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Jacobites, Ancient Egypt and Early Scottish Silver among treats in store on National Museums Scotland 2017 programme


National Museums Scotland has announced its programme for 2017, with the Jacobites, Primates, Early Silver and Ancient Egypt among the headline exhibitions.

Running until 23 April 2017, Monkey Business is a family-friendly exhibition which explores the world of primates, from the tiny mouse lemur to the mighty gorilla. Featuring more than 50 spectacular new taxidermy specimens, visitors can discover how different primates move and communicate, how they have developed tools to get hold of food and their complex social systems.
It will also examine the relationship between humans and primates, including the ways in which many species are threatened with extinction through the impact of habitat loss and hunting. This exhibition is supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.
Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites opens on 23 June 2017The first major exhibition on the Jacobites for 70 years, it will reveal the truth about the rise and fall of the Jacobites, with a key focus on Prince Charles Edward Stuart, better known as Bonnie Prince Charlie. It will feature exceptional material from National Museums Scotland’s collections and spectacular treasures from across the UK and France. This exhibition is sponsored by Baillie Gifford Investment Managers.
Gifts for a Jacobite Prince, currently showing in Perth until February before travelling on to Inverness, features a sword and targe, or highland shield, which were probably gifted to the Bonnie Prince, by James, 3rd Duke of Perth, a committed supporter of the Jacobite cause. Other national touring displays include Fossil Hunters, exploring how life on earth moved from water to land around 350 million years ago, and Next of Kin, showing the place of objects in individual remembrance of the First World War.
Opening on 31 March, The Tomb: Ancient Egyptian Burial presents the story of one extraordinary tomb, built around 1290 BC and reused for over 1000 years. The tomb was constructed in the great city of Thebes (modern day Luxor), shortly after the reign of Tutankhamun, for the Chief of Police and his wife. It was looted and reused several times, leaving behind a collection of beautiful objects from various eras. These will be displayed alongside objects found in nearby tombs, giving a sense of how burial in ancient Egypt changed over time. The tomb’s final use occurred shortly after the Roman conquest of Egypt, when it was sealed intact with the remarkable burials of an entire family. This exhibition is sponsored by Shepherd + Wedderburn and comes ahead of the opening of a new permanent Ancient Egypt gallery at the National Museum of Scotland in 2018/19.
Scotland’s Early Silver opens on 13 October 2017. The exhibition will tell the story of silver, a precious and powerful material, during the emergence of early medieval kingdoms. While some places favoured gold, in Scotland silver was the most important precious metal for over six hundred years. As well as showcasing impressive and beautiful objects, Scotland’s Early Silver will shed light on the foundations of the first kingdoms of Scotland. The exhibition, which will tour nationally after showing in Edinburgh, builds on the Glenmorangie Research Project and draws on new findings to give fresh insights into this formative period of Scottish history.
Dr Gordon Rintoul, Director of National Museums Scotland said: 'The collections of National Museums Scotland cover an astounding breadth of subject areas and disciplines. This year’s exhibition programme reflects this, showing unique collections, international treasures and fresh insights encompassing our closest evolutionary relatives in the natural world, one of the world’s most enduringly fascinating ancient civilisations, and key events in the story of Scotland.
'In addition to exhibitions at the National Museum of Scotland and the National War Museum we have a programme of touring exhibitions, taking examples from the outstanding national collections out, beyond our walls, to venues across Scotland and the world.'
For more on National Museums Scotland, visit the website.
Images: NMS interior copyright Brian McMeil; exhibition images copyright National Museums Scotland

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