Stirling Arms

The reminder in last week’s Observer that the Municipal Buildings opened on 21 March 1919 for the first time gives a chance to reflect on the quality and substance of the building, and the story of the Stirling Coat of Arms. The prize-winning architect was John Gaff Gillespie (1870 –

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The Stirling Beaver

The news of beavers returning to the River Forth, as reported in the Stirling Observer, is timely. This beaver shop sign is at present in the exhibition on shop fronts in the Engine Shed. In the eighteenth century, the word “beaver” and “hat” were virtually synonymous. Beavers were hunted to

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Black Beast Wanderer

In keeping with the weather brought by the #beastfromtheeast, the featured image is of the only Scottish beast which can truly withstand freezing temperatures. ‘Black Beast Wanderer’ is the title of Joseph Denovan Adam’s study of a solitary highland cow, caught up in a snow storm. Adam (1842 – 1896)

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Newspaper Story

With the recent fire at 41 – 44 Murray Place, it’s worth remembering the history of this distinctive curved building, and the story of newspapers, always at the heart of the burgh. The first building on the site was the single storey newsagents shop of Crawford and Mackay. Eneas Mackay

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Ye Smith Institute Fancye Fayre 1882

The bizarre bazaar held in the Stirling Smith, formerly the Smith Institute, 24 – 26 August 1882 is one of the stranger episodes in the museum’s history. After complaints that the main gallery of the Smith was being hired out for concerts and other activities which were doing damage to

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Peatlands of Scotland

The series of talks by specialists continues on Thursday 15th February when at 12 noon, Andrew McBride, Peatland Action Programme Manager will speak on Peatlands: Scotland’s climate control mechanism at the Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum. Andrew is based at Redgorton, Perthshire, with Scottish Natural Heritage. For those attending

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Votes for Women

In the years leading up to the Great War, Stirling was a hot bed of suffragette activity. With the death of Prime Minister and Stirling MP Sir Henry Campbell – Bannerman in April 1908, suffragettes of every party converged on Stirling to fight the Stirling and Dunfermline Burghs by-election. Campbell

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Miners’ strike revisited

At 3.30pm on Friday 2 February, the Stirling Smith hosts the launch of an important Stirling book.  This book collects two pamphlets, ‘For as long as it takes!’ Cowie Miners in the Strike, 1984-85, originally published in 1985, and One Year On. Sacked Polmaise Miners Speak Out, published in 1986.

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David Cox at the Smith

Until this Sunday only, there is a small exhibition of 14 works by the eminent English watercolourist, David Cox (1783 – 1859). The works are from the Stirling Smith’s own collection, and are part of the bequest of the founder, Thomas Stuart Smith. The exhibition is curated by intern Annika

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Lady Arabella Stuart (1575 – 1615)

                    This sad token of the short life of Lady Arabella Stuart is a ‘protest portrait’ and is one of the hundreds of pewter pieces in the Stirling Smith collections. Arabella was an English noblewoman of Scottish descent, a great-great-granddaughter of

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