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Exhibition celebrates the art of revelry

An annual fancy-dress extravaganza that has been running for more than 100 years is to be showcased in a new University exhibition.

Edinburgh College of Art’s yearly Revel, which dates back to 1909, brings together staff and students for a themed party with costumes, scenery, performances and dancing.

The exhibition in the University’s Main Library, includes a number of unique photographs of students at the Revel from the 1910s to the 1970s.

Brown Paper and Imagination: Revealing the Edinburgh College of Art Revel

1 April - 2 July 2016

University of Edinburgh Main Library Exhibition Gallery.

Opening times: Mon-Fri, 10am-5pm and Saturday, 10am-5pm.

Admission is free.

Vibrant display

A range of colourful ticket and programme designs demonstrate the effort, imagination and skill that has gone into the event.

Former student and celebrated artist John Bellany is known to have designed the set for the 1963 Revel. Former College Principal and painter William Gillies also features in a silent film showing students creating props and enjoying the event.

A costume thought to have been part of the 1951 Revel - which has a Knights of the Round Table theme will also be on display.

Revealing the Revel

University experts researched student handbooks and old newspaper reports that chart the coverage of the event - describing the Revel as “the most important event of the College year” - to help inform the exhibition.

The Revel has always been a showcase for the skill and craft of students and staff at the College, giving them the freedom to express themselves with a sense of fun. The Revel is a unique event, organised without a huge budget – one that is initiated and developed by students using the principle of ‘brown paper and imagination’.

Rachel HoskerArchives Manager at the University

Image copyright University of Edinburgh Art Collections.

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