Scottish National Portrait Gallery Print Room and Photography Collection
Prints and Drawings
The Gallery’s prints and drawings collection consists of 20,000 prints and around 1,500 drawings and watercolours. The drawings, dating from the sixteenth century to the present day, are almost exclusively of Scots, whilst the print collection comprises Scottish, English and foreign sitters. The collection also includes important caricatures and satires relating to aspects of Scottish history.
Miniatures and Medallions
The Portrait Gallery cares for the national collection of portrait miniatures. The collection spans the flourishing of this intimate form of portraiture – from the sixteenth to the mid-nineteenth century – and also includes miniatures made in the twentieth century and beyond.
Also available for consultation are portrait medallions by James Tassie, the leading portrait modeller of the late eighteenth century, and a collection of commemorative medals.
The photography collection at the National Galleries of Scotland was established in 1984 and based at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. Its formation reflected the increased significance accorded to early photography, in particular the Gallery’s archive of calotype portraits by Robert Adamson and David Octavius Hill. Today the Adamson and Hill collection amounts to over 6,000 photographs and is one of the largest and most important holdings of early photography in the world.
An active acquisitions programme means that the National Galleries of Scotland continues to acquire photography from the 1840s to the present day.