Book Reviw-‘Glasgow Museums: The ship models, a history and complete illustrated catalogue’ by E. Malcolm and M. R. Harrison

By Michael Leek, published October 2020


It was the internationally renowned ship model maker, the late Donald McNarry, who wrote, in 1975, ‘Ship models are useless things and their only virtue lies in the accuracy and realism with which they depict the prototype in such a way as to give lasting pleasure to the beholder.’ Having corresponded with McNarry, and being familiar with his ship models over many years, I believe he was expressing a tongue- in-cheek opinion! To describe ship models as ‘useless’ fails to acknowledge the contribution to maritime history and naval architecture that models have provided. Of course, this assumes that ship models in national collections are not only accurate, but also easily accessible, which unfortunately is no longer the case in the UK compared to 30 or 40 years ago, or at least there are fewer models on public display than there used to be. It is now only through such important books as the one being reviewed here that it’s possible to see what are so often hidden away – for reasons that defy logic, other than a dumbing-down of what museums are about…

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Filed under: Popular Topics
Subjects include: Ship Models & Figureheads

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