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Stories from House of Tartan
Tartan Exhibition in Prato

Hi Alastair,

I thought I would drop you a line to let you know how the exhibition was developing.

Everyone involved is very excited as it is shaping up to be a very significant display of tartan artefacts, probably the most extensive exhibition on this subject ever produced. Tim Pethick of Tim Pethick Designs and the Scottish Tartans Authority have negotiated loans of artefacts from major UK and Italian institutions including the National Museums of Scotland, the Museum of London, The Royal Collection and the West Highland Museum - in total there are sixty or so items on display.

They have also negotiated reproduction rights for some fifty or so images from such diverse sources as the National Galleries of Scotland, the National Trust for Scotland, Lichfield Studio, Dolce & Gabanna, the Imperial War Museum, the British Museum and Thames & Hudson. There is already a great deal of interest in the exhibition and it has been suggested that the display could move to the V&A (Victoria and Albert), and perhaps the Smithsonian in Washington for Tartan Day 2005. There has also been a suggestion that the exhibition could form part of the UK/France Alliance celebrations next summer in Paris. In its scope I believe that Tartan: A Romantic Tradition reaches further than the tartan exhibition curated by Hugh Cheape in New York & Edinburgh. The exhibition framework is, as you know, strikingly contemporary and is brought bang up to date with a Catwalk incorporating design work from fashion students alongside Vivienne Westwood. There are in total twelve full dressed figures in the displays.  

With just a week to go until the opening of the exhibition in Prato on 13th December (public opening on 14th) we are working hard to complete the graphic design, all of which is produced in English and Italian of equal balance. The opening is shaping up to be a very significant event, with guests attending from across Italy and further afield in Europe.

 Best wishes,

Blair Urquhart

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