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Friday, February 23, 2024

Inverness Museum and Art Gallery Extends Popular Caithness Glass Exhibition

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The closing date for an exhibition featuring over 200 items of Caithness Glass at Inverness Museum and Art Gallery has been extended.

The show, which celebrates the donation of a large collection of Caithness Glass, was due to close on Saturday 9th September but has now been extended to Saturday 21st October.  

Caithness Glass was founded in Wick in 1961 and found great success, becoming a household name.

Sadly, the Wick factory closed in 2004, but the brand continues to be made in Scotland.

The collection has been generously donated by Dr Graham Cooley, who is based in South Yorkshire.

Graham is a pioneer in renewable technologies, but away from work his main passion is collecting 20th century art, particularly glass.

Graham shared:

“I am delighted to have donated my Caithness collection to Inverness Museum and Art Gallery, as Caithness Glass is a key part of the history of British glass.

“The enthusiasm for the donation from the museum’s staff and the marvellous display they have created will help to generate more public awareness of these beautiful decorative objects crafted in the Scottish Highlands.

“Caithness Glass was a Scottish success story for decades, I’m sure that visitors to the exhibition will realise why.”

The collection focuses on the colourful art glass and tableware, from the company’s first designs launched in 1961 up to more recent products, showing the company’s diverse back-catalogue.

Kari Moodie, High Life Highland’s Curator of Collections at the museum, added:

“The exhibition has proven very popular, and we are really pleased to be able to extend its run so that more people can come and enjoy the displays.

“It has been wonderful to see Highland visitors recognising items and reminiscing about visits to the factories in Wick, Oban and Perth.

“Our overseas visitors are also finding familiar pieces because Caithness Glass was widely exported.

“At the same time, everyone is discovering designs that they have never seen before.

“Working on this exhibition has been particularly special for me, because I was brought up in Wick and had three close family members who worked for Caithness Glass, so the factory was a favourite place to visit during school holidays.

“We are immensely grateful to Graham for choosing Inverness Museum and Art Gallery as the permanent home for his collection.”

The museum would be pleased to hear from anyone who has further information or photographs relating to Caithness Glass or items they may wish to donate.

The museum is also running a workshop on Thursday 21st September introducing people to the subject of glass.

The ‘Beginners Guide’ session will teach participants the basics of handling and identifying glass artefacts.

This two-hour session costs £12 per person and will include a short tour of the Caithness Glass exhibition.

It will be led by the Kari Moodie, who spent 14 years working with specialist glass collections in Stourbridge, West Midlands.

Kari said:

“The ‘Beginner’s Guide to Glass’ is aimed at people who are curious about history and how things are made, and maybe even starting out on their own collecting journey.

“It will be a fun and hands-on session, during which I hope to be able to pass on my passion for glass!”

Find out more and book your place using the following link: https://www.highlifehighland.com/inverness-museum-and-art-gallery/a-beginners-guide-to-glass/

Steve Walsh, High Life Highland’s Chief Executive, concluded:

“High Life Highland is delighted to be extending the ‘Caithness Glass’ exhibition which has proven to be popular.

“The museum is grateful to Graham for gifting this collection which has significantly enhanced the museum’s collection.”

Inverness Museum and Art Gallery is run by High Life Highland and can be found on Castle Wynd in Inverness City Centre.

It is open every week from Tuesday to Saturday, from 10am to 5pm. Entry is free but donations are encouraged.

You can find out more from High Life Highland’s dedicated ‘Caithness Glass’ exhibition page: https://www.highlifehighland.com/inverness-museum-and-art-gallery/caithness-glass/  

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