Ms Jenkins’ lack of recognition of the richness of Scotland’s national museum collections is regrettable. Our collections are widely seen by other major museums as both broad ranging and internationally important.
This is evidenced, for example, by the large number of requests we receive for loans every year, from the UK and across the world.
Far from being “dumbed down”, the interpretation of our collections is based on extensive research by our curatorial team, significant involvement of subject experts both in the UK and internationally, and consultation with audiences.
We have taken a layered approach, providing a summary for those who would like an overview and more detailed information for visitors who want to engage more deeply.
Different galleries are aimed at different audiences, whether families or adults, so the nature and depth of interpretation differs.
Our Victorian founders aspired to create a place of education and enlightenment for everyone. They wanted to provide an insight into the broad range of human creativity, culture and the natural world.
These ambitions are ones which we set out to honour. Judging by the reaction of the wider media, our peers and our visitors, our efforts have not been in vain. Regular visitor surveys show very high levels of satisfaction, and 94 per cent of our Trip Advisor reviews are excellent or good.
Our shortlisting for the UK Family Friendly Museum Award recognises our warm welcome to families, which make up 30 per cent of our visitors. We are proud to have won the UK Museums and Heritage Award for Excellence in our displays and interpretation.
The Scotsman’s own senior art critic reported that “the whole place has been reborn, light, bright and miraculously coherent”.
There are countless other examples of positive feedback from critics, commentators and peers in Scotland, the UK and internationally.
Most importantly, the overwhelmingly positive response of the 2.3 million visitors we have welcomed since re-opening speaks for itself.
(Dr) Gordon Rintoul
National Museums Scotland