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Recognition Scheme celebrates 10 year anniversary and welcomes two new collections

Two new museum collections awarded national significance on 10th anniversary of scheme

Scotland’s Nationally Significant Collections are scattered throughout towns, cities and villages across the country. From Dundee to Dumfries and from Shetland to Ayr, visitors can be inspired by these collections of remarkable historic and cultural significance. Today (22 November) the scheme is celebrating its 10th anniversary of awards, as well as the addition of a further two Recognised Collections to its ranks. The occasion is being celebrated at a special event in the National Mining Museum Scotland in Newtongrange.

The Recognition Scheme, which is administered by Museums Galleries Scotland on behalf of the Scottish Government, promotes, celebrates and invests in nationally significant collections beyond those held in our national museums and galleries. It made its first awards in 2007. The Recognised Collections cover a fascinating range of topics and highlight the incredible diversity and uniqueness that can be found in museums and galleries dotted all over Scotland. The objects in the collections range from the chair in which Burns wrote his last poems to the world’s oldest national football trophy. Together the collections weave a rich tapestry of Scotland’s history.

Joanne Orr, CEO of Museums Galleries Scotland, said:

“Scotland’s Recognised Collections represent some of the country’s most diverse and fascinating collections, and reflect centuries of commitment to conserving and interpreting our past. Over its 10 year history, the Recognition Scheme has sought to improve the accessibly and longevity of the collections, as well as the long term sustainability of the organisations that hold them. The scheme is dynamic, and as our ideas of what’s important and significant continue to evolve, so too will Scotland’s Recognised Collections.”

Today, the ranks of the Nationally Significant Collections are swelled by the awarding of Nationally Significant status to the Chippendale and Trotter Furniture Collection at Paxton House, and the Scottish Regimental Museum Collection held by the Association of Scottish Military Museums. These awards bring the total number of Recognised Collections to 49.

Paxton House has received Recognition for its internationally important collection of furniture by Thomas Chippendale the Elder and Younger, and by William Trotter. The comprehensive collection, which was commissioned for Paxton House, charts a stylistic evolution from late Rococo to the Greek Revivial. The Chippendale furniture commissioned for Paxton House gave rise to ‘The Paxton Style’ a fashionable mode which spread far beyond Berwickshire to become especially popular on the eastern seaboard of the USA.

The Collection of the Scottish Regimental Museums is the combined holdings of the 10 Scottish regimental museums. As well as military material such as uniforms, insignia and weapons, the museums also hold fine and decorative art, rare manuscripts and original photographs. Their combined Collection comprises over 160,000 objects which together tell a part of Scotland’s story, crucial to our nations identity, which spans from before the Act of Union up until the present day.  The recent centenary commemorations associated with WWI have underpinned the importance of the collective memories preserved within this collection.

Ray Macfarlane, Chair of the Recognition Committee, said:

“I am delighted that these collections from Paxton House and the Association of Regimental Museums have joined have joined this list of Scotland’s must see collections.  Both collections are of remarkable quality, and Scotland’s cultural heritage would be infinitely poorer without them.”

The Recognition Scheme ensures that Scotland’s most important collections are identified, cared for and promoted to wider audiences. The award also opens up access for the Regimental Museums and Paxton House to apply for Recognition funding from Museums Galleries Scotland to improve how people experience and engage with their newly Recognised collections.

Published 22 November 2017