Monday, 5 July 2010

Summer, summer, sum-mer time...

The weather today makes yesterday's thunder storm seem very far away. The sun is shining and Kirkwall's streets are filled with tourists and children on holiday from school. If I was The Fresh Prince then I would be advising you to adjust the base and let the alpine blast, pop in my CD and let me run a rhyme and put your car on cruise and lay back 'cause this is Summertime. But I am an archives assistant, so I shall talk about that instead.

It is finally getting summer-busy in the archive. People have been queueing to use the microfilms and the staff have been scurrying to and fro in the searchroom.

As is usual in summer time, it is mainly family historians who have been visiting. We have therefore worn a path through the carpet between the Old Parish Register microfilms and the Census Transcriptions as these are the two basic genealogy tools which we pull out as soon as somebody approaches the desk and says   "Hello, I'm here in search of my Orcadian roots."

The book pictured above is technically a library acquisition but we get a copy for the Orkney Room. It is the new hard backed catalogue for the Pier Arts Centre and is beautifully illustrated with full page images of the gallery's  diverse collection.

Margaret Gardiner's original gift to Orkney of works by mainly St Ives artists like Ben Nicolson, Peter Lanyon and Barbara Hepworth begins the book. This collection is followed by some more recently acquired works by Ian Hamilton Finlay, Olafur Eliasson, Douglas Gordon, Anish Kapoor and others.

The last section of the book concentrates on Orkney artists. These are Former Her Majesty's Painter and Limner in Scotland, Stanley Cursiter, the marvellous landscape artist Bet Low, North Ronaldsay sculptor Ian Scott, Film maker Margaret Tait and the recently deceased Sylvia Wishart.

It really is a lovely book.

We hold collections of Stanley Cursitor's papers in the archive as well as those of Margaret Tait and there are two bronze cast busts by Ian Scott in the Orkney Room. They are of Stanley Cursitor himself and Orcadian novelist and poet George Mackay Brown.

We only put tinsel on George at Christmas time, we promise.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Are you delighted by what you have just read? Are you revulsed and appalled? Do let us know, we'd love to hear from you.