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Exhibition on Rural Life at Kittochside

1 July - 1 August 2003
Museum of Scottish Country Life, Kittochside, East Kilbride

Press View: 30 June, 2003 at 11am

Over 100 beautiful paintings by renowned wildlife artist Keith Brockie are featured in a new exhibition at the Museum of Scottish Country Life, Kittochside. Rural Portraits: Scottish Native Farm Animals, Characters & Landscapes features pictures of every breed of Scottish native farm animal as well as landscapes, people, and aspects of rural life.

Many of the breeds portrayed are rare or endangered, such as the North Ronaldsay sheep, Castlemilk Moorit sheep, the Eriskay pony and the Shetland cow. As farming practices have changed, some of the older native breeds have been supplanted by faster growing types from Continental Europe or North America to suit changing market needs.

.‘Shetland Ponies from Uist, Shetland,’ Image copyright of Keith Brockie

The exhibition is complemented by six 19th century portraits by William Sheils, which are on permanent display in the Museum of Scottish Country Life. William Sheils was commissioned by David Low, the second Professor of Agriculture at the University of Edinburgh, to create an accurate pictorial record of domestic breeds of animals. From 1829 onwards, in what became a lifetime's work, William Sheils painted 100 of these portraits, depicting many breeds of animals which are now obsolete. The six on display at the Museum date from the 1830's to 1840's.

Duncan Dornan, General Manager of the Museum of Scottish Country Life, says: 'It is fascinating to compare Keith Brockie's contemporary portraits of Scottish breeds with the 19th century portraits by William Sheils, which were painted at the very infancy of animal breeding. The exhibition as a whole presents a unique and enthralling insight into Scotland's rapidly changing rural life and we are delighted it is on show at the Museum.'

Keith Brockie's pictures are illustrations from the book Rural Portraits: Scottish Native Farm Animals, Characters & Landscapes, by Polly Pullar, which is a unique visual and written record of country life in many areas of Scotland, and the first time that all Scotland's breeds have been portrayed in this way.


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