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Smith Art Gallery & Museum


(Smith Institute, The Smith)

Smith Art Gallery and Museum, Stirling
©2016 Gazetteer for Scotland

Smith Art Gallery and Museum, Stirling

Located in Albert Place, on the edge of King's Park, the Smith Art Gallery & Museum is a fine Classical building below Stirling Castle. Constructed 1871-74 with a legacy from Thomas Stuart Smith (1815-69), an artist and collector whose own works formed the core of the original collection, the B-listed building was originally known as the Smith Institute and features a Tetrastyle Doric portico with an elaborately decorated pediment. The architect was John Lessels (1809-83) of Edinburgh.

The Smith houses a varied collection of fine art, historical and archeological material, with a permanent display entitled The Stirling Story which explores the history and development of Stirling, together with a changing programme of temporary exhibitions. The collection includes several items relating to the Jacobites, including a portrait of Prince Charles Edward Stuart in 1746. There are also works by William York MacGregor (1855 - 1923) and Sir George Harvey (1806-76). Other items include the ring of religious martyr James Guthrie (1612-61) which he passed to his niece as he mounted the scaffold, together with the world's oldest curling stone (1511) and one of the world's oldest footballs, dating from c.1540.

The Smith also benefits from a lecture and conference room, and a shop. Outside, Ailie's Garden is an eclectic outside space which extends to 0.2 ha (0.5 acre) within the museum's grounds. Opened in 2002, it is a named after local activist Ailie R. Maclaurin (1913 - 2000).


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