Our Own Shows

Some of our past exhibitions have been curated by Shetland Museum and Archives staff, or have been on loan for special display from national or international institutions.

We are proud to have a facility capable of exhibiting high profile, exiting shows which gives people in Shetland the opportunity to see, firsthand, iconic artefacts and items which, although may not be specific to Shetland's heritage, are nonetheless very important - and popular. Exhibitions on local subjects curated by our staff are also very popular and well visited. Examples of these are below.

40 Years of Art at Shetland Museum View Full Size

40 Years of Art at Shetland Museum

Armada Cannon View Full Size

Armada Cannon

Focus display of merchant bottles View Full Size

Focus display of merchant bottles

From Old Rock to New Life - Emigration Show View Full Size

From Old Rock to New Life - Emigration Show

The Lewis Chessmen View Full Size

The Lewis Chessmen

High Seas and High Teas - an exhibition of tea trading View Full Size

High Seas and High Teas - an exhibition of tea trading

Skaill Hoard View Full Size

Skaill Hoard

Taatit Rugs View Full Size

Taatit Rugs

Triceratops skull from the Hunterian Museum View Full Size

Triceratops skull from the Hunterian Museum

Writing the North partnership exhibition View Full Size

Writing the North partnership exhibition

Gunnister Man, in partnership with National Museums Scotland. September 2009.

Gayer-Anderson Cat, loaned from The British Museum. September 2012.

Skaill Hoard exhibition, in partnership with National Museums Scotland. July 2013.

Gentle Giant, dinosaur exhibition in parternship with The Hunterian Museum,University of Glasgow. September 2013.

Writing the North exhibition, in partnership with the Arts & Humanities Research Council, University of Edunburgh and Orkney Library. March 2014.

Blockade: 1914-1918. Self -curated exhibition on Shetlanders during WW1. August 2014.

Don McCullin Exhibition, in partnership with Shetland Arts, Artists Rooms, Tate and National Galleries Scotland. November 2014.

James Robertson map exhibition, in partnership with the National Library of Scotland. September 2015.

Casting on Shetland Wool Week

26/09/2022 - 30/10/2022
Da Gadderie

Celebrating the inspiration and designs behind the Shetland Wool Week Annual 2022.


Fair Isle Chairs by Eve Eunson

17/11/2020 - 28/05/2021
Da Gadderie, Shetland Museum and Archives, Lerwick

An exciting exhibition of Fair Isle Chairs by local carpenter Eve Eunson was on display in Da Gadderie in Lerwick. In collaboration with the Shetland Museum and Archives, this exhibition gave an insight into the history, traditional craft and distinctive qualities of Fair Isle chairs.


Skovi Kapps Display

15/12/2020 - 30/09/2021

A collection of colourful Skovi Kapps which highlight Shetland’s trading and maritime links with Russia during the 19th century is now on display for the first time at the Shetland Museum.


Men in tights

21/01/2020 - 22/02/2020
Da Gadderie

Our new photographic exhibition ‘Men in Tights’ focuses on Up Helly Aa squads from 1905 – 1923 which made use of a favourite UHA disguise – men dressed up as women.


'Fair Game’ online exhibition

03/05/2022 - 05/06/2023
Online Exhibition

Shetland Museum and Archives has launched a major new online exhibition called ‘Fair Game’ as their part in the Between Islands project.


James Robertson - The Shetlander who mapped Jamaica

27/09/2015 - 22/11/2015

In a joint project with the National Library of Scotland, and supported by Museums Galleries Scotland, Shetland Museum and Archives staff will explore the life and work of James Robertson, a Shetlander who made the first detailed map of Jamaica.


John Johnson: Hobby Artist at Sea

04/11/2022 - 01/05/2023
Location: ‘Da Neuk’ – a small exhibition space located in the upper boat hall viewing area of the Shetland Museum & Archives

This exhibition showcases paintings by Shetland resident John Johnson who was born in Papa Stour in 1873.


Peerie Boats: The Diversity and Craftmanship of Model Ships

04/07/2023 - 10/09/2023
Briggiestanes, Shetland Museum & Archives

Shetland Museum has a vast collection of ship models ranging in size and quality of construction, but most have been created by Shetlanders and many reflect their experience of ships and shipping, fishing, and trade. This display is a small selection of these models, demonstrating the breadth and diversity of the ship and boat models contained within the collection, and the skill of those who made them.


At Sea and Ashore

14/01/2017 - 26/02/2017
Da Gadderie

‘At Sea and Ashore’, is a showcase of four Shetland fishermen's own photographs.


The Arthurs

07/06/2019 - 14/07/2019
Archives Entrance

A feature exhibition exploring Shetland surnames Arthur and Arthurson is now on display at the Shetland Museum and Archives. The collaboration between the Shetland Family History Society and the Museum and Archives is part of the society’s ‘Sharing Shetland Surnames’ project. Each year they collaborate on a feature exhibition with past years focusing on Shetland surnames Abernethy, Goudie and Robertson.