Three major Scottish museums are set to reopen at the end of April with the easing of Covid lockdown measures.
The National Museum of Scotland, the National Museum of Flight and the National Museum of Rural Life will all reopen to visitors from 26 April.
The National War Museum, which is located inside Edinburgh Castle, will reopen on 1 May.
In line with Scottish Government guidelines, a range of measures are in place to ensure the safety of visitors and staff. This includes pre-booked timed entry, face coverings, enhanced cleaning, sneeze screens, hand-sanitising stations and one-way routes. The museum shops and cafés will also be open, for cashless payments only.
The National Museum of Scotland’s opening hours are 10am-4.30pm, the National Museum of Flight’s opening hours are 10am-5pm, and the National Museum of Rural Life’s opening hours are 10am-5pm.
Tickets will be available to book very soon. Updates will be posted on the National Museums Scotland website and across its social media channels.
Dr Chris Breward, director of National Museums Scotland said: ‘We can’t wait to welcome visitors back once again to all our museums. I know that our many visitors, just like me, will have missed visiting our museums and enjoying the wonderful collections on display.
‘We are re-opening once more with our full range of safety measures in place to ensure everyone can have a safe and enjoyable visit.
‘And as from the end of May visitors to the National Museum of Scotland will also have the opportunity to visit our Galloway Hoard: Viking-age Treasure exhibition, and wonder at this unparalleled collection of precious metal and jewelled objects.’
The dates of the National Museum of Scotland’s summer exhibitions programme have been revised as follows:
The Galloway Hoard: Viking-age Treasure (29 May to 12 September 2021)
This exhibition displays the richest collection of rare and unique Viking-age objects ever found in Britain or Ireland. Buried around the beginning of the 10th century, the Hoard brings together a stunning variety of objects in one discovery. The Galloway Hoard was discovered in 2014 and acquired by National Museums Scotland in 2017 with the support of the National Heritage Memorial Fund and Art Fund as well as a major public fundraising campaign. The exhibition will reveal the detailed conservation work carried out, the exciting research discoveries made so far, and some of the mysteries that scholars will keep working to solve now and for many years to come. The exhibition is supported by Baillie Gifford Investment Managers. Thanks to support from the Scottish Government, it will thereafter tour Scotland, starting this autumn at Kirkcudbright Galleries.
The Typewriter Revolution (24 July 2021 to 17 April 2022)
The Typewriter Revolution examines the social and technological impact of the typewriter over more than 100 years. The mechanisation of writing in the late 19th century revolutionised the world of communications, transforming office work and opening up new employment opportunities, especially for women. The exhibition will explore the technology behind this iconic machine – from early prototypes through to electronic versions – as well as its role in society, the arts and popular culture. The Typewriter Revolution will showcase National Museums Scotland’s historically significant collection of typewriters, from an 1875 Sholes & Glidden typewriter, which was the first to have a QWERTY keyboard, to the 1970s design icon, the Olivetti Valentine.
Inspiring Walter Scott (6 August 2021 to 9 January 2022)
Inspiring Walter Scott coincides with the 250th anniversary of the birth of Sir Walter Scott. Sometimes credited with the invention of the historical novel, Scott himself was an antiquarian and collector. He was an active member of the Society of Antiquaries for Scotland, whose collections went on to form the initial core of the Scottish collections of National Museums Scotland. The display shows how Scott drew upon these real historical objects for inspiration in his writing. Amongst the treasures on display, are a c1745 Jacobite drinking glass engraved with an image of Bonnie Prince Charlie, the type of which feature in Scott’s The Bride of Lammermuir, a sword belonging to a Covenanter, as in Old Mortality, and a model of a dangerous sporran clasp with four concealed pistols as described in Rob Roy. The exhibition opens with the Harden spurs which appear in Scott’s The Reiver’s Wedding.
Galloway Hoard: Viking-age Treasures will tour to Kirkcudbright Galleries (9 October 2021 to 10 July 2022); and Aberdeen Art Gallery (30 July 2022 to 23 October 2022).
Discovering Ancient Egypt, the current display of the National Museums Scotland touring exhibition at the John Gray Centre, Haddington has been extended until 24 July 2021.
Bringing together fascinating objects from the collections of National Museums Scotland this exhibition uncovers how ancient Egypt captivated Scotland over 200 years ago, as it still does today. Through the intriguing stories of an archaeologist, an astronomer and an artist, Discovering Ancient Egypt brings to life the contribution Scotland has made to Egyptology and reveals important Egyptian collections from across the country.
The latest information and guidance on how to visit all museums can be found on the website nms.ac.uk/reopening