Visit to Broomhall House by Lothian Art Fund

Broomhall House hosted a visit by 30 members of Lothian Art Fund on 26th February following their tour of Fife which included a visit to Cambo House at Kingsbarns. The Art Fund members were given a presentation by Lord Bruce, entitled Broomhall House and the architecture of imagination.

Broomhall House aerial

Broomhall House and the architecture of imagination

During their tour of Broomhall House, the Lothian Art Fund party was able to see a collection of architectural drawings and plaster casts explaining how Broomhall and the Bruce family provided an important vector for the transmission of classical form in the decorative arts in the early nineteenth century, leading to the assumption of Edinburgh as “Athens of the North”, and the widespread adoption of the Greek revival.

South elevation of British Embassy (Pera House) Istanbul, drawn by Vincenzo Ballestra, 1801. Based on the contemporary plans for Broomhall House, Pera House was the first purpose-built British embassy in the world

They were also shown the collection of  hand-drawn maps and plans of James Bruce of Kinnaird, the African explorer, who vanished for 12 years in 1762, returning to London in 1774 having discovered the source of the Blue Nile at Lake Tana in Ethiopia.

Tartan suit belonging to James Bruce of Kinnaird

Tartan suit belonging to James Bruce of Kinnaird