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About the Collection

The National Galleries of Scotland's permanent collection is among the best in the world. Dating from the early Renaissance to the present day, it boasts works by some of the most important artists in history, as well as portraits of great Scots and the world’s most comprehensive collection of Scottish art. The collection is free to the public and open daily.

Although the collection as a whole is owned by the nation, for administrative purposes, the objects are allocated to one of three major groupings:

  • Scottish National Gallery: Artworks from the early Renaissance to 1900 and the national collection of Scottish art c.1600-c.1900.
  • Scottish National Portrait Gallery: Scotland's history from the sixteenth century to the present day as seen through the portraits of those who shaped it. Also includes the national collection of photography.
  • Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art: Modern and contemporary art, plus renowned Dada and Surrealist collections.

In addition, the following sites are used for display and storage of works from across the collection:

  • Royal Scottish Academy Building: Connected to the Scottish National Gallery by the Gardens Entrance, providing additional facilities for displaying the nation’s collection and temporary exhibitions.
  • Paxton House: About seventy paintings from the National Galleries of Scotland’s collections on long-term loan, displayed in a dedicated picture gallery.
  • Duff House: Rich collection of paintings on display, selected from the National Galleries of Scotland’s holdings.
  • Granton Centre for Art: Purpose-built storage facility located at Granton foreshore in Edinburgh.