollection selected from 3llih century painting. sculpture and prints. This summer. the collection of Scottish art w ill be brought out in the largest display eyel‘ tracing the history of Scottiin 2th taking in w hat is happening today. John Bellany: A Renaissance Bellany. one of Scotland’s most important contemporary artists. made a miraequUs recoy cry from a liy‘cr transplant operation last year. The w ill todiaw and paint stirred only hours after the operation was oy er. Here the forty self-portrailsand draw ings of hospital staff and familychuri his recoy cry in a unique ariisis‘ record. I SCOTTISH NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY 1 Queen Street. 556893 I . Mon—Sat lllam 5pm; Sun 3 -5pm. I lcre are the famous faces of Scotland - Mary Queen of Scots. the .lacobites. Sir Walter Scott. l)ayid llumc. Robert Burns the list goes on. Portraiture has recently been en ioy ing something of a revival and the gallery haye been commissioningwork regularly in recent years. There w'asthe bluc Queen Mother by Ayigdor Arikha. Muriel Spark by Sandy Moff'at and the trade unionist Mick Mc( iahey by Maggie llamblirig. IIIL‘ Portrait (iallery was opened under the patronage of the editor of the Scotsman exactly till) years occasion they intend tocclebrate this year. As well as portraiture. the building isalso home for the Scottish Photography A rchiye. a mar'y'ellous collection which spans from the birth of photography to the present day.


Catering Manager, Scottish Mlnlng Museum:

I look after the restaurant and shop working with and lor the museum. I welcome visitors and guide them to the exhibits. I’m up the creek with technical questions though. It's the people that I enjoy really. It's wonderful to see them mesmerlsed by all the machinery working and amongst the noise and the din and the racket. We’re not an ancient museum here. Sticking with the subject of people, I do get fed up with visitors who come In at ten to live and think we're still open. I have to tell them it takes an hour and a halt to get round. Trying to please everyone that’s my job. (In mid- conversation Hans moves swiftly lnto professional welcoming mode saying to the party just arrived: ‘Dellghted to see you. Come In and look around').

55 The List 24 March—6 April 1989