New direction for 'Old Ways New Roads'

The Hunterian’s next major exhibition, Old Ways New Roads: Travels in Scotland 1720–1832, has had a bit of a bumpy ride over the past few months.

In November, The Hunterian took the difficult decision to cancel the physical version of the major exhibition and create an online version instead.

Old Ways New Roads was originally scheduled to open to the public on 14 August but was postponed due to the pandemic.

Curated by the University of Glasgow’s Anne Dulau Beveridge (Art Curator at The Hunterian), John Bonehill (Lecturer in History of Art) and Nigel Leask (Regius Professor of English language and Literature), the exhibition would have featured paintings, prints, drawings, maps and more, addressing the impact of Scotland's new transport infrastructure on the development of travel, tourism and topographical descriptions between 1720 and 1832.

Anne Dulau Beveridge said:

“As autumn progressed and Glasgow was moved to level 4, we had to consider the impact that the tighter restrictions would have on our venues, lenders and visitors. We agreed to cancel but after more than two years of research and planning, it was a tough and disappointing decision to make.”

After a rethink, The Hunterian decided to move the project online and plan to create a new virtual exhibition that will take users on a journey around many of Scotland’s best-known locations, following in the footsteps of 18th-century travellers. It will also introduce the research and stories that underpin the exhibition to a much broader audience.

Anne said:

“This is an exciting opportunity that will give the project a broader legacy, well beyond the life of a physical exhibition. It will also help us to reach audiences that could not have visited physically, allowing them to undertake their own petit or grand tour.

“It also allows us to approach the exhibition themes differently, providing multiple layers of interpretation. A related programme of online events will open up a dialogue with our visitors and offers the chance for interaction.”

The virtual exhibition will enable The Hunterian to showcase University of Glasgow research, provide impact evidence for REF and support teaching activity.

An accompanying publication of the same title is available to buy now from the University of Glasgow Online Shop. 


First published: 8 December 2020

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