The Donor Window
One of the aims of Portrait of the Nation is to restore our beautiful Arts and Crafts building. As you read this, the Portrait Gallery is full of workmen removing all the later additions that disfigured it for much of the twentieth century. When we reopen in November 2011 our visitors will be surprised and delighted by the clarity and elegance of architect Sir Robert Rowand Anderson’s original design.
Rowand Anderson was a master of incorporating art and sculpture into his building. Just think of William Hole’s pageant frieze in the Main Hall or the sculptures on the outside of the building. At the top of the east staircase is a handsome Victorian stained-glass window commemorating the key people involved in the creation of the Portrait Gallery and Museum.
As our own twenty-first-century contribution we have commissioned Alison Kinnaird to make a modern window alongside it, commemorating the refurbishment and celebrating our principal donors. Alison is an incredibly talented glass engraver. We commissioned her to make the portrait of the ornithologist Roy Dennis a few years ago (pictured on the right).
To make her window she will be working with Patrick Ross Smith who is based in Shetland. Over the coming months she will be busy in her studio at Temple in Midlothian recording the portraits of the generous individuals whose support for Portrait of the Nation will ensure the future of the Gallery.