Servants and Cats in Edinburgh

Servants and cats are the subjects of two contrasting exhibitions in Edinburgh this spring. Portraiture traditionally celebrates the rich and powerful, but “Below Stairs” (Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Feb.12 – May 31) has over 100 images of individuals employed in service from the early 17th century to today. Highlights include Hogarth’s famous 18th century painting of the heads of his six servants; and George Morland’s study of his servant cooking sausages.

Admission £4, concessions £3. Website:

“Cats…the ultimate predators” (Royal Museum, Feb.13 – May 30) features all 37 known wild cat species, from lion and tiger to the smallest – the rusty spotted cat of India and Sri Lanka. The exhibition is particularly aimed at children, with games, experiments and hands-on interactives. Young visitors can also test how cats’ claws work; feel a tiger’s tongue; and learn the difference between cat calls. Admission £4, concessions £3,children £2.50.

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