Ten new galleries open at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh today (8 July), with Dolly the Sheep and an Apple Mark 1 computer from 1976 among the star exhibits. Over 3,000 objects, most of which have not been seen in decades, and 400 new acquisitions go on show in the new suite designed by Hoskins Architects and the exhibitions masterplanner Metaphor.
Six of the galleries focus on science and technology; objects on display include the Wylam Dilly locomotive, parts of the Large Electron-Positron Collider from CERN, a field-testing kit for Ebola and one of John Logie Baird’s earliest “televisors”.
Four galleries are dedicated to decorative art, design and fashion. Key design movements such as Art Deco and Art Nouveau are explored in the Design for Living section with objects on view by Christopher Dresser and Charles Rennie Mackintosh.
More than 250 hours of conservation work were spent on a 100-piece silver gilt travelling set supplied by the official goldsmith of Napoleon for his sister Pauline on her marriage to Prince Camillo Borghese in 1803. A tongue-scraper and brushes are among the items bequeathed by Pauline to Alexander, the tenth Duke of Hamilton, who was responsible for building the Scottish Hamilton Palace in Lanarkshire, which was demolished in 1927.
The Art of Living gallery includes a late 17th-century wood-panelled and carved wall from the Scottish Hamilton Palace. Before the palace was razed, the American newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst acquired the room, but the elaborate carvings have since been in storage.
The £14.1m project, part of an £80m masterplan, was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Wellcome Trust and the Scottish Government, with £7 million contributed by trusts, foundations and individual donors.