City Art Centre

Image of City Art Centre
baby changing facilities icon Food icon Guided tours icon Shop icon Study area icon Hearing disability facilities icon Visual disability facilities icon Wheelchair access icon

In the heart of the city, next to Waverley station, the City Art Centre is one of Edinburgh’s main public art galleries, with a vibrant programme of temporary shows.

It is home to the city’s collection of historic and contemporary Scottish art, one of the best in the country, showcased in a series of changing displays. The gallery hosts a wide range of temporary exhibitions in different media by local, national and international artists.

There are guided tours for visitors, regular family activities, and the ArtSpace activity area for hands-on creativity. The Shop will entice you with its variety of art books, postcards, jewellery and gifts, while the Café will welcome you with delicious food, home-baking and coffee, making the City Art Centre a wonderful venue for a great day out.

Venue Type:


Opening hours

Wednesday to Saturday 10am - 5pm
Sunday 12noon - 5pm

Admission charges

Free. Admission charges may apply to some exhibitions.

The City Art Centre is an impressive nine-storey former warehouse located in the heart of Edinburgh. Originally constructed between 1899 and 1902, it was converted into gallery use in 1980. As well as mounting a busy programme of temporary exhibitions, it houses the City of Edinburgh's nationally recognised collection of Scottish art. With over 4,500 works, it includes paintings by the majority of Scotland's greatest artists from the seventeenth century onwards, including Allan Ramsay, Sir Henry Raeburn, William McTaggart, the Scottish Colourists, and Joan Eardley, as well as a fine collection of contemporary Scottish art.

Collection details

Archives, Decorative and Applied Art, Fine Art, Photography

Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
Painting of three fishermen in Arbroath harbour

Hidden Gems

  • 7 October 2017 — 13 May 2018

The City Art Centre’s fine art collection numbers over 4,800 items. Some ‘old favourites’ in the collection are exhibited often, but others have rarely ever been seen by the public. Some of these are stand-alone artworks that do not fit easily into thematic or chronological displays. Others represent unfamiliar periods in artists’ careers, or are by artists who were successful in their day but are now virtually forgotten. Some artworks have simply never had a chance to shine.

Hidden Gems focuses on these lesser-known treasures, celebrating the unsung and the unusual. The exhibition reveals artworks in a variety of media dating from the 18th century to present day. Among the featured artists are Joshua Reynolds, Lucien Pissarro, Jessie M. King, Man Ray, Cecile Walton, Frank Auerbach and Louise Hopkins. Several new acquisitions to the collection are also showcased for the first time, including work by Morris Grassie, Anthony Hatwell and Nicol Laidlaw.

Suitable for

  • Any age


Mixed media collage by Angie Lewin

A Fine Line

  • 18 November 2017 — 18 February 2018

'A Fine Line' features work by four contemporary artists based in Scotland - Lizzie Farey, Angie Lewin, Frances Priest and Bronwen Sleigh. This group exhibition explores the fine line between art and craft in two and three dimensions, bringing together a diverse range of disciplines including printmaking, drawing, collage, sculpture and ceramics.

Working with different media but united by detailed observation and strong draughtsmanship, these artists experiment with linear mark-making and drawing in its widest sense. Each artist produces works inspired by places and spaces in either the natural or man-made environment and their relationships to concepts of memory and time.

Exhibition in partnership with Inverness Museum and Art Gallery and Gracefield Arts Centre.

Suitable for

  • Any age



Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
Artwork by Angie Lewin

Wood Engraving

  • 2 December 2017 10am-4pm

With step by step guidance from artist Angie Lewin, you will experiment with tools on a practice block before engraving and printing your own woodblock. This course is suitable for adults (aged 18+) and you will need to have some drawing skills to benefit fully from this workshop.

Suitable for

  • 18+



Artwork by Lizzie Farey

Willow Crafts for Christmas

  • 16 December 2017 10:30am-4pm

A unique opportunity to work with willow artist Lizzie Farey. This class will teach you how to make willow Christmas trees, wreaths and stars for the festive season.

Suitable for

  • 18+



City Art Centre
2 Market Street


City Art Centre





0131 529 3993


0131 529 3977

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.