Arts Everyday Living: National Galleries of Scotland—The Heart of a Nation

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Edinburgh, Scotland


Peter Graham

Peter Graham, Wandering Shadows, 1878, oil on canvas, Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh



Consists of 3 major national collections of some 96,000 works of art; separate locations in the heart of Edinburgh, within short distance of each other.  Free to visitors, although fee for special exhibitions may be charged.

Scottish National Gallery’s collection is from early Renaissance to late 19th century, includes leading artists from Raphael to Degas.  Also known for most comprehensive history of Scottish art.  Opened  in 1859 on the Mound, designed by William Henry Playfair, modeled after Classical architecture; recent additions.

Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art divided into 2 buildings, Modern One and  Modern Two.  Both in former 19th century social welfare institutions now transformed into gallery spaces surrounded by rolling parkland.  Holidings span modern art, from Picasso to David Hockney.

Scottish National Portrait Gallery focuses on history of Scotland through portraits of leading figures of the country.  Housed in  renovated Neo-Gothic palace that served in 1800s as memorial to Scottish heroes.

WEBSITE ALERT!  Not to be missed online site. Each museum offers its own art trail  (such as North of the Border or Hidden Histories). But be sure to click general collection which provides images with descriptions by hundreds of artists, sorted alphabetically and by subject.  Special features include e-tours (Dance, Mary Queen of Scots, A Walk in the Park plus others), Scottish culture, Faces and Places, Your Paintings, and In Focus.

To explore yourself, click:

National Galleries of Scotland

The above image is used solely for educational purposes.

Discover your artistic companion in the pages of Through an Artist’s Eyes: Learning to Live Creatively!



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