Summer Festivals 2014: Festival of Museums
The nationwide fest delves into history with 1940s tea dances, WWI music ensembles and armour handling
For three days in May, a concerted national push sees audiences across Scotland encouraged to attend and make use of their local museum as part of the Festival of Museums, an event that helps illustrate precisely how well served the country is by its historical resources. The festival’s website promises events ‘from Gairloch to Glasgow and the Western Isles to Wanlochhead’, with over 80 museums nationwide taking part.
Even in just the Central Belt, there’s an embarrassment of unique events, most of which have an added sense of family appeal. Across Edinburgh and the Lothians, the broad theme is the 1940s, with a special ’40s tea party happening at the University of Edinburgh’s St Cecilia’s Hall Museum of Instruments, and era-specific painting styles at Edinburgh College of Art, while the National Galleries of Scotland and Edinburgh International Festival join forces in a classical trio performance that takes us right back to the First World War.
In Glasgow, meanwhile, Scotland Street Museum hosts an interactive trip through traditional British games like hopscotch, and the Burrell Collection offers a chance to handle armour from Greek and medieval times. Many more events across the nation are listed at the festival's website. ‘Scotland’s a creative and cultural hub, and a country steeped in so much history that we can often forget the stories, artefacts and exhibits that sit right on our doorstep,’ says Joanne Orr, CEO of Museums Galleries Scotland, in summing up the purpose of this weekend. ‘The Festival of Museums provides a chance for us to engage with our heritage and get actively involved in learning more about the fascinating collections and events that reflect our history and bring it to life.’
Various venues, Edinburgh and Glasgow, Fri 16–Sun 18 May.