Back to List

Dalkeith Museum

11 September 2021 (10:30-15:30)


For Doors Open Days 2021 we are inviting you to attend our new exhibition

'John Kay and Anthony Kirk- From Dalkeith to New York to Dalkeith Museum'.

John Kay - from a Dalkeith barber to the most noted and prolific Scottish caricaturist of the late 18th and early 19th Centuries.

He was born in Dalkeith in 1742 where he was apprenticed at 13 years old, to a local barber.  In 1771 he moved to Edinburgh, where he obtained Freedom of the City by joining the Society of Surgeon-Barbers.  This gave him access to some of the most notable Scotsmen of the day and in his spare time he produced original portrait sketches and caricatures of these famous and infamous, Scottish characters.

His portraits, often humorous, provided a satirical commentary of the 'A listers' of the period and sometimes he was even threatened with legal action and physical harm.  

Anthony Kirk - from Dalkeith St David's School to master printer in New York. 

He was born in Bonnyrigg in 1950.  From a family with no artistic background - Anthony had an exceptional talent for art that was spotted and nurtured by St David's Art Master - Joseph Dempsey, who encouraged him to follow his dream and study art, then printmaking at Chelsea School of Art.

In 1974 he arrived in New York and is now widely recognised as a leading master printer who also encourages young artists.

To recognise his school mentor and acknowledge the early financial assistance from Midlothian, Anthony has donated 18 John Kay prints to Dalkeith Museum. 

Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, the planned exhibition in 2020 which was to to be opened by Anthony could not take place.




No booking required but please note that in order to ensue the safety of visitors and volunteers, numbers may be limited to 10 at any one time. 

Limited parking outside, but more available in Dalkeith town centre.



After Doors Open Day, the museum will be open from 11 am until 3 pm every Wednesday.


For further details visit their website:



Key Information



  • 61 St Andrews Street
  • EH22 1BP