Milford House acquires RSA paintings

Rsa paintings handover

Milford House Museum is delighted to announce the acquisition of four old master studio paintings from Royal Scottish Academy. In 2011 Milford Buildings Preservation Trust the governing body of Milford House Museum expressed interest in acquiring the paintings which Royal Scottish Academy were disposing of as part of deaccessioning process to rationalise their collection. However as Milford House Museum was at that time a provisionally accredited museum, Royal Scottish Academy generously offered the paintings on long-term loan until such times as Milford House Museum received full Accreditation and then they would be gifted to the Trust.

In September 2013 Arts Council England awarded Milford House Museum full Accreditation status. On Wednesday 25th June 2014, Margaret Mc Manus Chairperson of Milford Buildings Preservation Trust and Stephen Mc Manus Keeper of Collections had the honour of welcoming Sandy Wood Collections Curator and Keeper of Collections, artist George Donald from the Royal Scottish Academy for the handover of the paintings to Milford House Museum. George Donald expressed his enthusiasm at Milford House Museum and the achievements of Milford Buildings Preservation Trust. Stephen Mc Manus and Sandy Wood completed the deaccessioning forms completing the process of transfer of the paintings. Sandy Wood, RSA Collections Curator said:“In 2008 the Royal Scottish Academy of Art & Architecture embarked on a major project to review and improve its Nationally Significant Collections through rationalisation. For the Academy, the gifting of this group of old master studio paintings to an aspiring museum like Milford House was a great outcome of the project. The Academy is delighted that these paintings have found a new home at Milford House, where they will be publicly accessible and appreciated by the museum’s current and future audiences.”

The four paintings being transferred from Royal Scottish Academy are River Scene (probably by 18th century imitator of Salvador Rosa 1615-1673), Landscape with Figures (Flemish 17th Century artist unknown), Boy with Fruit and Boy with Hat (both believed to be by Antonio Amorosi 1660-1736).

The paintings were part of the substantial acquisition of Edinburgh collection of mostly non-British paintings generally described as old masters bequeathed to Royal Scottish Academy in August 1874 by the late Mrs. Mary Veitch (nee Pitcairn) of 30 York Place Edinburgh. River Scene and Landscape with Figures were last exhibited in ‘A View of Scotland’ RSA exhibition in 1986 but Boy with Fruit and Boy with Hat had not been publicly exhibited for many decades. Therefore the permanent display of these paintings provides important opportunity for public to see and enjoy paintings that have rarely been seen before.

Stephen Mc Manus Keeper of Collections at Milford House Museum explained: “Milford Buildings Preservation Trust are delighted to accept the paintings gifted by RSA. They enhance greatly the prestige of the Milford House collections. It is known that the Mc Crum family had an important collection of paintings at Milford House and the paintings help give more accurate interpretation of what the house was like. The Trust is privileged to be able to hold the paintings in trust for benefit of the nation in perpetuity for everyone”.