When the Scottish Association of the New Church first discussed the idea of bringing the Apocalypse of John paintings to Paisley it was thought that we would exhibit them in the Church hall. But after recalling feedback from other events here in Scotland, and the difficulties in attracting people to this type of event, it was decided we should find a neutral venue. The conclusion was that the Paisley Museum and Art Gallery with its central location and a regular stream of visitors would be most suitable. It was decided to run the exhibition for 6 days (Tuesday 22nd - Sunday 27th October). We were fortunate enough to secure a booking in the lecture hall which was clearly visible to everyone as they entered the building and our sign outside the lecture hall door with brief details of what was on offer was hard to miss.
Setting up the exhibition was fairly straightforward. After transporting the paintings from Purley Chase Centre, the three wooden crates fitting comfortably into the back of a Vauxhall Zafira, they were briefly stored at Paisley Church before being taken over to the museum which is less than a mile away. Staff at the museum were kind enough to allow Neil Laidlaw and myself access on the Monday to set up the exhibition and time for Angus Macpherson and me to pack them away on the Sunday. The crates containing the paintings are very well made and a number system helped keep things orderly when extracting and hanging the paintings and also when putting them back in the crates. The technical crew at the museum made themselves available for a couple of brief meetings prior to the event to work out floor space, dimensions etc. and the marketing department helped with advertising tips and also displayed our poster at other local authority venues. The local press showed an interest and the local authority web site also helped to promote the event.
On the first day the museum seemed quiet but staff commented that this was perhaps due to "the MOD" (a Gaelic festival) having been held in Paisley the week before and which resulted in the town being quieter during this following week. However we did have a few people that day who took a keen interest in the artwork and the short exposition based on Swedenborg's writings. The Scottish Association was delighted and very grateful that Rev Clifford Curry and Rev Mary Duckworth from the Apocalypse Study Group were able to attend the exhibition to help inform people of the origins of the paintings etc., and they managed to cover the Tuesday through to the Saturday between them.
Just inside the entrance to the lecture hall we set up a table with leaflets, postcards and the official Apocalypse of John catalogue. The catalogue is a very attractive book containing all 25 pictures in fine colour as well as the accompanying information allowing the visitor to 'take the exhibition home' for further study. We managed to sell 18 of the catalogues at a reduced price of £1.00. The normal price is good value to begin with at £5.00 but the Scottish Association provided the subsidy to encourage further study.