Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art

The John Watson Institute or school, which was designed by William Burn and built in the 1820s, now currently houses the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. The neo-classic building was converted in the 1980's to the National Gallery of Modern Art. It can be found on Belford Road, west of Edinburgh's City Centre on a large piece of grassy land. Before this the Modern Art Gallery had been housed at the Inverleith House on the Royal Botanic Gardens where it was first opened in 1960.

As you walk up to the entrance of the Modern Art Gallery you will notice many uniquely different and interesting sculptures which decorate the beautiful grounds. The sculptures were created by artists such as Tony Cragg, Henry Moore, Rachel Whiteread and many others. They are just a taste of what you will see and experience inside the gallery. What is uniquely different about this modern art gallery, in comparison to many others, is its ability to display these distinctly individual collections in a way that is not clinical.

The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art houses an extensive collection of mainly graphic artwork, drawings, paintings, kinetic sculptures and prints from the 20th and 21st century, completed by many local Scottish artists as well as international artists. These wonderful collections are displayed in open, sunny rooms making it easy for visitors to view these pieces at an enjoyable distance. The artworks found here have been collected for over forty years. The gallery started off with a few pieces from the National Gallery of Scotland and now features over 5,000 items. With so many art pieces available it is impossible to display all of them at any one time so only a portion is displayed. The remainder is then displayed later in the year as part of a rotational schedule.

At the museum you will also find a bookshop with an array of literature pertaining to art and the many different forms it comes in. If you are spending the day at this fascinating gallery, stop off at the little café where you can get great food to eat in the landscaped gardens designed by Charles Jencks. Look out for the three crescent-shaped pools of water in the gardens that reflect a serpentine-shaped mould – a very interesting and dramatic concept. The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art provides a feast of beautiful art and should simply not be missed.

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