Feb 2010

National museums and galleries

The National Museums and Galleries are the jewels in Scotland's cultural crown. There are opportunities to view art valued at millions of pounds, and priceless treasures from around the world. No trip to Scotland would be complete without a visit to one of these inspiring and thought-provoking spaces and they're the perfect place to gain an understanding of Scotland through art, science, history, engineering and culture. Best of all, aside from some of the large major exhibitions, admission to these wonderful places is generally free.

A whistle stop tour of Scotland's top museums

Edinburgh's National Gallery Complex covers five major galleries across the city, including the National Gallery of Scotland and the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and houses everything from Damien Hirst to Botticelli. Museums of interest include the National Museum of Scotland, Museum on the Mound and The Royal Yacht Britannia.

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, generally believed to house one of the most impressive collections in Europe, is a much loved cultural landmark by locals and visitors alike. Scotland's oldest public museum, The Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery is here too. The Glasgow School of Art is Charles Rennie Mackintosh's living legacy and visitors can take tours around the artists former school. The story of Glasgow and her people is examined in the fascinating Peoples Palace and Winter Gardens. And no visit to Glasgow would be complete without a trip to the Burrell Collection in Pollok Park.

Perth Museum and Art Gallery is home to over a million exhibits of national interest and houses work ranging from Warhol to Beatrix Potter.

Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museums is home to an important collection of fine art from the 19th century to the present day. New acquisitions include a piece by contemporary artist, Tracey Emin. Aberdeen Maritime Museum charts the citys connection with the sea from shipbuilding to extracting oil.

Show Scotland

For a different perspective on whats happening in the nations galleries and museums Show Scotland run by Museums Galleries Scotland invites the public to a weekend of free innovative and fun events. From 30th April - 3rd May 2010, museums and galleries across Scotland will host events such as live music and dancing, late night openings and workshops. The event is now in its sixth year and has been successful in showing museum and gallery spaces in a new light. Many events will also complement some of the large exhibitions on show around the country.

A pick of the best major exhibitions in 2010

Pioneering Painters: The Glasgow Boys 1880-1900 at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow (9th April - 27th September 2010) is the first dedicated exhibition of the Glasgow Boys in the city in over 40 years. The exhibition draws on over 150 major pieces from both the citys galleries and private collections.

Another World - Dal, Magritte, Mir and the Surrealists at The Dean Gallery in Edinburgh (10th July 2010 - 9th January 2011) is an in-depth study of the Surrealist movement, also featuring works by Picasso and Giacometti. Presented as part of the Gallery of Modern Arts 50th anniversary, the exhibition will showcase the gallerys entire collection of Surrealist work together for the first time.

Impressionist Gardens at The National Gallery Complex in Edinburgh (31st July - 17th October 2010) is the first exhibition of its kind to explore this aspect of Impressionism. The exhibition of around 90 major works of art will include pieces by Monet, Pissarro and Manet and will also examine the influence of the Impressionists on the art movement that followed. Work from this era will include Toulouse-Lautrec and Czanne. Exhibits will be shown for the first time together from collections around the world. This exhibition will be the only one to be held in the UK.

Titians masterpiece Diana and Actaeon was acquired last year by the National Galleries of Scotland and The National Gallery, London. Each institute will in turn display the painting for five years. Visitors can see it for free this summer at the Aberdeen Art Gallery (28th May - 27th June), Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum (1st July - 1st August) and at McManus Galleries, Dundee (6th August - 5th September).

Artist Rooms

In 2008, National Galleries of Scotland and the Tate acquired a body of 725 pieces of acclaimed contemporary and post-war art valued at a staggering 125 million from English art dealer Anthony D'Offay. The work was secured at a fraction of the market value - the original price of the collection. Deducting this cost, the donation was a gift worth over £100 million. The collection includes work by Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons, Diane Arbus and Ron Mueck. D'Offays love affair with Scotland began when he studied art in Edinburgh in the 1960s, and at his request the collection will tour Scotland and the rest of the UK, with the intention of inspiring new artists and engaging young people. The collection has been divided into Artist Rooms, 50 rooms featuring 25 artists. The Artist Rooms Tour 2010 will take in 21 British museums and galleries from tiny seaside towns to major cities. Diane Arbus, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Joseph Beuys, Andy Warhol, Gilbert & George, Robert Therrien and Ed Ruscha can all be seen in Artist Rooms across Scotland as part of the tour.

Find out more about Scotland's museums and galleries

Museums and Galleries Scotland

National Galleries of Scotland: Artist Rooms

Show Scotland 2010

Glasgow Museums

National Galleries

Perth Museum and Art Gallery

Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museum