A historical Christmas card from the Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museums collection
A historical Christmas card from the Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museums collection

Get your hands on a little bit of Scottish history

Shoppers in the North East will have the chance to get their hands on a slice of history this week when a small display of treasures from the Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museums collection goes on show.

Visitors to Union Square will be able to get up close to a treasure box of real objects connected to famous sons and daughters of the Granite City, including singer, songwriter and activist Annie Lennox and pioneering photographer George Washington Wilson.

A selection of Christmas cards from the collection will shine a light on Christmases past as part of the display, running from Thursday to Sunday (15-18 November)

A reproduction of the iconic painting To Pastures New by Sir James Guthrie, which is both internationally acclaimed and locally loved, will also be on display. The actual painting has been seen by visitors to galleries around the world during the Aberdeen Art Gallery redevelopment. It is currently at Aberdeen Treasure Hub, awaiting transportation ‘to pastures new’ at the revitalised gallery.

The team will be highlighting three ways the public can support the Inspiring Art and Music fundraising campaign for the redevelopment of Aberdeen Art Gallery, Remembrance Hall and Cowdray Hall – all of which would make an ideal Christmas gift for lovers of art and music.

Councillor Marie Boulton, Aberdeen City Council’s culture spokeswoman, said: ‘November is when many of us begin our Christmas shopping in earnest. These wonderful seasonal objects will delight visitors to Union Square and remind us that Aberdeen Art Gallery is home to one of the finest collections in the United Kingdom.

‘From autumn next year more of these treasures will be displayed in new and engaging ways for all our visitors to enjoy in the stunning surroundings of the gallery.

‘As we hit the shops, it’s worth reminding ourselves that Black Friday is followed by Giving Tuesday on 27 November, a global day of giving – a day to do something good for worthy causes.

‘The exceptional collections in the care of Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museums belong to each and every one of us in the city and – in the tradition of the Art Gallery’s original Founders – we urge everyone to support this great building and its outstanding collection now and for the future.’

A historical Christmas card from the Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museums collection

Ways of giving to the fundraising campaign include:

Cowdray Hall – Musical Chairs.

Funded by a gift from Annie, Viscountess Cowdray, to encourage ‘a taste for art and music in the City of Aberdeen’, the Cowdray Hall was opened in 1925 by King George V and Queen Mary. Over the years renowned local, national and international musicians at all stages of their careers have performed here. Donate £150 to support the redevelopment of Aberdeen Art Gallery and Cowdray Hall and have your name, or the name of a loved one, inscribed on one of our Musical Chairs – the perfect gift for a music lover.

Remembrance Hall – Forget Them Not.

Local artist Gordon Burnett’s commission for the Remembrance Hall is a quiet, non-denominational monument constructed from granite and marble and incorporating the delicate beauty of enamelled Forget-me-not flowers. Donate £25 or £100 to support the redevelopment of Aberdeen Art Gallery and the Remembrance Hall and name a Forget-Me-Not, or a cluster of flowers, in memory of a loved one.

Become a founder patron.

Join the exclusive group of Founder Patrons who share our commitment to showcasing and conserving Aberdeen’s outstanding treasures for future generations to enjoy. Donate £2,500 or more to our Inspiring Art and Music fundraising appeal and receive prominent recognition on the stunning new top floor which will house special exhibition galleries, a shop, café and seminar room.

To become a Founder Patron, buy a Musical Chair or a Forget-me-not, or to make donation to the Inspiring Art and Music fundraising campaign, visit the Aberdeen Art Gallery fundraising team at Union Square from 15-18 November, call 01224 523719 or email CODonnelly@aberdeencity.gov.uk.

The programme of events will continue on Sunday (18 November) with Inspirational Insights: An Afternoon of Art and Antiques.

Taking place at the Marcliffe Hotel, the event will feature charity valuations and inspiring talks from Christine Rew (Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museums Manager), renowned silversmith Dr Malcolm Appleby MBE and Charlotte Riordan (Scottish art specialist at Lyon and Turnbull auction house).

Tickets for the event, which runs from 12-4pm cost £15 and can be booked at https://inspiringartandmusic.eventbrite.co.uk.