“The Herald”, October 2022: Past and Present – 25 Years Ago – Plan for a New Gallery of Scottish Art in Glasgow

An interesting section in The Herald newspaper is “Past and present”, which includes topics from its (The Glasgow

Herald’s) archives dating from 5, 10, 25, 50, and 100 years ago.


On Friday the 7th of October, 2022, on page 20, is the following, from 25 years ago:


“Supporters of the plan for a new Gallery of Scottish Art in Glasgow yesterday insisted it

was still on track, despite reports indicating its imminent demise. The new chairman of the

trustees of the National Galleries, the Countess of Airlie, is known to be less enthusiastic

about the scheme than her predecessor, Sir Angus Grossart. She is currently abroad, but a

brief statement was issued on her behalf yesterday. The statement said: ‘It simply is not

true that any decision has been taken by the trustees to abandon plans to create a Gallery

of Scottish Art in Glasgow.” Glasgow’s Lord Provost, Pat Lally, ordered an inquiry into

reports that the trustees had abandoned plans for the project and would use the pretext

of refusal of lottery money to ditch the project and wash their hands of it.”



At the time of the media coverage of the controversy surrounding Lady Airlie, I remember

discussing the subject with Helen Smailes, a curator at the National Gallery of Scotland. In

her haughty reply, Smailes informed me that Airlie could do nothing wrong as “she was a

lady of the queen’s bedchamber.” That was me put in my place.



George Fairfull-Smith, October 2022.