Most of my recent working life and indeed, dreaming time, has been taken up with our sporting exhibition, planned as part of the November 2011 re-opening programme of exhibitions and displays (around 639 days, and still counting).
Nineteenth-century sporting works from the National Galleries of Scotland’s collection will feature, together with a number of loan works still to be searched out, cue curator turned detective – funny that this has coincided with a sporting-related theme considering two of my long-faded ambitions were to win Wimbledon, retire and become a private detective.
Back to the point – I’m currently trying to trace a painting by the title of A Highland Landscape with a Game of Shinty, attributed to the artists David Cunliffe (active 1826-55) and A. Smith of Mauchline. The painting dates from around 1840 and its last known whereabouts was in a private collection in Leeds in the 1960s. The painting is one of the most famous early depictions of the game of shinty and it would be marvellous to have the possibility of including it in the sporting exhibition – any clues, assistance, thoughts – gratefully received!