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.

Reconsidering Wool - The Laird's Witch

15/09/2019 - 12/10/2019
Shetland Museum and Archives

Our latest exhibition by the incredibly talented Susan Pearson Art. A fusion of delicate lace and unyielding concrete, Susan has created a visually stunning display that you won’t want to miss.


Shetland Family History Society - Focus Display

02/06/2018 - 15/07/2018
Upper Foyer

This year the Society has been researching the Shetland family name ‘Robertson’. The exhibition in the upper foyer combines their research and a selection of artefacts from the Museum’s collection.


Pieces in Time by the Shetland Needleworkers

12/10/2019 - 21/12/2019
Da Gadderie

Shetland Needleworkers` Exhibitions have established a reputation for being colourful and accessible, interesting and varied. Showing their most recent work, this event showcases the creativity and productivity of the members. From quilts and hangings, to pictures, cushions, boxes and bags……..it is all here to delight the eye.


Grayson Perry: A Potted Biography

02/11/2019 - 10/01/2020
Da Gadderie

An exhibition of ceramics by contemporary British artist, author, and broadcaster Grayson Perry, winner of the 2003 Turner Prize.


Authentic or not? 'Shetland' Knitting Patterns 1840-1880

23/09/2016 - 09/10/2016

An exhibition examining recreated lace knitting patterns from the 1800s.


Ships in Bottles

08/08/2016 - 30/11/2016
Shetland Museum & Archives, upper gallery

Focus display with the Museum Ships in Bottles collection


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


Gilly Bridle - Cutting Pictures

01/09/2018 - 30/09/2018
Upper Foyer

Gilly is a designer, illustrator and maker. She specialised in knitwear design as part of her BA in Textile Design from Manchester University. She then spent over 20 years fitting in her design and illustration work around raising a family and building a croft on the west coast island of Lismore.


The Eagle's Last Stronghold

22/06/2019 - 22/09/2019
Upper Foyer, Shetland Museum & Archives

This exhibition highlights the story of the white-tailed ‘sea’ eagle in Shetland. Shetland was home to some of the last white-tailed eagles in Britain before they were hunted to extinction. The exhibition will open on 22nd June and will be a key part of the upcoming Shetland Nature Festival.