ANGUSalive and Royal Scottish Academy bring ‘Ages of Wonder’ finale to Angus

28 May 2021 | News Story

Two Angus museums are set to host the finale of the Royal Scottish Academy ‘Ages of Wonder’ touring exhibitions as part of the venues’ post-lockdown reopening in June.

In partnership with the Royal Scottish Academy of Art & Architecture (RSA), ANGUSalive’s Meffan Museum & Art Gallery will showcase the ‘Ages of Wonder: The Art of Etching’ exhibition from Saturday 19 June, 2021 whilst the trust’s Montrose Museum will feature ‘Ages of Wonder: The Life School’ from 26 June, 2021.

It will be the first time these exhibitions have gone on show in Angus (or indeed the north east of Scotland) and will also be the last chance for many to see these critically acclaimed exhibitions as this will be their final stop as part of its national tour. 

The Royal Scottish Academy was established in 1826 and remains Scotland’s longest established artist-run society. Its original ‘Ages of Wonder: Scotland’s Art 1540 to Now,’ exhibition which ran in 2017, builds on the moment in 1910 when the RSA transferred a number of significant works to the National Collection. ‘Ages of Wonder: Scotland’s Art 1540 to Now’ was the largest exhibition the RSA has ever put on display. 

The touring exhibitions that will feature in Angus includes significant collections from the original exhibition on display in 2017, combined with contemporary works produced live by artists in the galleries during the exhibition.

Gill Ross, Visual Arts Lead at ANGUSalive said: “When I visited ‘Ages of Wonder: Scotland’s Art 1540 to Now,’ in 2017, I thought it would be wonderful to bring these nationally significant works to our visitors in Angus. The RSA framed this exhibition in context to both historical and contemporary Scottish art, demonstrating its prominence in the rich tapestry of art history. It really is a once in a lifetime opportunity to enjoy both Ages of Wonder: The Life School and The Art of Etching for the last time as part of this tour.”

Sandy Wood, Collections Curator at the Royal Scottish Academy of Art & Architecture added: “In 2017 ‘Ages of Wonder’ gave the Royal Scottish Academy a once in a generation chance to mount the largest collections exhibition in its history. Although an Edinburgh based institution, the RSA is proud of its national remit and the Art of Etching and Life School touring exhibitions allowed us to reach people across Scotland in 2018 and 2019.”

“After the tough year that we have all endured the RSA is delighted to be working with ANGUSalive to bring our nationally significant collections to new audiences in 2021.”

The Art of Etching on Tour tells the story of fine art printmaking in Scotland, from the 18th Century work of Alexander Runciman to the best printmakers of the present day. The exhibition combines work from the RSA collections, with the new prints created during Ages of Wonder by artists Delia Baillie, Kate Downie, Stuart Duffin, Paul Furneaux, Jessica Harrison, Marion Smith and Frances Walker. The exhibition juxtaposes these newly commissioned prints with masterpieces from the likes of Rembrandt, David Wilkie, Ian Fleming and Elizabeth Blackadder. 

The Life School on Tour exhibition focuses on the history of the RSA as a teaching institution, and includes anatomical firsts and old master copies, amazing early paintings from the life by the likes of S J Peploe and Robert Brough and contemporary responses by Beth Fisher and George Donald.  A major part of this exhibition are the life studies made by emerging artists during the live life school, held in Ages of Wonder.  Fantastic new drawings by Paul Brady, Pavel Isupov, Kane McLay, Louiza Nomikou, Gabrielle Seguin, Lana Svirejeva-Hopkins and Suzanne Taylor shine a contemporary light on the history of the life school collections. 

Enabling new audiences the chance to enjoy a part of Ages of Wonder is at the heart of the Royal Scottish Academy’s vision as a national institution and ANGUSalive is delighted to support this vision and create a space for Angus residents and visitors to enjoy these culturally significant works.

The Ages of Wonder: The Art of Etching on Tour exhibition will be on show at Forfar’s Meffan Museum & Art Gallery from Saturday 19 June 2021 to Saturday 15 January 2022.

The Ages of Wonder: The Life School on Tour exhibition will be on show at Montrose Museum from Saturday 26 June 2021 – Saturday 22 January 2022.

Visitors will not need to book in advance but will need to adhere to Covid-19 safety measures, including social distancing rules and the wearing of face coverings.

Find out more at https://www.angusalive.scot/whats-on

From ‘Ages of Wonder: The Art of Etching on Tour’ at the Meffan Museum & Art Gallery, Ian Fleming RSA (1906-94) “Gethsemane” line engraving on paper, 1931

From ‘Ages of Wonder: The Art of Etching on Tour’ at the Meffan Museum & Art Gallery, Ian Fleming RSA (1906-94) “Gethsemane” line engraving on paper, 1931

From ‘Ages of Wonder: The Life School on Tour’ at Montrose Museum, Beth L Fisher RSA (b.1944) “Burial II” conte and charcoal on paper, 2006

From ‘Ages of Wonder: The Life School on Tour’ at Montrose Museum, Beth L Fisher RSA (b.1944) “Burial II” conte and charcoal on paper, 2006