National Gallery Of Scotland Complex
Home to Edinburgh’s grandest collections of both classical and contemporary art. The annual summer show is one of the highlights of the city’s cultural calendar
The Scottish National Gallery and the adjoining Royal Scottish Academy form a complex in the heart of Edinburgh, just off Princes Street and in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle. It consists of two distinct buildings, opened in 1828 and 1859 respectively, both from the designs of the renowned architect William Playfair, and has recently been modernised by the inclusion of an extensive underground link between the two. This includes the Scottish Café and Restaurant, which boasts bright views of Princes Street Gardens towards Waverley station, a lecture theatre, a cinema and an education centre.
The RSA building itself is a major landmark, with its bold, imposing columns facing onto Princes Street at the foot of the Mound, and is co-run by the National Galleries of Scotland and the Royal Scottish Academy, a separate organisation. While the more (relatively) modest Scottish National Gallery at the rear of this building hosts a permanent collection of classical art and occasional small-scale temporary exhibitions, the RSA is used for large-scale temporary shows of contemporary work. These frequently record the highest visitor numbers of any gallery in Scotland, particularly for the Edinburgh Festival-timed summer show.