Explorer comes home

The Bagpipe Museum is providing a temporary home to a stunning life-size oil painting by Robert John Wildman of Robert Morrison who was born in Bullers Green in Morpeth in 1872.Anne Moore with the painting.
The Bagpipe Museum is providing a temporary home to a stunning life-size oil painting by Robert John Wildman of Robert Morrison who was born in Bullers Green in Morpeth in 1872.Anne Moore with the painting.
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TIME is running out to catch a glimpse of a life-size portrait of one of Morpeth’s most famous explorers.

The Morpeth Chantry Bagpipe Museum in Bridge Street is currently displaying a stunning oil painting of Protestant missionary Robert Morrison.

The work, by Robert John Wildman, is on display in the town thanks to a collaborative project by the region’s museums and the National Portrait Gallery in London.

A total of nine portraits are on display simultaneously in nine different locations across the north east in an exhibition titled Explorers — Portraits from the National Portrait Gallery.

Morrison was born in Bullers Green in 1782 and began work as an apprentice to his father as a last and boot-tree maker. However, at the age of 25 he became the first Protestant missionary in China, where he spent most of the rest of his life, translating the Bible into Chinese and publishing the Grammar of the Chinese Language.

His portrait will be on display in Morpeth until the end of the month.

Museum Curator Anne Moore said: “The painting is a real work of art and it is a pleasure to be able to offer visitors the opportunity to see it at such close proximity. It is even more special because of the Morpeth connection.”