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A Season to Treasure at National Museums Scotland

National Musuems Scotland Logo From Helmand to Homecoming, the National Museums Scotland 2009 season celebrates Scots home and abroad. From the earliest aviators to wildlife photographers, garden explorers to fashionistas, next year's exhibitions programme has something for everyone.

In spring, two major new permanent exhibitions will open at the National Museum of Flight. Fantastic Flight will see a former WWII RAF workshop restored as an interactive exhibition all about flight. This exhibition will offer visitors the chance to play a host of brand-new games and interactives to discover how aircraft fly, and will display iconic exhibits such as a real Wright Brothers' engine. Fortunes of War will explore the dramatic history of the East Fortune airfield, from its creation as a Royal Naval Air Station during the First World War, and its role in aviation training during WWII, featuring personal stories from the people who served there.

Treasured: Wonderful Things, Amazing Stories continues at the National Museum of Scotland featuring over 300 objects from the four corners of the globe, some destined for the new galleries in the redeveloped National Museum of Scotland in 2011.

Highlights of the Jean Muir: A Fashion Icon
exhibition transfer to the National Museum of Costume in April 2009 - complete with new exhibits from the extensive Jean Muir archive. This makes way for Squelch! (title tbc), a new interactive exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland, inspired by the observation techniques that Darwin used in his own back garden. This family-focused exhibition will enable visitors to explore a range of garden habitats from ponds to flower beds and encourage the next generation of natural scientists.

Helmand: Faces of Conflict
at the National War Museum features the photography of Robert Wilson, war artist with Edinburgh's 52 Infantry Brigade. From the faces of weary men returning from three weeks on patrol to the dusty landscape of their surroundings, Wilson captures the lives of soldiers and civilians with an unflinching sense of intimacy.

The Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition will make a welcome return to the National Museum of Rural Life in May 2009. It is one of the greatest showcases for wildlife photographers anywhere in the world.

In October, as part of the year of Homecoming, the National Museum of Scotland will present Salt of the Earth, an exhibition of photographic portraits featuring people who have contributed something unique to the international image of Scotland. The portraits will be taken by the acclaimed Scottish photographer, Craig Mackay, whose work is both striking and insightful.

Dr Gordon Rintoul, Director, National Museums Scotland said,

‘‘Next year at National Museums is packed full of excitement, activity and new discoveries, with a dynamic line-up of exhibitions and events.  Whether it's flying like a fighter pilot, trying on a Victorian corset, learning to swing dance or discovering the wonders of nature, we will offer a world of new experience for our visitors. Our programme celebrates Scotland's 2009 Year of Homecoming, the Edinburgh International Science Festival, the 200th anniversary of Darwin's birth, the Edinburgh Festivals and St Andrew's Day.'

The 2009 exhibitions programme will draw to a close at the National Museum of Scotland with Gifted - our annual exhibition of design work from some of Scotland's most innovative makers. Accessories and homewares will be available to browse and buy.

Over and above exhibitions National Museums Scotland runs a packed schedule of events and activities across all sites, from workshops, live interpretation events and school visits to major days out such as the National Museum of Flight's Airshow, which will take place on 25th July 2009.

The Edinburgh International Science Festival at the National Museum of Flight and the National Museum of Scotland forms a cornerstone of our education programme for young people. With activities for budding Barnes-Wallaces, young people will also be introduced to science subjects ranging from archaeology to zoology.

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