Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art

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The neoclassical façade of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art

The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh, holds the Scottish national collection of modern art. When opened in 1960, the collection was held in Inverleith House, at the Royal Botanic Gardens. In 1980 it moved to its current home: a Neo Classical building in the west of Edinburgh, near the Water of Leith, built in 1825-1828 by William Burn for John Watson's Hospital, a school now incorporated in George Watson's College.

The sculpture garden to the front of the building contains work by Henry Moore, Rachel Whiteread, Tony Cragg and Barbara Hepworth. In 2002 the front lawn was converted into the giant Landform sculpture by Charles Jencks, in collaboration with Terry Farrell and Duncan Whatmore of Terry Farrell and Partners. The sculpture is said to be inspired by chaos theory or Seurat's La Grand Jatte. In 2004 the gallery won the £100,000 Gulbenkian Prize for the Landform.

In 2005, with the help of the Art Fund, the gallery added a significant selection of 20 monoprint drawings by leading British artist Tracey Emin to their collection, called the Family Suite (1994) displaying the "archetypal themes in Emin's art: sex, her family, her abortions, and Margate".[1] These works will be displayed from August 2008 at the gallery as part of a major solo show by Emin which has been called the Summer Blockbuster exhibition.[2]

Pablo Picasso, 1913-14, Head (Tête), cut and pasted coloured paper, gouache and charcoal on paperboard, 43.5 x 33 cm

The collection includes work by Derain, Picasso, Braque, Mondrian, Ben Nicholson, Matisse, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, The Scottish Colourists, Peter Howson, Levannah Harris, Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, Boyle Family and Douglas Gordon. Due to space constraints, the work that is displayed is often rotated. The gallery also holds temporary exhibitions. Surrealist and Dada art, as well as work by Eduardo Paolozzi are kept at the adjacent Dean Gallery.

A selection of works from the gallery is available to view online. In 2012 the museum attracted a yearly figure of 314,814 visitors.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Art Fund - Family Suite
  2. ^ National Galleries of Scotland - Supportus
  3. ^ Association of Leading Visitor Attractions data

Collection highlights[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 55°57′03.09″N 3°13′39.23″W / 55.9508583°N 3.2275639°W / 55.9508583; -3.2275639