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5 Oct 2018

All change at Brodie Castle

Written by David Hopes, Head of Collections & Interiors
Curator Vikki Duncan explains the creation of a changing exhibition area for Brodie Castle’s art collection.
Brodie Castle is full of treasures. But visitors mightn’t fully appreciate their quality given the sheer quantity of artefacts. A new gallery has been created to selectively display the collection.

Curator Vikki Duncan explains the creation of a changing exhibition area for Brodie Castle’s art collection.


Welcome to the gallery space here at Brodie Castle. This is an area that we repurposed from a walk-through room before, that had sort of floral 1980s wallpaper hung with lots of watercolours which had been here for quite some time. We were expecting the return of the Van der Vliet painting ‘The Philosopher and his Pupils’ [David’s got it now]; it returned from its fantastically successful tour down to London, to Edinburgh and to Dublin where it was seen by almost half a million visitors. So bringing it back, we wanted to have a wow factor and, picking up elements of the artist, we looked around the castle and found several paintings which are in keeping with Van der Vliet. We looked at displaying objects within the Dutch Golden Age period and we came across several within the castle. We created a fabulous new gallery space: white paint, new track lighting, retained the rug that was on the floor and picked up elements of the Dutch Golden Age in the furniture, the colonial element to the furniture, really trying to create something new for the visitor. Again, the paintings are hung low so that the visitor can actually experience them close at hand with some discreet stanchions which don't vie with the objects which are in the room here or the paintings in the wall and give visitors the idea that they can get up close and personal with the paintings that are in here. We hope to change this room every couple of years, cost permitting, give the visitor a new experience, something different to look at and see, and hopefully go on from there.

Another example of building change into the visitor offer at Brodie Castle is the changeover of displayed items at the bottom of the castle staircase. Vikki explains more about the seasonal displays being introduced.


Vikki here. Usually I’m based at Crathes, curator for the north east and north west. This is one of the areas at Brodie Castle below the staircase at the back here that when I arrived was full of a myriad of pieces, fantastic collection pieces, but there was too much of it, too much going on. So one of the things we decided to do was to instigate a quarterly changeover to go with the seasons and I’m really pleased to see that Julie and Jamie have taken this on board themselves. They brought in a boat from outside in the storage area to create a summer display and I know Julie and I talked about it two weeks ago that there’s a plan now for the autumn display, which will take place in September. So we’ll swap over the collections, give the visitor a new experience, a new feel for what’s going here with the collections, and hopefully make it a little bit different and mix it up a bit.

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