To celebrate Tartan Week, Chicago Scots hosted Philip Long, Annie Campbell, and Kirstin Bridier on the first leg of their four-city tour of America. Long, the chief executive of the National Trust for Scotland and his wife Annie Campbell, were thrilled to be in Chicago to kick off their first trip to the US on behalf of the Trust. Bridier, is the Executive Director of the National Trust for Scotland Foundation USA.
Ginny Van Alyea, member of the Board of Governors of the Chicago Scots and Executive Director and Publisher of Chicago Gallery News led the Chicago Scots team in putting together a whirlwind schedule of culture for our visitors.
Monday evening found the group alongside the British Consul General Alan Gogbashian discussing the many initiatives implemented by the Trust. From Charles Rennie
Mackintosh’s domestic masterpiece The Hill House to restoring peatlands at Mar Lodge Estate, the Trust is Scotland’s largest conservation charity. It advocates for better management of Scotland’s national heritage, supports better public access and enjoyment of its cultural and natural treasures, and includes a post-Brexit campaign to maintain and enhance environmental protections.
On Tuesday, the esteemed guests along with representatives of the Chicago Scots leadership team and Board of Governors, received behind-the-scenes tours of The Art Institute of Chicago, The Richard H. Driehaus Museum, and The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Docents and specialists were on hand to discuss everything from 19th century European painting and sculpture to the vast collections of arms and armor. Long and Campbell were very impressed with the incredible works of art that Chicagoans have access to.
That evening, we were so fortunate to host a small reception at The Racquet Club of Chicago where Long and Ginny Van Alyea discussed the history of Scotland as a romanticized country and highlights of the incredible breadth of historic landmarks, mountains and parks, art and artifacts and archaeological digs that Long and his team at the Trust is responsible for.
The group continues their Tartan Week tour with stops in Boston, New York, and Washington, D.C. before returning home to Scotland. Chicago Scots and Long view this visit as a foundational we look forward to future collaborations.