Our ambitious plans to create an internationally significant new setting for the world’s greatest collection of Scottish art have been revealed, and construction work on our exciting transformation of the Scottish National Gallery is already underway.
This major project will completely transform the way Scottish art is shown at the Gallery. The scheme will create a new suite of exhibition spaces that will be directly accessible from the adjoining Princes Street Gardens, and provide a light-filled, new home for the our unrivalled collection of Scottish art, raising its profile for visitors from all over the world.
The vision for the project has been driven by the National Galleries’ ambition to ensure that the widest number of people can enjoy our art and activities. The displays in the new galleries will be directly informed by extensive research into the needs of existing and potential audiences, driven by what people want to see and how they want to discover it.
For the first time in thirty years, there will be new displays drawn from the Scottish and international collection on show throughout the entire Gallery. This fresh approach will allow us to tell much richer stories about Scotland’s art, reflecting the international significance of pioneering figures such as Allan Ramsay, Gavin Hamilton and Sir David Wilkie.
The Scottish National Gallery will be open as usual throughout construction. Admission is free, but tickets must be booked in advance.
The first phase of the Scottish National Gallery Project was completed successfully in 2019. This included a new entrance area in East Princes Street Gardens, a new café, refurbished restaurant and shop, an extensive sandstone terrace, and new landscaping and paths to improve access to the gardens and the Galleries.
Our Princes St Gardens entrance will become the main point of entry to the Gallery, giving instant access to the Scottish collection and much easier routes to the rest of the building as a whole. The project will create a beautiful new space in the heart of Edinburgh, which will be free for everyone to use and enjoy. A series of large windows, running the length of the gardens-level façade, will fill the galleries with light and colour, and offer spectacular views over one of the most celebrated cityscapes in the world. Extensive new landscaping in the gardens will radically improve access to this much-loved part of the city, and our new buggy park will also make it easier for families to enjoy everything the Gallery has to offer.
News and updates
We will post regular updates about the project milestones below.