Professor Hans Meidner

Hans Meidner was a well-known and respected figure during his life in Stirling.  He was German by birth but his anti-Nazi activities forced him to flee, and he became a scientist in South Africa, where he was a strong supporter of Nelson Mandela and the anti-apartheid movement.  Hans came to

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Flodden and the Ring and Sword of King James IV

500 years ago on 9 September 1513, the Scottish army was defeated at Flodden.  King James IV, and an estimated 10,000 men – including two bishops, two abbots, twelve earls, thirteen lords, five eldest sons of lords, and about 300 of Scotland’s most influential men – were killed.  For generations,

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Beer Porters by Frank Brangwyn (1867 – 1956)

This scene may be familiar to older readers of the Observer in more ways than one. Stirling was at one time a brewing centre, and workplace scenes such as this must have been common in breweries like St. Ninian’s Well, Burdens and Duncan’s. The image was sketched as part of

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Alexander Bonar of Ratho (1750 – 1820), Sir Henry Raeburn

Earlier this year, the Stirling Smith received an important bequest of a Raeburn portrait from the late Bruce Ritchie of Allan Park. Sir Henry Raeburn was the foremost Scottish portrait painter of his time, and this is the first Raeburn portrait to come into the Smith collections. The subject of

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Battle of Bannockbur Anniversary Celebrations, 1914

Celebrating Bannockburn

The 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn, 23-24 June 1314, is now less than a year away.  Pictured here is a flower covered car from the 600th anniversary in 1914, one of a series of photos in the Smith’s collection showing the great pageant procession through Stirling, from King’s

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Unveiling the Raeburn

The Smith’s first portrait by Sir Henry Raeburn, a bequest by the late Bruce Ritchie of Allan Park, was unveiled by the Right Honourable Sir George Reid.  The event marked the end of the building contract to renew the roof of the Smith.  Sir George pointed out that the subject,

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Margaret Shirra and Son

We know little of the details of this mother and child portrait, which is in the Smith collections and is currently on show in the Stirling Heads Exhibition.  Margaret Shirra (nee Low) was the wife of James Shirra (1812-1888), a Stirling draper.  The portrait was painted by Stirling-born artist Sir

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Childhood Past – Edwardian Stirling

This drawing comes from a handful of letters, written by Dick Partridge of Forthside House, Stirling, for two little girls, Janet and Marion Wilson, who lived in King’s Park.  His poem about Pat’s Hat is told and illustrated in alternate letters written in January and February 1900 and intended to

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The Art of Steven Campbell

Steven Campbell (1953-2007) died at the tragically early age of 53. Had he lived, he would have been 60 this month. Shown here is his painting “Outside Right at Sunset Gate” purchased for the Stirling Smith collections in 1996, with a grant from the Scottish Arts Council. Campbell often used

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Dunblane Doll’s House, 1940

Shown here is a detail of the Nursery, one of the many rooms in the Dunblane Doll House. Each of the pieces is functional, as well as beautifully detailed. The Nursery has its own Doll’s House (on the left), a rocking horse which rocks, a bed, cot, and tea table.

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