Heavenly gift sits above Stirling gallery’s doorway

Published: 11 Mar 2014 07:000 comments

The Stirling Smith has received a heavenly gift to celebrate its 140th anniversary.

Stirling artist, June Carey RSW, has created a two angel mural over the door of the main gallery.

The angels share a gold star and star dust between them in homage to Thomas Stuart Smith who gifted the original gallery and carry significant objects from the Smith’s collections.

Elspeth King, Director of the Stirling Smith, “Paintings for the architectural spaces in public buildings in Scotland are a rarity. With this work, the artist has complemented the classical architecture, given meaning to the collection, beautified the building and thanked Thomas Stuart Smith in the only way in which a good artist can be thanked – with a beautiful work of art, which will endure.”

The male angel has the Guildry Ring of 1340 over his left arm while the female angel has the key of Stirling over her right arm. Both have images of the Stirling Heads on their arms and are tattooed with June’s love poems.

June spent months perfecting the size, shape and content of the mural to suit the spaces in the Smith’s archway. The installation costs of the mural were met with money from the Janey Buchan Memorial Fund – set up in memory

of the trustee and MEP.

Colin O’Brien, Chair of the Smith Trustees and a member of Stirling Guildry said, “Many objects from the ancient Guildry of Stirling are in the Smith’s collections, and we deeply appreciate seeing the importance of the Guildry symbolised in this precious Stirling painting.”

Thomas Stuart Smith (1814-1869) was a painter and philanthropist and founded the Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum in his family town. He wished to create an institute to house his own work and his general collection for ‘the welfare of the town and district of Stirling in Scotland’.

He drew up plans and agreed to provide £5000 for the building if the town provided the site. A Trust was created in November 1869 but Smith never saw the building’s completion as just a month later he died unexpectedly in the south of France.

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