Unicorn Announced as Perth Museum’s Opening Exhibition

Unicorn Announced as Perth Museum’s Opening Exhibition

The new Perth Museum will open its doors on Saturday 30 March 2024 after a £27 million redevelopment project. This world-class cultural and heritage attraction will highlight the fascinating objects and stories that put Perth and Kinross at the centre of Scotland’s story.

As well as heralding the much anticipated return of the Stone of Destiny to Perthshire, the opening weekend will also unveil the Museum’s debut exhibition, Unicorn, which will run from 30 March – 22 September 2024.

From Pliny to Pride, the Unicorn has been an enduring yet enigmatic symbol throughout the ages; a component of medieval medicine, an emblem of Scottish royalty, a beloved children’s character, and an icon of the LGBTQI+ community, just to name a few.

Across four galleries, visitors will discover the unicorn’s enduring presence throughout history and its role as a symbol of Scotland’s changing heritage and identity. Through iconic loans from around the world, interactive displays, and seven newly-commissioned artworks exploring the unicorn as a modern symbol of the LGBTQI+ community, the exhibition will explore themes such as Scottish Royalty and national symbolism.

Demonstrating how these themes relate to the objects and stories on display in the permanent galleries – including the Stone of Destiny – the exhibition will feature spectacular objects including manuscripts, illustrations, paintings, coins, sculpture, tapestry and shop signs.

Star loans include the magical ‘Danny Jewel’, an English Elizabethan pendant jewel of narwhal horn and enamelled gold, usually on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in London; a 700-year-old, 2.5 metre-long narwhal tusk from the Wellcome Collection; and the renowned Lady and the Unicorn oil painting by the late-Renaissance Italian artist, Luca Longhi (1507-1580), on display in the UK for the first time.

“The unicorn is an enduring symbol of Scotland’s enchanting history, culture and landscape, so it is fitting that Perth Museum has chosen this as the theme of its first exhibition.

“The UK Government has invested £10 million in Perth Museum as part of our £150 million support for the Tay Cities Region Deal. In total we are investing more than £2.9 billion to level up across Scotland.”

UK Government Minister for Scotland, Malcolm Offord.

Alongside these spectacular and historical loans, there will also be objects and stories of personal significance from the local community. From ornaments and images to memorabilia and toys, the display will highlight the continuous power of this symbol in contemporary culture. There is still time to submit an object for this project at Perth Art Gallery or one of the participating libraries across Perth & Kinross.

The exhibition will also feature various activities and events for children, young people, and adults, generously supported by the Northwood Trust.

“>Tickets are available to book now online >

See also: Perth Museum Opens March 2024 – Background and Economic Gains >


Business Opportunities

Make sure your business is part of this landmark occasion. Businesses can get involved and join the celebrations – please email Anna Day at aday@pkc.gov.uk for details on all.

  • Become a corporate sponsor with a range of benefits. www.perthmuseum.co.uk
  • Show a visible sign of support with a Perth Museum window sticker
  • Create a special menu, deal or extend your opening hours over the opening weekend. Details of all will be included on the Perth City and Towns website.
  • Attend the Open Day for hospitality and front of house staff to ensure your are well informed before the museum opens to the public
  • More information and more ways to become involved will be announced in the coming weeks.

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