Their stories of adventure, bravery, innovation and decency will be told through an exhibit in Perth’s New Town Hall Museum when it opens in early 2024.
A roster of 50 Perth and Kinross women across time – which also includes sports heroes like curler Eve Muirhead and famous St Johnstone tea lady Agnes Moffat – was drawn up with residents to decide whose l he story is deposited in the Raising The Rooftop Exhibition Space.
Also in the running for a place, Jessie Mann, born in Perth in 1805, is considered Scotland’s first female photographer. She worked as an assistant to David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson at their Calton Hill studios, where she took several thousand images, including hundreds of ministers of the Church of Scotland appearing in Hill’s epic painting of the disruption of the Church of Scotland.
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Kate McNiven, executed as a witch at Monzie in 1615 after her laird accused her of supernatural activity, is another candidate for the exhibition along with Katherine Stewart-Murray, the Duchess of Atholl, who became the first female Member of Parliament. from Scotland when elected in 1923.
Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said: “We are delighted to support Raise the Roof as part of Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022. From literary icons to local tales, the year of stories Scotland encourages locals and visitors to discover a diversity of voices, participate in events and explore places, people and cultures related to all forms of our stories, past and present. “Raise the Roof will be at the heart of an engaging and festive national events program, and this project, including Vanessa Lawrence’s Wire Sculptures and a range of special events will encourage people to uncover untold stories of women. from Perth and Kinross.
The story of Winifred Anna Cavendish-Bentinck of Murthly Castle, the first – and oldest – president of the Society for the Protection of Birds, could also feature in the museum.
Who gets a space in the exhibit depends on a number of community groups who will choose a woman to celebrate. Over the next six months, each group will research their chosen topic and work with an artist or designer to tell their story, with 22 to enter the exhibition space.
Each woman will then be displayed on the panels at the Perth Town Hall site, then depicted in a life-size wire sculpture by artist Vanessa Lawrence, with the artwork to form a trail through Perth and Kinross.
Perth Town Hall is backed by £ 10million from the UK government as part of the Tay Cities Deal – a £ 700million regional investment scheme jointly funded by the UK and Scottish governments and regional partners .