Scottish Parliament: Andrew Carnegie exhibition

The life and work of Scots-American philanthropist Andrew Carnegie will be laid bare in a new exhibition at The Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh.

A painting of Dunfermline Demonstrations. Carnegie commissioned the painting, by Andrew Blair, to mark his homecoming to Scotland © Andrew Carnegie Birthplace Museum

Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919) was born in a weaver’s cottage to extremely poor parents in Dumfermline, Scotland, but became one of the richest people who ever lived.

His is considered a true ‘rags to riches’ story. He believed in using his fantastic wealth for the good of society and is quoted as saying “he who dies thus rich dies disgraced”.

Andrew Carnegie hanging at the Andrew Carnegie Birth Place Museum in Dunfermline © Andrew Carnegie Birthplace Museum

Carnegie’s work helped shape 21st-century ideas in the fields of education, peace, politics, science and culture. Andrew Carnegie: The Legacy That Changed The World (15 October 2013 to 25 January 2014) will detail how Sesame Street and The Peace Palace at the Hague are connected.

The exhibition, at The Scottish Parliament in Holyrood, Edinburgh, will include a range of materials that illustrate how Carnegie’s vision altered the world for the better, including letters to and from politicians and a painting of the Peace Palace at the Hague, which he built.

Carnegie also established more than 2,600 public libraries, while the Carnegie Corporation of New York launched the Children’s Television Workshop, which produced Sesame Street. The forthcoming exhibition in Edinburgh will include Sesame Tree puppets (an Irish variant of the Sesame Street characters).

This exhibition is brought to Scotland by the Carnegie Trusts of the UK, in partnership with the Scottish Parliament and is part of a programme of events, seminars and activities taking place at Holyrood from October 2013 to January 2014 under the umbrella of the festival entitled Andrew Carnegie International Legacy: Shaping the Future.

This festival also includes a free exhibition of more than 40 Andy Warhol works, which is a first for any parliament, entitled Pop, Power and Politics ( 5 October – 3 November). Warhol’s portrait of Andrew Carnegie will be displayed.

Related articles

Scotland’s stately homes
Break for the Borders
Capital outing: highlights within an hour from London
London’s unseen treasures
50 of the best British experiences

Click here to subscribe!