History in a Tram Ticket

An amazing amount of history can be contained in a single small piece of paper like this tram ticket, the only one of its kind in the Smith collections. The Stirling and Bridge of Allan Tramway Company operated from 1874 – May 1920, and although there was a tram with

Continue reading

Simon Bolivar, The Wallace of South America

The Stirling Smith collection contains many treasures, some of which have seen better days and are in need of major conservation work. Many are anonymous, like this ‘Portrait of a Man in Uniform’. When it was published in the Public Foundation Catalogue of paintings in public collections it was recognised

Continue reading

The Boy Scout, 1957

This statuette in cast aluminium alloy, varnished in brown and with gold highlights is one of several items donated to the Stirling Smith by the late Dr. Ken Mackay (1931-2014). Ken was a life-long Scout, and the trophy was presented to him for his services to the 54th Dundee Scout

Continue reading

The Victimised Miners of 1984-5

In 1984, when Polmaise 3&4 Colliery was threatened with flooding through non – use, four miners went underground to prevent this, through a three day sit-in. A press photographer, given access by the National Union of Mineworkers, went underground and took this photograph. Left to right are miners Jim O’Hare,

Continue reading

Oswald and Friend, Ailsa Black

The Ailsa Black exhibition featuring beasts both wild and domestic finishes this week. One beast which will be remaining in the Stirling Smith’s collection is Ailsa’s whimsical portrait of cat-in-charge Oswald.   The painting has been purchased by an anonymous benefactor as a tribute to all of the marketing and publicity

Continue reading

Counting the Cash – The Stirling Smith Bank Note Collection

  Two of our volunteers, Ben and Rachel have been working on scanning and documenting our bank note collection. Apart from local banks we also have notes from the American Revolutionary war 1771 – 1783 and the American Civil war; 1861-1865.  Collecting mementos of war in the form of notes

Continue reading

Westward by Ian Campbell (1902 – 1983)

Keeping on the theme of ‘Stirling, the Artists’ Town’, here is another example of a great work in the Stirling Smith’s collections by a Scottish artist who lived locally. Ian Campbell was born in Oban in 1902 and studied at Glasgow School of Art from 1921 to 1925, where he

Continue reading

Anne McGuire MP

When Anne McGuire MP wrote her last column for the Stirling Observer two weeks ago, it was headed ‘Eighteen years have passed in a flash’. Like many other politicians representing Stirling, Anne McGuire held high office in Westminster, starting off as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Secretary of State for Scotland

Continue reading

The Lake of Menteith, George Whitton Johnstone RSA RSW

This is one of two works in the Smith collection by the Scottish artist George Whitton Johnstone RSA RSW (1849-1901) and dates to 1890. Johnstone was born in Glamis and went to Edinburgh as a cabinet maker. He later became a pupil at the Royal Scottish Academy Life School, painting

Continue reading

Forthside Past and Future

On Monday night, the Friends of the Smith are hosting a talk by Colin Tennant of Historic Scotland on the development of the Engine Shed, Forthside as Scotland’s first National Conservation Centre. This new national facility in Stirling will act as a focal point for those seeking information, advice and

Continue reading