Top Five Art Galleries in Edinburgh12 June, 2012
For a spot of cultural tourism, you won’t go wrong with a trip to Edinburgh. There is no doubt that attractions such as Edinburgh Castle, which set a record last year by having the most visitors to its grounds since records began, are popular; yet those in search of quiet, vast spaces in which to contemplate a range of artworks from different periods, eras and movements, will find Edinburgh the perfect haven.
Since admission to most of the galleries is free, bar some of the special exhibits, you can save the pennies and splurge on accommodation during your stay. Hotels in Edinburgh range from the swanky and quirky, to hostels for the smaller budget; try the Ellersly House Hotel as an ideal cultural base to your visit.
So, without further ado, here are some top suggestions for must-see galleries and their happenings in the Scottish capital.
Scottish National Gallery
Standing at number five on the top ten Scottish visitor attractions list of 2011 according to visitor numbers (925, 575 to be exact), the Scottish National Gallery is a landmark for art lovers and culture enthusiasts alike.
Housing one of the country’s most extensive collections of fine art, the gallery will provide you with plenty of food for thought, as well as being a feast for the eyes and senses. Indeed, you could easily spend a whole day roaming around its vast area, comprising three interconnected buildings.
Currently, the “Masterpieces from Mount Stuart” exhibit, which runs until 2nd December 2012, is a definite must-see.
Gallery of Modern Art
Made up of two buildings, Modern One and Modern Two, Scotland’s National Gallery of Modern Art, set in extensive parkland in Edinburgh, is a delight for visitors wishing to see a truly outstanding collection. With the opportunity to explore sculpture works outside, there’s never a dull moment to be had here.
The current exhibition of works by Edvard Munch, the Norwegian artist whose famous painting “The Scream” recently sold for a record $120 million, is definitely worth a visit. Open until the 23rd September 2012, it explores the artist’s masterful and intriguing graphic works.
Set in Edinburgh’s lush botanical gardens, Inverleith House truly provides the perfect backdrop for a day of nature and culture.
The 18th Century building focuses on temporary exhibitions by artists who are especially invited, and has a history of exhibiting Turner winners and nominees. One such is Luke Fowler, who has been nominated for this year’s award for his exhibition at this very gallery.
From now until the 8th July 2012, you can enjoy exhibits by William McKeown, as well as the wonderful George Paxton’s tree photographs, never before shown in public.
City Art Centre
Originally an old warehouse, the City Art Centre specialises in Scottish art, as well as bits and pieces from the international art world as well.
You will find many contemporary exhibitions here, spanning photography, design and architecture. A popular past exhibit, “The Art of Star Wars”, pulled in over 100, 00 visitors, proving this gallery’s ability to surprise and stun its visitors.
Currently, you can view “A Parliament of Lines”, an exhibit showcasing the works of 15 contemporary Scottish artists who use drawing, among other things, as an important element to their work. The exhibition is free and is open until the 8th July 2012.
The Royal Scottish Academy
Founded in 1826, The Royal Scottish Academy focuses on contemporary Scottish art, led by various artists and architects. Even looking at this space from the outside, located in the impressive William Henry Playfair building, is a visual feat in itself.
To celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, one of the RSA’s current exhibitions, open until 17th September 2012, contemplates the relationship between the monarchy and the Scottish nation and landscape. A definite for art lovers, this exhibit covers the works of artists such as John Houston, Ian Fleming and Frances Walker.
Visit www.hiedinburghhotel.co.uk for a comfortable Holiday Inn hotel in Edinburgh.