LONDON – The National Museum of Scotland has opened 10 new galleries. This is a part of an 80 million pound, or $104 million, rollout plan to revamp the institution, which is located in Edinburgh.
The openings coincide with the 150th anniversary of the institution, which opened in 1866.
The galleries designed by Hoskins Architects and exhibition specialists Metaphor house more than 3,000 objects across four galleries of decorative art, fashion and design and six science and technology galleries. The newer galleries will offer an interactive experience for visitors.
The museum’s Decorative Art, Fashion and Design galleries showcase sculpture, metalwork, ceramics, glass, furniture, woodwork, dress and textiles from designers including Jean Muir, Mary Quant, Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood. The fashion gallery delves into how designers and consumers have contributed to fashion and will include a range of sketches, patterns, textile samples, accessories, fashion illustrations, photographs and film. In addition, the gallery explores technological advances in fashion. A runway display is mounted featuring looks such as Hussein Chalayan’s Airmail dress and Comme des Garçons’s Bump dress. Other pieces on display include a 17th century Venetian jacket, a court mantua dress, artist-designed jewelry by Picasso and Braque and more than 20 pairs of iconic shoes.
Modern and contemporary fashion and textile curator Georgina Ripley pointed to the garments and sketches from its Jean Muir archive as one of the highlights of the fashion galleries. “It is a collection of around an estimated 18,000 items, making up one of the largest archives of a fashion designer held in any museum collection in the world,” Ripley told WWD. “Muir created couture-quality, ready-to-wear designs with an emphasis on quality craftsmanship. On display are pieces ranging from a gorgeous, navy blue, nappa leather dress to a colorful coat inspired by the Great Barrier Reef and designed for Muir’s 1988 collection marking Australia’s bicentenary.
“The distinctions between the early tailor and dressmaker, the beginnings of couture, the growth of ready-to-wear and today’s high street are all explored in the gallery,” she added. “Many of the great names in 20th century fashion feature, notably Elsa Schiaparelli with her Surrealist-inspired designs of the 1930s, a beautiful satin ballgown by the renowned Parisian couturier Jacques Fath, a chainmail tunic by Paco Rabanne, and pieces by Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen. A changing display of cutting-edge contemporary fashion introduces the world of hi-tech textiles, and explores the impact of new technologies on the industry. It showcases the avant-garde creations of established designers such as Comme des Garçons, Hussein Chalayan and Issey Miyake and a new wave of emerging British designers such as Craig Green, Nabil Nayal and Holly Fulton.”