Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Some Edinburgh Moments

'Auld Reekie' is a special place which like so many other places you only really appreciate it when you don't see it very often. We've been to Edinburgh a fair bit over the years but this was our first visit since 2010, so we made a point of seeing things we hadn't 'done' before as well as just chilling out - almost literally as it was bitterly cold!

Desperate Dan in Highland dressAmong the many highlights was a visit to the National Library of Scotland mainly to see their exhibition to 75 years of The Dandy Comic which was due to run until 3 February, so we just caught it before it closed.

The exhibition, while good, was surprisingly small and just a taste really of what must be lurking in the vaults of D.C Thomson. I would say that the recent Commando book exhibitions held in Aberdeen and London contained far more original artwork although probably not so old as some of the pieces here, such as early Dudley Watkins Desperate Dan and Jack Prout's classic Black Bob. Photography wasn't allowed so sadly I can't show anything, but many items would be familiar to readers of the informative History of The Dandy book.  Notwithstanding my comments, it was still pretty special seeing these items up close.

Advertising image of men and car around the 1930sWe carried onto the Library's current main exhibition 'charting' (excuse the pun) the Bartholomews family firm who successfully produced maps from their Edinburgh base between 1826 and 1995. I have to say that previously knowing nothing about the map making industry this ehibition was excellent, lots of items, original hand drawn maps and engravings and many homemade tools really told the story of this firms rise and eventual decline as modern technology eventually overtook.

Seeing the size and quality of this exhibition demonstrated to me what the library could achieve and sadly just reinforced the brevity of The Dandy one.

The Bartholmew exhibition runs through to 7th May 2013 and well worth a visit and perhaps I should mention that both these exhibitions were 'free' so no real cause of complaint I guess!

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