Surgeons’ Hall Museum has begun a major redevelopment programme, supported by a £2.7m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the philanthropy of the members of The Heritage Society. In total, the museum will undergo a £4.2m redevelopment (for more info on the Lister project see www.museum.rcsed.ac.uk). On our last day, we hosted a special day of art and music. All activities highlighted aspects of The Museum’s history and focused on encouraging attendees to engage with medical collections. The art classes started with ‘Barclay’s Book’ led by artist Susie Wilson, this class explored John Barclay’s deed of settlement of 1824-28, drawn highlights from the class were inspired by entries on ‘flying serpents’, ‘a boa constrictor (stuffed)’ and ‘head of a snake injected with quicksilver.
Knox the Anatomist’s pathology modelling class with Jane Weatherly used 3D methods to encourage visitors to explore wet and dry specimens. The class used alternative methods to create their pathology specimens, using soap, paint and clay.
Our forensic skull class was led by forensic artist Gillian Taylor. Former facial surgeon and Fellow of The College, Mr Tony Watson was on hand throughout the class to discuss examples of different skull deformities from the collections.
The architectural drawing class with Sara Beevers concentrated on the design features of William Playfair’s original neoclassical 1832 structure and also considered the floral developments made by Balfour Paul to create the decor of the Main Playfair Hall and Jules Thorn Museum.
Musical highlights of the day were courtesy of Edinburgh International Festival’s beautifully moving ‘Ghosts in the gallery’ and a truly unique performance by Wendy Carle Taylor, featuring ‘The Ballard of Burke and Hare’ and a verse written about ‘the examining fogies of The Royal College of Surgeons’ by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Thank you to all who attended and contributed to the day. The Museum decant has recently been completed and our mannequins have been re-homed, going to the Scottish Maritime Museum, Cranachan and Crowdie, East Lothian Museums and Scottish Borders Museum Council.
Please follow our redevelopment via our new blog, Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus & our own webpage. You can also join us on outreach, we are currently at The Serenity Café, all venues will be listed on our webpage.