Draw breath and escape with art

Explore artists and artworks, films, stories and art activities


Browse over a thousand highlighted artists from the collection.

Artist A-Z
Not Seeing Straight: Celebrating Queer Art & Lives

Queer Art: Where is the Queer Joy?

Too often we dwell on the negatives of history's LGBTQ+ artists, dark stories, pain, and repression. But look closer and queer joy can be found, sometimes explicit, but sometimes in the abstract. Flowers, landscapes, colours and domestic scenes. So how do we find and illuminate this work? And why is it so important that we do?

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Who was..

Who was Ann Forbes?

Ann Forbes (1745–1834) was a Scottish artist who was educated in Rome. In the eighteenth century, it was relatively unusual for a woman to be a professional artist. There were a few other women whose example Forbes looked to, such fellow Scot Katharine Read (1723-1778), and the Swiss painter Angelica Kauffman (1741-1807), but professional female artists were rare.

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Take part

Take part

Free your mind and make your own art with us.

GIF it a go!

Free GIF making guides to download. Learn a new skill. Have a go at mixing up artworks and bringing them to life.

Art Around You

Art activities to try, wherever you are and with whatever you have around you. Free art learning resources for all.

Art in the Open

Spending time outside in nature is great for our wellbeing. Making art and being creative is fun and relaxing – so why not combine both?

Inspiring collections

Inspiring collections

New acquistions

This collection presents some of the works acquired in recent years, including painting, works on paper and photography.

Scottish art

In this collection, you can explore a selection of highlights from our collection of Scottish art.


The National Galleries of Scotland has over 96,000 objects in its collection. We have selected just a few of these for you to enjoy.

MacKinnon Collection

This unique collection of Scottish photography represents Scottish life and identity from the 1840s through the 1940s – a century of dramatic transformation and innovation. 


Browse the collection by subject

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Reviewing our collection content

As part of our commitment to equality, we are undertaking a review of the national art collection in relation to colonialism, slavery and their legacies. New content, in gallery and online, is being developed over the coming months in light of this research and will remain an ongoing project. If you see content that you think should be reviewed as part of this work, please email us. All suggestions will be considered. We are currently unable to give a timescale for when any agreed changes will be made but we will do it as soon as we can.

Past exhibitions

Past exhibitions

Browse our archive of past exhibitions