The land, the sea, the people (exhibition)

Our main exhibition is called ‘The Land, The Sea, The People’, and features the social history of East Lothian. There are some wonderful paintings on display, from classical scenes of East Lothian by William Marshall Brown to vivid images of coastal life by John Bellany, and a host of fascinating objects, ranging from a Bronze Age burial urn to large oil paintings of East Lothian countryside, and a multitude in between. There is something to feel and explore by touch at almost every display, as well as a chest of specially made clothes such as farmgirls and fishermen would have worn, that you can try on too!

You can enjoy the exhibition virtually by enjoying the objects, oral histories and panels in our online exhibition pages exploring East Lothian’s agricultural, maritime, community, trade and industrial heritage.

You can also enjoy the exhibition if you’re visually impaired, by listening to our Talking Museum audio guide, which you can pick up any time you’re in the museum – you’ll be able to explore the museum in bite-sized visits, or go round the whole exhibition in a oner, whichever you prefer. We also do a series of audio-described guided tours, led by Emily Learmont – an artist who does guided tours for visually impaired visitors at the National Galleries in Edinburgh.

Keep an eye open for creative workshops for children, and some for visually impaired adults too, with some specially developed handling objects, replicas of items in the display, replica costumes to try on, and the chance to try your hand at creating something arty or crafty inspired by this exhibition.

A wonderful team of volunteers from East Lothian’s University of the Third Age (U3A) history and archaeology groups worked with us to create the audio guide, which describes each display with some of the history and background to the objects, as well as giving a vivid sense of what they look like. The team really got into doing their research and finding out more about the displays!

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