City Art Centre

City Art Centre
2 Market Street


City Art Centre




0131 529 3993


0131 529 3977

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Enjoy a visit to the City Art Centre, a main Edinburgh art gallery with one of the best collections of Scottish art. We show interesting exhibitions from our own collections and from all over the world. We can also tempt you with an excellent café and attractive shop located on the ground floor.

The City Art Centre has a busy programme of exhibitions which change regularly to suit the interests of our visitors. People come to see favourites from the City’s nationally Recognised collection of Scottish art; new work from local or international artists or exhibitions from other countries. Exhibitions of historic and modern photography, contemporary art and design, architecture and the built environment are staged in a rolling programme. We have shown Egyptian and Roman objects and even featured artwork and costumes from the Star Wars films.

An escalator and lift help you move around six floors, and you can be refreshed by sampling the menus in the café, or buy art books, cards, handbags and jewellery from our ground floor shop.

The City Art Centre is conveniently placed near to the Waverley rail station in the city centre.

Venue Type:


Opening hours

Mon-Sat 10.00-17.00
Sun 12.00-17.00

Admission charges

Free admission to permanent collection, admission charges may apply to temporary exhibitions.

Collection details

Archives, Decorative and Applied Art, Fine Art

Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.

A - Z: An Alphabetical Tour of Scottish Art

  • 26 April — 16 November 2014 *on now

The collection covers a wide range of subject-matter, depicted through a variety of styles and media. Traditional oil portraits of public figures hang alongside contemporary installation pieces. But who are the artists behind these artworks?

A - Z: An Alphabetical Tour of Scottish Art introduces some of the men and women whose work makes up this rich collection. Painters, sculptors, photographers and printmakers are all featured, representing the key movements that have shaped Scotland’s artistic identity. From William Allan to Aleksander Zyw, this exhibition cuts across time periods, themes and media to explore the breadth and diversity of Scottish art.

A - Z is the first exhibition to be staged in the City Art Centre’s newly refurbished lower ground floor gallery. This exciting space has now been redeveloped to create a dedicated area for showing the permanent Scottish Art Collection. In the coming years, visitors will be able to see more of this collection than ever before, through a changing programme of temporary displays.

The Scottish Art Collection, cared for by the City of Edinburgh Museums and Galleries, is a Recognised Collection of National Significance to Scotland. The refurbishment of the lower ground floor gallery has been undertaken with the support of Museums Galleries Scotland through the Recognition Capital Fund.

Suitable for

  • Any age


Where do I End and You Begin

  • 1 August — 19 October 2014 *on now

As part of the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme, and during the year of Homecoming Scotland, Edinburgh Art Festival in partnership with City Art Centre presents a major international exhibition of contemporary art selected by five curators from Commonwealth countries.

Taking its title from a work by Indian artist, Shilpa Gupta, the exhibition invites perspectives from across the Commonwealth to explore and interrogate the ideas, ideals and myths which underpin notions of community, common-wealth, and the commons.

Through new and recent work by over 20 international artists, Where do I end and you begin considers what it means to join ‘common’ with ‘wealth’, reflecting on the notion of The Commonwealth as a problematic historical and contemporary construct and offering international perspectives on the range of associations which common-wealth evokes, from the challenge of ‘being in common’ in a truly global world, to ideas of the common good, common land, public ownership and alternative exchange systems.

Edinburgh Art Festival is proud to be working with international partners across the Commonwealth on the development of this major enterprise, including the British Council, Creative New Zealand; Dunedin Public Art Gallery; South Africa - United Kingdom Seasons 2014 & 2015; Gallery MOMO, Johannesburg; Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi and other partners in Canada, India, New Zealand and UK.

Suitable for

  • Any age


Urban / Suburban

  • 1 August — 19 October 2014 *on now

Based on work acquired through the National Collecting Scheme for Scotland (NCSS), Urban/Suburban will look at the theme of architecture and the built environment in recent Scottish art.

Through the work on show, the exhibition will examine how we live today in our urban/suburban environment.

Specific works include Villa Savoye by Nathan Coley, Nothank by Graham Fagan, Town by Carol Rhodes and Citrus Fruit Market by Toby Paterson. Other artists whose work has been acquired through the NCSS include Charles Avery, Christine Borland, Martin Boyce and Kenny Hunter. Additional works from artists in the collection will be shown, including Kate Gray, Chad McCail and Jonathan Owen, and the exhibition will include a small number of additional loans.

Urban/Suburban is part of GENERATION, a landmark series of exhibitions celebrating 25 years of contemporary art in Scotland.

Suitable for

  • Any age


Abstract painting of First World War battlefield

Picturing Conflict: Art of the First World War

  • 8 November 2014 — 18 January 2015

The First World War was a life-changing event for millions of people, a conflict that elicited responses in literature, music and the visual arts. Artists depicted the people, places and experiences of the war in official and unofficial capacities, producing formal commissions as well as more personal images. These artworks provide a valuable insight into the events of the war and its impact on those involved.

'Picturing Conflict: Art of the First World War' presents a small selection of paintings and other artworks that relate to this period, drawn from the City Art Centre’s permanent collection. Featured artists include Eric Robertson, David Young Cameron and John Lavery.