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Still Desperately Seeking Shinty

June 9, 2010


Loveday Brooke, lady detective of the 1890s

A recollection of a Country Life article entitled ‘Will you find an Auntie in an Attic’ may yet prove to be my salvation regarding the quest for the shinty painting, which I am seeking to find in relation to our Portrait of the Nation sporting exhibition.  There have been no updates thus far, inspite of a slot on Radio Scotland and letters directed to both the last property where the painting was known to have resided and a retired curator, formerly of a nearby large municipal art gallery. Ever-alert I have also been putting out – what I believe they call in the private investigation world – feelers, when an opportunity presents itself and when an individual with renowned encyclopaedic information in our field (yes I know I am a curator of art and really I must stop all this other nonsense) crosses my path.  I could give many reasons why we require a long lead-in time for exhibitions, but this is a good example – the unearthing of a crucial and unique work of art in relation to the subject matter of an exhibition.  I am hoping an appeal to Country Life magazine may hold the key as I really need ‘to solve the mystery of what all this means and fight to get home, because time is running out.’  

I’ve snapped out of my dual world now and can report briefly on the first Portrait Gallery staff tour of the building. 


After the initial shock of realising that some of us were going to have to wear steel toe capped boots two sizes too big (apart from those of us who came prepared with our own pair) the excitement of being back in the Gallery hit us, even though we were wearing hard hats.   

The building seemed flooded with light and to actually see the revealed new Gallery spaces was quite breath-taking.  The most dramatic part of the visit for me, aside from a processional troop along the external scaffolding and up to the roof, was the beginning of the re-siting of the Antiquaries Library within its first floor space on the west side.  All power to the antique jigsaw professionals, it obviously doesn’t say ‘for 3-4 years’ on the box of this puzzle!

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