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Reopening of Blairs Museum




All at Blairs Museum are looking forward to reopening the museum in 2021.


The exhibition this year is ‘Capparoni and the Papal Court’, a fascinating set of hand coloured engravings by the artist Guiseppe Capparoni depicting the people of the Papal Court and the religious orders in Rome between 1823 and 1846 (the year in which Pope Pius IX was elected). These colourful images all clearly depict real individuals and give a lively impression of life in Rome at this time.

Guiseppe Capparoni (1800-1879) is an artist who deserves to be better known, whose speciality was his illustrations for a massive series of books on regional and local costumes of the world. The museum holds a large selection of his illustrations of the people of Rome. He also worked on paintings in the churches of Rome, including various Stations of the Cross and ‘The Holy Family’ and ‘The Marriage of the Virgin’ at the basilica church of Sante Andrea delle Fratte. This church later became the titular church of Thomas Joseph Cardinal Winning).


A selection of the relics and unusual liturgical items held by the museum are also newly exhibited this year.


The museum will also be displaying all the treasures from the Permanent Collection, such as the world famous Memorial Portrait of Mary Queen of Scots, the Blairs Jewel, the vestment collection and the Jacobite portraits. We are privileged to be able to display the cloth of silver vestments of Henry Benedict; Bonnie Prince Charlie’s brother, for another year.


This year the museum gained a significant Recovery and Resilience Grant from Museums and Galleries Scotland to develop a new website. This will enable us to bring the museum in glorious 3D walkthroughs to people in their own home if they are currently unable to visit. On the website we are bringing together information on all the collections belonging to the Scottish Catholic Heritage Collections Trust, not just at the museum, but also those at the University of Aberdeen and draw attention also to the Scottish Catholic Archive at Columba House in Edinburgh. This will hopefully bring awareness of and access to these wonderful collections to an even wider audience. The new website will also host online retail and an online schools programme as well as providing a portal to visitor information and booking and online events. The website will go live in July.


Museum visiting information can be found on our website at www.blairsmuseum.org.uk and the curators can be contacted at curator@blairsmuseum.org.uk or through the website for enquiries. The museum is open by booked visit on Fridays and Saturdays, researchers welcome by appointment on weekdays. Tickets can be booked through the SeeTickets app or by contacting the museum directly.

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