City Art Centre

Image of City Art Centre
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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:

Gallery

Opening hours

Monday to Sunday 10am - 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.
Artwork by Alan Johnston made with acrylic, pencil, charcoal beeswax and fixative on wood

Beneath the Surface

  • 16 November 2019 — 1 March 2020

'Beneath the Surface' features work by nine contemporary artists based in Scotland - Sara Brennan, Michael Craik, Eric Cruikshank, Kenneth Dingwall, Callum Innes, Alan Johnston, James Lumsden, Karlyn Sutherland and Andrea Walsh. Each of them articulates a minimalist aesthetic through abstraction in their work, ranging from constructions, drawings and paintings to ceramics, glass and tapestry. Eschewing narrative and observed reality, the artworks have an economy of gesture in common - a limited tonal palette or a monochrome colour plane.

Admission

Free admission

Website

https://www.edinburghmuseums.org.uk/whats-on/beneath-surface

Oil painting of Venetian scene

Victoria Crowe: 50 Years of Painting

  • 18 May — 13 October 2019 *on now

From 18 May to 13 October 2019, the City Art Centre is proud to present the first major survey devoted to the work of one of the UK’s most distinguished artists, Victoria Crowe. Embracing every aspect of her practice, the exhibition features over 150 paintings, stemming from youthful student works to the assured, timeless landscapes and portraits of recent years. It traces the rise of this exceptional artist, from early beginnings in which we catch glimpses of riches to come, through the highs and lows of her personal and professional life played out on canvas and paper, to recent years, where the cold light of a winter’s day in the Scottish Borders or the heat of a Venetian sunset still echo the works of her German and Italian heroes of times past.

This is a rare opportunity to see so many major paintings assembled from public and private collections from home and abroad. A new book, film and a varied public events programme accompany the exhibition.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Admission £6; Concessions £4.50

Website

https://www.edinburghmuseums.org.uk/whats-on/victoria-crowe

Interior of Santa Maria della Salute church in Venice, painted by F.C.B. Cadell

The Italian Connection

  • 7 September 2019 — 24 May 2020 *on now

Creative links between Scotland and Italy have existed for hundreds of years. In the 18th and 19th centuries Scottish artists journeyed to Rome and Florence to advance their professional training and career prospects. Throughout the 20th century this pilgrimage to the Mediterranean continued, with art students undertaking travelling scholarships and mature artists finding inspiration in the landscape and culture. Some even settled there on a long-term basis. The flow of people and ideas has also developed in the opposite direction, with Italian immigrant families making their homes in Scotland and contributing to the artistic milieu.

The Italian Connection explores the enduring bond between these two countries, celebrating the ability of art to transcend geographical borders. Drawn from the City Art Centre’s fine art collection, the exhibition covers a range of media from oil painting and drawing to printmaking and sculpture. Featured artists include Allan Ramsay, E.A Walton, F.C.B. Cadell, Joan Eardley, Eduardo Paolozzi and Elizabeth Blackadder.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Free admission

Website

https://www.edinburghmuseums.org.uk/whats-on/italian-connection

Full-length portrait of Mrs Blair accompanied by two borzois dogs

Mary Cameron: Life in Paint

  • 2 November 2019 — 15 March 2020

Mary Cameron (1865-1921) was a woman ahead of her time. Born in Edinburgh, she began her artistic career as a portraitist and genre painter in her native city, before venturing abroad to study in Paris. Foreign travel proved to be an enduring source of inspiration. In 1900 she visited Madrid for the first time, and became captivated by the Spanish culture, people and scenery. Establishing studios in Madrid and Seville, she painted large-scale compositions of traditional peasant life, dramatic bullfights and rural landscapes. Cameron exhibited widely during her lifetime, and her talents were admired by contemporaries such as John Lavery and Alexander Roche. However, like so many female artists of her generation, her name is now little-known.

'Mary Cameron: Life in Paint' places this forgotten artist back in the spotlight. It explores the fascinating story of Cameron’s life and career, charting her creative journey from elegant family portraits to breathtaking Spanish scenes. The exhibition features over forty rarely-seen artworks from public and private collections, complemented by historic photographs and archival material.

The exhibition is accompanied by the forthcoming book 'Mary Cameron: Life in Paint', written by Helen E. Scott with a foreword by Kenneth McConkey, published by Sansom & Co in November 2019.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

https://www.edinburghmuseums.org.uk/whats-on/mary-cameron-life-paint

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.
Oil on paper artwork by Eric Cruikshank

In Conversation: 'Beneath the Surface'

  • 11 January 2020 2-3pm

To accompany Beneath the Surface, Brian Robertson, curator at Zembla Gallery, will chair a discussion among five of the artists in the exhibition: Michael Craik, Eric Cruikshank, Kenneth Dingwall, Alan Johnston and James Lumsden. This is a unique opportunity to hear these contemporary artists come together to talk about their work.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

Free

Website

https://www.edinburghmuseums.org.uk/whats-on/conversation-beneath-surface

Image of an artwork by Rachael Forbes

Personal Narrative & Mindful Stitch

  • 25 January 2020 10:30am-3:30pm

In this workshop we will take inspiration from the artworks in 'Beneath the Surface' and explore the meditative and mindful potential of stitch. Bring with you a picture of a place you find calming and create a tactile mini stitch journal inspired by a sense of place using fabric collage and mixed media. With artist Rachael Forbes.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

£30

Website

https://www.edinburghmuseums.org.uk/whats-on/personal-narrative-mindful-stitch-0

Image of an artwork by Rachael Forbes

Landscape Abstractions: A Window of Memory

  • 26 January 2020 10:30am-3:30pm

To accompany our exhibition 'Beneath the Surface', in this workshop you will develop an abstract interpretation of an important landscape to you, through drawing and experimental mark-making, masking and layering techniques. We will bring together experimental studies into a final monoprint creating your 'window of memory'. With artist Rachael Forbes.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

£30

Website

https://www.edinburghmuseums.org.uk/whats-on/landscape-abstractions-window-memory

Samples of different colours wool

A line, a strip, a field of colour: Tapestry Masterclass

  • 2 February 2020 10am-4pm

Inspired by the works in 'Beneath the Surface', this masterclass will examine how the warp and weft of woven tapestry lends itself to exploring minimalism through the quality of lines, stripes and fields of colour. Delighting in the variety and contrasting surfaces that can be achieved by weaving with a range of materials from wool to linen, cotton yarns. With tapestry artist Fiona Hutchison.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

£60

Website

https://www.edinburghmuseums.org.uk/whats-on/line-strip-field-colour-tapestry-masterclass

Artwork by Michael Craik made of acrylic on aluminium

BSL Interpreted Tour: 'Beneath the Surface'

  • 15 February 2020 2-3pm

Join us for a tour of 'Beneath the Surface', which will have a BSL interpreter present. Please meet at the City Art Centre reception desk on the ground floor. This tour has full disabled access.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

Free

Website

https://www.edinburghmuseums.org.uk/whats-on/bsl-interpreted-tour-beneath-surface

Artwork by Erik Petrie

Minimalism in Focus: Subtraction & Extraction

  • 28 February 2020 10:30am-3:30pm

Taking inspiration from the 'Beneath the Surface' exhibition, this painting class looks to explore themes used by the exhibiting artists. Working on MDF board, participants will have the opportunity to consider muted line, tone, texture and repetition incorporating this into their artwork. With artist Erik Petrie.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

£30

Website

https://www.edinburghmuseums.org.uk/whats-on/minimalism-focus-subtraction-extraction

Artwork by Tessa Asquith-Lamb

Ways into Abstraction: Printmaking Workshop

  • 29 February 2020 10:30am-3:30pm

Inspired by the exhibition 'Beneath the Surface', join artist Tessa Asquith-Lamb for a printmaking workshop using simple monoprinting and relief methods. Making use of natural materials such as plant forms, stone strata, and seashells, we will consider the beauty in small things and develop initial sketches into abstract prints.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

£30

Website

https://www.edinburghmuseums.org.uk/whats-on/ways-abstraction-printmaking-workshop

City Art Centre
2 Market Street
Edinburgh
Lothian
EH1 1DE
Scotland

Website

City Art Centre

http://www.edinburghmuseums.org.uk

E-mail

Administration

museumsandgalleries@edinburgh.gov.uk

Telephone

Reception

0131 529 3993

Fax

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.
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