Chape from the St Ninians Isle-treasure © National Museum of Scotland

Creative Spirit

Creative Spirit is the title of a major exhibition this autumn at the National Museum in Edinburgh revealing Early Medieval Scotland

The Glenmorangie Research Project is casting new light on iconic objects from the time of the Picts and Gaels.

The Glenmorangie Research Project began in 2008. It took its inspiration from the stunning Hilton of Cadboll stone on display in the Museum’s Early People gallery. This stone was found near the Glenmorangie distillery in Tain, Easter Ross and was later incorporated into the company’s brand logo.

The Early Medieval or Early Historic period (around AD 300 – 900) is a very important part of Scotland’s past – coming immediately before the birth of the earliest political entity known as ‘Scotland’. Yet, it is not very well known; to many people it needs situating in time in relation to more familiar periods – the Romans coming just before, and the Vikings appearing just after, says the Museum.Cadboll Stone © National Museum of Scotland

This project has been undertaking a massive amount of new research on the archaeology of the period. Beautiful, elaborate and sophisticated objects, sculptured stones, and manuscripts were produced in Scotland during this time. Since the project started it has been generating exciting new research on this important period of Scotland’s past.

One of the methods used has been elaborate re-creations of the artistic masterpieces in the Museum’s collection, using innovative technology and traditional craft skills brings back to life objects which did not survive or are badly preserved. This process of recreation has significantly added to the understanding – often in unexpected ways.

A new exhibition – Creative Spirit – showcases these historical recreations in order to reveal Early Medieval Scotland

Glenmorangie Logo
Glenmorangie Whisky – Logo

The findings of the Glenmorangie Research Project has also been dealt with in a very nice illustrated book, which uses objects to explore the lives of individuals and communities during this period, as well as their ideas and ideologies. The book presents a re-evaluation of this key period of Scotland’s past, a time that saw the creation of some of the most treasured and enigmatic objects from within the National Museum of Scotland’s collections. Early Medieval Scotland: Individuals, Communities and Ideas by David Clarke, Alice Blackwell and Martin Goldberg is published by National Museums Scotland and can be purchased from the online shop.

Creative Spirit – Revealing Early Medieval Scotland
National Museum of Scotland, Edingburgh
25.10.2013 – 23.02.2014
Open daily 10:00–17:00



Early Medieval Scotland book coverEarly Medieval Scotland. Individuals, communities and ideas.
By David Clarke, Alice Blackwell and Martin Goldberg
National Museums Scotland 2012
Hardcover, XX + 231 pp, fully illustrated, £30
ISBN: 978-1-905267-63-7




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