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A Celebration of Scotland's Treasures

The National Trust for Scotland Foundation USA’s annual gala, A Celebration of Scotland’s Treasures, drew tartan-clad international philanthropists to New York’s Metropolitan Club on Thursday, April 11th. The festive occasion has celebrated Scottish heritage, from poetry and dancing to whisky and haggis, for more than a decade. Under the guidance of honorary chair Naoma Tate, and co-chairs Alan Cumming and Grant Shaffer, Christopher Forbes, Joan Kahn, and Susi and Alasdair Nichol, the event raised over $310,000 to support the work of National Trust for Scotland, that country’s largest conservation charity.

The Great Scot Award was presented to Andy Scott by Paul Roberts Vice Chairman of Lyon & Turnbull, President of Freeman's. Matt Gillis Photography.

2019 Great Scot Award

NTS USA honored Andy Scott, sculptor of The Kelpies (the world’s largest equine sculptures) as its Great Scot. Paul Roberts, vice-chairman of Lyon & Turnbull and president of Freeman’s, presented the Great Scot Award, introducing Mr. Scott as a “figurative rebel.” Accepting the award, he shared how moved he was by the public’s reaction to The Kelpies and acknowledged the vast team that helps him assemble these large-scale installations.

Andy Scott

Award-Winning Sculptor of The Kelpies

Sculptor Andy Scott works in steel and bronze, combining figurative and equine themes with contemporary techniques to create stunning landmark artworks. He is a graduate of Glasgow School of Art and now works in the United States from his studio in Philadelphia. He creates prominent public artworks for private, corporate, and civic clients, and his prodigious output now numbers in excess of eighty projects across the UK and internationally.

His most prominent project to date is The Kelpies, which have become the best known public artworks in Scotland welcoming millions of visitors to the small town of Falkirk since their inauguration. The two 100-foot high steel horse heads are the largest equine sculptures in the world and straddle the Forth & Clyde Canal. They are inspired by Scottish mythology and by the heritage of the Clydesdale horses, the original source of locomotion for the canal barges and the power behind the industries and agriculture of central Scotland.

Andy Scott’s current and recent projects include a bronze sculpture of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, unveiled in Glasgow by Scotland’s First Minister in October of 2018 to coincide with Mackintosh’s 150th anniversary celebration, and a 18 foot tall grizzly bear to be installed this spring in the Scottish town of Dunbar. The grizzly bear theme relates to John Muir, advocate of the wilderness, founder of The Sierra Club, native of Dunbar and regarded as the father of the US National Park Service.

Honorary Chair

Naoma Tate


Alan Cumming and Grant Shaffer | Christopher Forbes | Joan Kahn | Susi and Alasdair Nichol

Event Photography

Follow the links below to view photos from the 2019 A Celebration of Scotland’s Treasures gala.

Annie Watt Photography

Matt Gillis Photography


Katie McNally & Friends

Hailed as “…the new face of Scottish fiddling in the USA” (The Living Tradition), Katie McNally has already made her mark on Celtic music in North America. Her 2016 release “The Boston States” pays homage to the living Scottish and Cape Breton tradition in her hometown of Boston. In addition to fronting her own trio, Katie performs with Fàrsan, transatlantic collective Apiary, and has toured with such Celtic music luminaries as Carlos Nuñez, Karan Casey, and John Whelan. Recent cover-girl for Fiddler Magazine, Katie has performed in the US and abroad at the Newport Folk Festival, Celtic Connections, the Barns at Wolf Trap, and The Festival of American Fiddle Tunes.

Alasdair Nichol

Alasdair Nichol, our auctioneer for the evening, is an international authority on paintings, a frequent appraiser on PBS’ Antiques Roadshow since 1998 and is Chairman and co-owner of Freeman’s, America’s oldest auction house. Mr. Nichol has lectured extensively in both the United States and in the United Kingdom at universities, art schools, societies and private clubs on a variety of subjects, ranging from the Art Market to the Pennsylvania Impressionists and Scottish Art. Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, Alasdair originally trained as a painter in Aberdeen and then Belfast, where he graduated with a Master’s Degree in 1984.

The Macallan

The Macallan is one of the world’s most awarded and admired single malts. This peerless reputation has been built by the commitment of The Masters of Spirit and Wood, the craftsmen at the heart of The Macallan since it was legally licensed in 1824. Their unfaltering obsession with selecting exceptional oak casks and distilling sublime spirits brings an unsurpassed, timeless quality to The Macallan.


The Fountain Court at Culzean Castle

Culzean Castle is one of Scotland’s treasures: a Robert Adam-designed masterpiece perched on the cliffs of Ayrshire. Its story is one of adventure, ambition, and incredible beauty. Passing through the Ruined Arch at the entrance to the Castle, visitors are greeted with a panoramic view of the idyllic Fountain Court gardens. The formal landscape is centered on a Baroque fountain and is adorned with an extraordinary collection of subtropical plants, thanks to the nourishment of the passing Gulf Stream.

While the Fountain Court was recently restored, the fountain itself—which dates to 1876 and features Triton surrounded by dolphins—no longer works. Proceeds from A Celebration of Scotland’s Treasures will help bring this magnificent water feature back to life so that it can once again delight visitors.

A Celebration of Scotland’s Treasures Image Gallery

Auction and Gift Bag Sponsors

About the Great Scot Award

The Great Scot Award is presented annually to a Scot or American who has contributed to the countries’ shared heritage. The recipient is selected by the Foundation’s Board of Trustees and the award presentation is the highlight of the annual gala, A Celebration of Scotland’s Treasures

Great Scot Award Honorees

  • Honorees 2008-2015


     Sir Billy Connolly

    Stand up comedian, actor, musician, TV presenter, and artist


    Richard Scott

    10th Duke of Buccleuch and the 12th Duke of Queensbury


    Ian Gow

    Chief Curator, National Trust for Scotland


    The International Alliance for the Advancement of Scottish Roots Music


    Mrs. Thomas J. Hubbard



    Christopher Forbes

    Vice chairman of Forbes Inc., noted collector and connoisseur


    Alan Cumming

    Award-Winning Actor, Singer, Writer, Producer, Director, and Author


    Alexander McCall Smith

    Internationally Acclaimed Author

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