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.

Scotland's Coasts

29/02/2020 - 17/05/2020
Da Gadderie

This exhibition, drawn from Historic Environment Scotland's archives, explores Scotland's relationship to the sea and its impact on everyday life.


Sam Davies 'Capturing the Moody Sea' and Chris Rigby 'Eight Years On'

22/06/2019 - 27/07/2019
Da Gadderie

Two exhibitions in Da Gadderie. 'Capturing the Moody Sea' is a new series of works by Sam Davies where he shares his passion for Shetland's dramatic seascapes. 'Eight Years On' shows the development of Chris Rigby's interest in Shetland landscapes as he moves away from coastal scenes to the hinterlands of the lochs and peatlands.


Shetland Mariners in the Great War - compiled by Laughton Johnston

20/10/2018 - 11/01/2019
Upper Foyer, Shetland Museum and Archives

Over 1,750 Shetlanders were merchant seamen in the First World War, as civilians who had to brave enemy action. This exhibition highlights some of the new research that reveals the men and ships’ stories for the first time.



24/11/2018 - 21/12/2018
Da Gadderie

This years end of year show brings together a diverse selection of artists. Some well-established in Shetland while others are starting to make their names in the local ever expanding visual arts market.


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.


Tom Teasdale - ‘Sunny Intervals’

26/05/2018 - 24/06/2018
Foyer Corridor, Shetland Museum and Archives

A photographic exhibition commissioned by the cultural attaché of the European Commission in the UK. The London based photographer is exhibiting a collection of black and white photographs documenting aspects of living on some of the furthest reaches of the United Kingdom in Scotland, focusing on Shetland, Orkney and the Outer Hebrides.


Berenice Carrington

30/06/2018 - 05/08/2018
Shetland Museum and Archive

Berenice graduated from Chelsea School of Art in 1983 with a 1st class hons degree in Sculpture, and in 1984 with an MA in Fine Art. In 1997 she gained a PhD in Anthropology, Women’s Studies and History from The Australian National University in Canberra.


Portable Altars

28/06/2018 - 30/04/2019
Focus Display, Early Peoples Zone

Portable altars were marked with 5 crosses, depicting the wounds of Christ on the Cross. Some were made from wood with the relic cavity covered by a piece of recycled marble or porfido verde antico.


Design Exhibition by Events Students

29/03/2019 - 27/04/2019
Foyer Corridor

Three shows in one. This year’s Enterprise & events students have been following a dynamic design process to create exciting and individual design ‘take aways’. These reflect students personal interests using materials in an imaginative way. There are also sculptures based on organic forms that are made by art students studying a Natural world module. Forward Directions Art Students


Plastic: A never-ending story

20/06/2019 - 23/06/2019
Pier Store

Grioghair McCord and Claire Davenport invite you to a shopping experience you won't forget in a hurry!