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Detectives, Drama and Time Travel

April 20, 2011

With just seven months to go before we open the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, the Education team is now planning in detail the inspiring launch events and activities and looking forward to moving back in to the building in June.

Portrait Detectives Copyright Alicia Bruce

Since last year we have been building our family audience and testing ideas such as the very successful Portrait Detectives at the National Gallery, led by artist-sleuths Duncan Robertson and Paula Flavell. Since starting this pilot drop-in event for families in December 2010, around 450 children and their parents have taken part and given some excellent feedback. Some parents have described it as:

“Good fun and a novel way of learning history.”

“A lovely way to get the children to have a better look at the paintings.”

We are really looking forward to taking Portrait Detectives to the Portrait Gallery where there will be endless mysteries and crimes to solve! Meanwhile you can catch the next session at the National Gallery on Sunday 8th May from 2-4pm.

On 4th April 2011, we welcomed Meg Faragher to the NGS Education team. Meg was recently appointed as the Learning Coordinator for the Portrait Gallery. Her role involves managing the family and community programmes and projects as well as coordinating the new learning spaces in the gallery.  Meg studied English Literature at university and also worked as an actress before moving into museum and gallery education a few years ago. We hope that Meg will draw on her experience of the dramatic arts in the development of some new family events!

Portrait Detectives Copyright Alicia Bruce

Another new education programme Meg is developing for the Portrait Gallery is Thanks for the Memories. This programme is aimed at older people including those living with dementia and Alzheimer’s. The idea is to team up with specialist organisations and care homes to provide a mixed programme of reminiscence and social events that older people can attend individually or as an organised group.  The Portrait Gallery exhibitions and themes provide ample opportunities to explore and collect living memories of the past. From participating in or watching sports in Scotland to the effect on people’s lives of key Scottish scientific discoveries, the new exhibitions provide many opportunities for people to contribute their own valuable and fascinating recollections, that will in turn benefit younger generations who visit the Portrait Gallery. A truly inter-generational way to time travel.

Portrait Detectives Copyright Alicia Bruce

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