There is a steampunk science public engagement event in Edinburgh on Friday* and it is the birthday of HG Wells today. It seems appropriate in that context to let you know that I have discovered a time traveller in the University of Edinburgh Fine Art collection.
I am in the enviable position of being able to choose art from the collection to hang on the walls in my office. It’s a tough gig; choosing between a Blackadder and a Bellany, a Redpath and a Rodger, but I struggled through. It has to be said that much of the fine art collection comprises portraits of dead white men with excellent facial hair, and there’s not many women artists in there.
My favourite picture in the collection is already exhibited ( quite rightly) in the school of Scottish Studies: Women Singing at a Table (Waulking the Cloth) by Keith Henderson is a stunning piece. I was offered a naked Sean Connery from his time as a life model.
The first piece I have chosen however, is this painting by AE Borthwick. It is entitled ‘A Rocky Landscape’ and clearly shows a young woman recklessly using her laptop for virtual fieldwork while perched on a rock by a river. The artist died in 1955.
*Attendees are invited to dress in ‘your finest corsets, spats and gasmasks’.