Inro at the Museum of Scotland

I know that not everyone agrees, but I continue to be totally enraptured by the bit of the National Museum of Scotland that used to be the Royal Museum. Today I finally left the main hall and started to wander in side galleries.

I went in search of the inro (there should be a bar over the o but I can’t figure out how to do that in html – any experts?) I had never heard of these till a friend talked about the ones at the museum. They are little Japanese laquered cases from the days when Japanses men wore traditional clothes without pockets! So kind of like a tiny non-furry sporran I guess…

I was very impressed: they are absolutely exquisite. You can find some on the museum’s site here. I particularly liked the designs of flowers, or feathers. Evem though they are only a few inches long, they contain several compartments. The lacquerwork on many of the pieces is stunningly detailed.

There is a whole large panel display in the Lady Ivy Wu gallery on the 5th floor – I can guarantee that this is another part of the museum that I will be visiting over and over.

The museum seemed particularly quiet today – maybe because of the Portrait Gallery reopening?

I also had a very quick wander round the World Cultures section, just taking in the general look of the galleries, which I love. The more I see of the museum, the more I think that there is someone – or, more realistically, a team of people, with an absolutely pitch-perfect eye. The displays are tremendously aesthetically pleasing, and nowhere looks cluttered – there is a great sense of space.

I was wanting to tie this post in with the 10th anniversary of the national museums becoming free entry, but I just looked it up and Scotland’s have actually been free since 1st April 2001 so I’m late! (England’s were indeed 10 years ago today.) I love the way you can interact with a free museum. Today, as usual, my visit was under an hour and I didn’t feel any pressure to zoom round and see everything – if I spent my time on one wall of inro, that was fine, it’ll all still be there tomorrow.

I’m really happy with the piece-by-piece way that I’m familiarising myself with both the National Museum of Scotland and the National Portrait Gallery. I’ll wait for the crowds to die down at the Portrait Museum and then I’m really looking forward to doing the same there too!

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5 Responses to Inro at the Museum of Scotland

  1. Oh I love the Ivy Wu gallery! So many perfect little pieces of art, the inro and also the little figurines, i think they’re called netsuke?

    • Yes, they were fab too! I probably wouldn’t have got far enough into the gallery to find the display if a friend hadn’t given me a heads-up but it was lovely having it all to myself!

  2. Peeriemoot says:

    Actually the other NMS museums (i.e., outside Edinburgh) do charge. I’ve never understood why they did it that way round when Chambers St made the most money!

  3. I hadn’t thought about the other ones charging, but you’re right of course. How strange.

  4. Pingback: Random festival recommendations | blurofwoodsmoke

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