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The most important chair in our collection...

...is not the one you think.

Our furniture collection includes chairs dating back thousands of years, from simple stools unearthed by archaeologists thousands of years after being made to high-end tea room seating designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

Amongst this varied and historic collection, there is one type of chair that visitors to the National Museum of Scotland interact with the most. Used by tens of thousands of visitors every year, our portable folding chairs hang on the walls outside every gallery – an often-overlooked, but ubiquitous, multipurpose and essential tool for many of our visitors.

As well as providing flexible seating across our galleries, these chairs have been used as impromptu walking aids, amateur artists’ easels and temporary bag racks for those who have splurged in the museum shop.

The museum was able to purchase the seats thanks to a generous gift in the will of Trevor Clark, former Volunteer Guide and Trustee at the National Museum of Scotland.

Upon his retirement, Trevor became a member of the Museums Advisory Board, which oversaw the creation of the National Museums of Scotland. He then spent much of his free time sharing his favourite objects from the national collection and their stories with visitors from around the world at Chambers Street. As a Volunteer Guide, he led free tours for thousands of visitors; it’s fitting that his generous gift has enabled thousands more to discover the museum at their own pace.

Trevor’s gift has helped us to create a museum that is accessible to all, giving visitors a place to sit while exploring our collections and the remarkable stories they hold.

Read more stories like Trevor’s and discover how you can support our museums.

You can support us with a gift that costs you nothing in your lifetime

A gift in your will costs you nothing in your lifetime but allows you to make a lasting difference to the work of National Museums Scotland and the lives of visitors for generations to come. All gifts, large or small, can help protect our collections for the future.

Leave a gift in your will
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