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Published On: Mon, Dec 9th, 2013 at 10:46am

Museums programme announced for 2014

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A great variety of exhibits will be showcased in the new exhibitions which will be staged next year. 

National Museums Scotland has revealed its exhibitions programme for 2014.


Exhibitions and events explore a diverse range of themes, from giant mammoths to the treasures of the Ming dynasty, and from spectacular photography of the animal kingdom to the innovative mind of Scottish mathematician John Napier. A four-year commemorative programme marking the centenary of the First World War will also begin in 2014.


Headlining the calendar of exhibitions are two major shows at the National Museum of Scotland that explore the great beasts of the Ice Age and the extraordinary story of the Ming dynasty.


Opening on 24 January, Mammoths of the Ice Age reveals what life was like for the iconic mammals of this era; the mammoth and the mastodon. An extensive collection of Ice Age objects will be brought together for the first time in the UK, from some of the oldest human art in existence to woolly mammoth hair, preserved mammoth dung and a replica of Lyuba, the 40,000-year old baby mammoth. Found in 2007 in the frozen wastes of Russia, she is the best-preserved mammoth ever discovered.


At its only UK venue, Ming: The Golden Empire will open on 27 June and introduce the remarkable achievements of the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) which was marked by a dramatic flourishing of the arts. From iconic blue and white porcelain to sumptuous silk textiles, gold and jades, rare examples of elaborately enamelled cloisonné, and detailed calligraphy, a collection of original Ming artefacts, including many Chinese National Treasures, will be on display.


Dr Gordon Rintoul, Director of National Museums Scotland, said: -“Our programme for 2014 is truly world class. I am delighted we are presenting such a significant series of international exhibitions as we continue to tell compelling stories, share this country’s fabulous national collections and bring major shows to Scotland.”


Two exhibitions at the National War Museum and the National Museum of Scotland will mark the centenary of the First World War.


Next of Kin will open at the National War Museum on 18 April. Reflecting how families coped with the absence and loss of their loved ones, and kept objects as a way of remembering, the exhibition will present a portrait of Scotland at war. Next of Kin will be on display for a year before touring around Scotland until 2017.


Common Cause: Commonwealth Scots and the Great War, at the National Museum of Scotland from 11 July, will explore the complex relationship between Scottish identity and the emerging national identities of the former British Empire. In 1914, as the world prepared for war, thousands of men enlisted in Scotland. But thousands more Scots and those of Scottish descent joined up across the world.


Three further exhibitions at the National Museum of Scotland will be launched in spring 2014.


Wildlife Photographer of the Year opens on 17 March. From a polar bear lurking under icy water to a beautiful sunrise in the Namibian desert, and a male and female jaguar captured in the throes of a fierce fight, one hundred striking photographs will offer a remarkable glimpse of the diversity and beauty of the natural world.


Opening on 28 March, Power of Ten: Inventing Logarithms explores the work of Scottish scholar John Napier (1550-1617) and the major impact his innovations have had. With a reputation for mathematics, divinity and black magic, Napier devised logarithms – a method for replacing long multiplication with simple addition. This dramatic innovation fundamentally advanced mathematics, science and engineering, enabling more calculations to be completed in an hour than had previously been completed in one day.


Scotland Creates opens at the National Museum of Scotland on 9 May, supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and Creative Scotland. It is the culmination of a year-long project during which young people have taken inspiration from National Museums’ world-class science and technology, and art and design collections. Having curated their own exhibitions across Scotland at partner museums, the final results will now be displayed.


This autumn, exhibitions at the National Museum of Scotland reveal the rich cultures of Fiji, Samoa, Tonga and the Punjab.


Opening 10 October, the exceptional life of the last Sikh ruler of the Punjab, Maharaja Duleep Singh (working title), will be examined through his exquisite jewellery and personal objects. Singh (1838-1893), ascended to the throne at early age but was forced to leave the Punjab in 1854 after the country was annexed by the East India Company. In exile, Singh was the first Sikh to settle in Britain. He became one of Queen Victoria’s favourites, living the life of an aristocrat first in Castle Menzies, Perthshire, and later in Elveden, Suffolk.


Wrapped in Wealth (working title) will explore the art and culture of a fascinating area of the Pacific region. The exhibition will highlight trading links between Fiji, Samoa and Tonga and showcase National Museums’ major Fijian collections from colonial times to the present day, revealing stories of island life and cross-cultural encounters between Scots and Fijians. Wrapped in Wealth opens on 20 November.


The full programme of exhibitions is:


Exhibition Dates Admission

National Museum of Scotland


Kabuki Until 2 February 2014 Free
Hunting the Higgs boson Until 16 February 2014 Free
Creative Spirit: Revealing Early Medieval Scotland Until 23 February 2014 Free
Mammoths of the Ice Age 24 January – 20 Apr 2014 Adult £9

Concession £7.50

Child (5-15) £6 (under 5s free)

Family (2 adults, 2 children) £25

Wildlife Photographer of the Year 17 March – 1 June 2014 Free
Power of Ten: Inventing Logarithms 28 March – 6 July 2014 Free
Ming: The Golden Empire 27 June – 19 Oct 2014 Adult £10

Concession £8

Child (12-15) £6 (under 12s free)

Common Cause: Commonwealth Scots and the Great War 11 Jul – 12 Oct 2014 Free
Scotland Creates 9 May – 31 August 2014 Free
Maharaja Duleep Singh (working title) 10 October – January 2015 Free
Wrapped in Wealth (working title) 20 Nov 2014 – 29 Mar 2015 Free




National War Museum


Arctic Convoys Until 13 March 2014 Price included in admission to Edinburgh Castle
Next of Kin 18 April 2014 – Mar 2015 Price included in admission to Edinburgh Castle


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About the Author

- Founding Editor of The Edinburgh Reporter. Edinburgh-born multimedia journalist, and always available for freelance work. A keen iPhoneographer!

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