Body snatcher William Burke’s Cap and Skin

Last week, Stirling Ghost Walk man David Kinnaird introduced Hallowe’en visitors to the more gruesome aspects of the Stirling Smith’s collection.   These include the deerskin and leather cap worn by the notorious body snatcher and murderer William Burke (1792 – 1829), who with his accomplice Hare committed at least

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Sailor’s Valentine, Black History Month

This is a very good example of a sailor’s valentine of the 1850s in the Stirling Smith collections. It is currently one of the objects highlighted for Black History Month. Sailor’s valentines were made from tiny sea shells arranged in interesting patterns and encased in octagonal glazed boxes. Tradition has

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Annie Croall, Founder of the Stirling’s Children’s Home

Founder of the Stirling’s Children’s Home, Annie Knight Croall (1854-1927) is one of the unsung heroines of Scottish history.  She was the daughter of the first curator of the Smith Institute, and came from Leeds to Stirling at the age of 19.  A deeply spiritual person, her work for neglected

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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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Agnes Smith Greig, George Harvey and Sir Daniel McNee

  For the next few weeks, portraits of Stirling people from the Stirling Smith collections are on show in the Smith.  This is the engagement portrait of Agnes, daughter of the Reverend Christopher Greig of St Ninians Parish Church.  Aged 28, she married the advocate Alexander Stuart Logan. The painting

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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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A Stitch in Rhyme

   Poetry is the theme of the new exhibition which opens at the Smith this Saturday.  Doing the honours will be Lesley Duncan: poet, Stirling resident, and Poetry Editor of the Herald.  Lesley is already represented in the Smith’s collection with a portrait by artist Lys Hansen.  The exhibition features

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