IT is quite remarkable that it is only in the past few days, and thanks to the phenomenon of social media, that anyone noticed that there is something fundamentally wrong with the Scottish National Portrait Gallery’s exhibition The Remaking Of Scotland – Nation, Migration, Globalisation 1760-1860.

Having been tipped off on Twitter I checked for myself and to my utter astonishment there really is a total blank on the Highland Clearances, or, as Sir Tom Devine points out, not just Highland, but the Clearances that occurred all over Scotland in the name of “improvement”.

READ MORE: National Galleries' exhibition on Scots migration omits Clearances

How could an exhibition covering Scotland and migration in the years 1760 to 1860 – almost exactly the time frame of the Clearances – miss out on the most devastating nation-changing forced emigration in Scottish history? And why is there not more on, say, Irish immigration to Scotland following the Great Famine of the late 1840s?

The National can only do so much to police how Scotland’s history is reported, but what is really needed is for those who educate our people to teach the whole truth and all the facts about such matters as the Clearances.

I can understand that a curator can only work with the art available to him or her, so the temptation must have always been to “big up” the subjects covered by portraits – the Enlightenment figures, the landowners, the solders. The exhibition also deals, quite commendably, with Scotland’s role in slavery.

There are works of art associated with the Clearances, of which the best known is The Last Of The Clan by Thomas Faed, which is in the Kelvingrove Art Gallery. Surely Glasgow could have loaned it, for though painted in 1865, outwith the portrait gallery’s timescale, it features a scene from the 1840s.

I have written about the Clearances before. Some thousands of people were “cleared” and, in short, the Clearances made Scotland what she is today.

As I previously wrote, we can date the start of what we understand as the Clearances precisely to one day – April 16, 1746, and the Battle of Culloden.

After Culloden, the government of King George II embarked on what we would now call ethnic cleansing. Along with the suppression of the people’s culture came an economic system that was alien to the people – one of money and “improvement” of land and agriculture.

It was fairly easy for landowners, most of them Scots, to start moving the people off the land, for sheep were a better source of income than people. So it proved for a hundred years.

The exhibition runs to June 21, 2020, so there is still time to adjust what is presented in the gallery.

It would be the correct thing to do, and I am sure if he was asked, Sir Tom Devine could volunteer.