Monday, March 26, 2012

Timorous Beasties + Scottish National Portrait Gallery

During the eight hour stint I had on Friday in Edinburgh between when my sleeper rolled in and when Iona arrived to begin the great car packing extravaganza, I made use of the day by really getting to know the museum at the top of my old neighborhood. For most of the time I was living in Edinburgh, the Scottish National Portrait Gallery was closed for repairs/renovations. (Apparently those Victorians weren't great at building roofs that didn't leak.)

After it reopened, I somehow never made it around--- though I could tell from gift shop that I was going to have a good time. And boy did I. It's a small, comfortable museum. The kind you don't mind spending hours and hours in. I checked my backpack in a locker and partook of the cafe as well as my favorite, the gift shop. 

Because even though they have one of my favorite portraits ever at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, the gift shop is really where it's at. Here's why: Timorous Beasties. My favorite cheeky design company has paired up with the portrait gallery to do some limited edition home wares featuring  the famous faces of Mary, Queen of Scots, James VI & I, Robert Burns, etc. I was in love with the pillows and china. But as per usual, they came at Timorous Beastie prices. In another tax bracket, I would have bought ALL of it. 

The other amazing thing-- which I first discovered at the Prado when we were in Madrid--- is the art on demand feature museums are implementing where you can get your favorite painting reproduced on canvas and delivered to your door. God, I love modern technology. And with a massive gallery wall to fill in my new room, I'm plotting which of my favorite portraits to recreate. Perhaps John Singer Sargent's Lady Agnew. Which would you choose?

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