Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art - National Galleries of Scotland

Scottish National Portrait Gallery
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Home to Scotland’s outstanding national collection of modern and contemporary art, the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art includes two gallery buildings, Modern One and Modern Two.

Works from the Gallery’s collection, plus special loans, are presented in Modern One. The early part of the collection features French and Russian art from the beginning of the twentieth century, cubist paintings and superb holdings of expressionist and modern British art. Special highlights include paintings by Matisse and Picasso.

The Gallery also has an outstanding collection of international post-war work and the most important and extensive collection of modern Scottish art. The post-war collection features art by Francis Bacon, David Hockney, Andy Warhol and Lucian Freud, with more recent works by artists including Antony Gormley, Gilbert & George, Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin.

Modern Two is home to a changing programme of exhibitions and displays drawn for the permanent collection. On permanent display is a fascinating recreation of Eduard Paolozzi’s studio, as well as his 7.3m tall sculpture, Vulcan, that dominates the café. Modern Two is also home to the Gallery’s substantial library and archive, open to the public by appointment, and changing displays in the Gabrielle Keiller library.

Also in Modern Two is The Stairwell Project, a large-scale, permanent work by 2009 Turner Prize winner Richard Wright. Comprising several thousand individually hand-painted forms, the piece sits as Wright's most complex and ambitious work to date in Britain.

Set in extensive parkland, visitors can discover sculpture works by important artists like Ian Hamilton Finlay, Henry Moore, Rachel Whiteread, Richard Long and Nathan Coley. The lawn to the front of Modern One was re-landscaped in 2002 to a design by Charles Jencks.

Venue Type:


Opening hours

Open daily, 10am-5pm. (6pm for August only).

Admission charges


When the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art opened in 1960, it inherited a small number of 20th century works from the National Gallery of Scotland, but the majority of the collection has been acquired over the last forty years.

The collection now comprises more than 5,000 items, ranging in date from the late 19th century to the present and encompasses work in a wide variety of media, from paintings, bronzes and works on paper, to kinetic sculpture and video installations.

Highlights of the collection include early 20th century French paintings by Bonnard, Vuillard, Derain and Matisse; Cubist work by Braque, Léger and Picasso; early 20th century Russian art, including oils by Larionov and Goncharova; and a superb collection of Expressionist art, with works by Barlach, Kirchner, Kokoschka and Nolde. The post-war collection includes work by Morandi, Bacon, Hockney, Lichtenstein, Warhol, Moore and Freud.

20th century Scottish art is especially well represented, with works by Mackintosh, the Scottish Colourists, Gillies, Maxwell, Eardley, Philipson, Davie, Bellany, Currie and Howson, while recent acquisitions include works by younger Scots such as Christine Borland and Douglas Gordon.

The Gallery's outstanding collection of Dada and Surrealist art and extensive holding of work by Sir Eduardo Paolozzi is shown in the adjacent Dean Gallery (renamed Modern Two in 2011).

Since space permits only a portion of the collection to be displayed at any one time, works are shown on a rotating basis. Exhibitions are also held throughout the year. The Gallery's collection of works on paper is held in the Print Room, which is open by appointment.

Collection details

Decorative and Applied Art, Fine Art

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

ARTIST ROOMS Roy Lichtenstein

  • 15 March 2015 — 10 January 2016 *on now

This special three-room ARTIST ROOMS exhibition is dedicated to works by renowned American artist Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997). Lichtenstein was one of the most ground-breaking and influential artists of the twentieth century.

With integrity to his materials and techniques, and an intellectual rigour and wit, Lichtenstein created visually striking works that continue to provoke questions about how images permeate our lives. This display will bring together a newly assembled group of works by Lichtenstein recently placed on long-term loan to ARTIST ROOMS thanks to the generosity of the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation.


The Amazing World of MC Escher

  • 27 June — 27 September 2015 *on now

MC Escher remains one of the great conundrums of modern art: an artist whose work is part of the fabric of twentieth-century visual culture, and is as instantly recognisable as anything by Salvador Dalí, yet whose name means little to a British audience. Never affiliated to any group, rarely travelling far from his modest home in the Dutch town of Baarn, and focusing exclusively on graphic art, he was a one-man art movement who created some of the most famous and popular images in modern art, yet he remains a complete enigma.

This exhibition offers the opportunity to rediscover a giant of twentieth-century art, a fabulously imaginative artist of unparalleled technical ability, whose work is familiar from reproductions, but is seldom seen ‘in the flesh’. The exhibition includes nearly 100 prints and drawings stretching across his whole career, and is drawn in its entirety from the collection of the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague, Netherlands, which holds an almost complete set of Escher’s prints. It is also mounted in collaboration with the Escher in Het Paleis, a museum of Escher’s work which opened in the centre of The Hague in 2002.




Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art - National Galleries of Scotland
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art
Belford Road




0131 624 6200

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