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The exhibition

Visitor information

Re-collecting Empire is at the Wardlaw Museum from 31 July to 22 October 2022. Entry is free.

Opening times:
Monday – Friday: 11am – 7pm
Saturday and Sunday: 10am- – 5pm

Wardlaw Museum, 7 The Scores, St Andrews, KY16 9AR

Phone +44 (0)1334 451660
Email: [email protected]

Full details of accessibility at the Wardlaw Museum can be found in our Accessibility Guide.

About the exhibition

Re-collecting Empire explores the tangled legacies of empire through the historic collections of the University of St Andrews and juxtaposes these stories with new perspectives and creative responses.

The empire was an extractive, exploitative, racist and violent institution and the history of empire is one we need to confront and come to terms with, rather than celebrate.

David Olusoga, historian, 2020

The exhibition explores questions of belonging, exclusion, benefit, suppression, culture, identity and power and brings voices and perspectives that have often been marginalised to the forefront. The stories that we encounter are often uncomfortable and shocking and highlight how the legacies of empire still have a profound effect today on individuals and on our society.

The exhibition includes artistic responses to empire, including a new set of works by renowned artist Alberta Whittle, as well as creations by photographer Stephen McLaren and artistic explorations of identity by young people who have recently moved to Scotland.

Empire is about power – the power to take and to expand through violence and discipline, while repressing and marginalizing that which is deemed unsuitable to its externally imposed demands.

Ariadne Collins, political scientist, 2022

We also invite you to contribute your perspective as you visit the exhibition.

The exhibition is a collaboration with Dr Emma Bond from the School of Modern Languages, University of St Andrews.