Exhibition Coming Soon

Scotland’s Photograph Album | The MacKinnon Collection

Sat 16 Nov 2019 - Sun 16 Feb 2020

Open daily, 10am-5pm

Admission free


“One of the most significant photography collections in decades”
BBC News

This exhibition celebrates an unparalleled collection of Scottish photography recently acquired and shared by the National Galleries of Scotland and the National Library of Scotland. The photographs were amassed by collector Murray MacKinnon and represent Scottish life and identity from the 1840s through the 1940s – a century of dramatic transformation and innovation.

The chronicle of Scotland’s culture during the mid-19th to early 20th centuries is inseparable from its leading role in the early history of photography itself. Many of the first practitioners and visionaries who impelled the medium forward were based in Scotland or were inspired by Scottish subjects. The exhibition includes photographs by William Henry Fox Talbot, David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson, Julia Margaret Cameron, Thomas Annan, Roger Fenton, George Washington Wilson, and others who created stunning images of Scotland’s people and places during the 19th century and established precedents for photographers worldwide.

In the early 20th century, Alexander Wilson Hill, Mary E. Watts and John Simpson sustained the medium’s alignment with fine art whilst recalling the expressive images of predecessors such as Hill and Adamson.

The MacKinnon Collection is distinguished by the work of photographers who captured unprecedented images that brilliantly transport us back to a century of changing rural communities, growing cities and enduring historic sites, but also illuminate the faces and places that continue to affect our lives today.

The National Galleries of Scotland and the National Library of Scotland. Acquired jointly with assistance from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Scottish Government and the Art Fund.


Event accessibility

Exhibition accessibility

  • Large print labels
  • Wheelchair access


Gallery facilities

A full accessibility guide is available at www.accessibilityguides.org.

We provide a sensory map of the building to help visitors identify areas with changes in light, smells and noise. It locates seating areas and less crowded, quieter spaces. Printed copies are available from the front desk at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.

  • Information desk
  • Wifi
  • Wheelchair access
  • Hearing loop
  • Accessible toilets
  • Wheelchairs available
  • Public toilets
  • Lockers (£1/£2)
  • Baby changing facilities
  • Buggy park
  • Seating throughout
  • Bike rack

Getting here

Located in the city centre on Queen Street, the Scottish National Portrait Gallery is easy to access.

In addition to the transport options below there are bike racks at each site and Just Eat Cycle Hire stations nearby.

  • Open daily, 10am-5pm
1 Queen Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1JD

Related events

Related events

Lecture or talk

Opening Talk: Scotland's Photograph Album


Tue 19 Nov 2019

6 - 7pm



British Sign Language (BSL) Tour: Scotland’s Photograph Album | The Mackinnon Collection


Sat 23 Nov 2019

11am - 12:30pm


Lecture or talk

Curator’s Tour: Scotland’s Photograph Album


Tue 7 Jan 2020

12:45 - 1:30pm



Amplified Tour: Scotland’s Photograph Album | The Mackinnon Collection


Sun 19 Jan 2020

11am - 12 noon



Visually Impaired Tour and Workshop: Scotland’s Photograph Album | The Mackinnon Collection


Wed 22 Jan 2020

10:15am - 3:30pm



Gallery Social: Scotland’s Photograph Album | The Mackinnon Collection


Fri 31 Jan 2020

10:30am - 12 noon


Drop-in event

BYOB (Bring Your Own Baby/Bump) (Ages 0-1)


Mon 3 Feb 2020
10:15, 10:45 & 11:15


+2 other sessions

Music concert

Dementia-friendly Concert - Live Music Now: Hannah Rarity and Luc McNally


Mon 3 Feb 2020

11 - 11:30am


Special event

Picture This!


Mon 10 - Fri 14 Feb 2020
2 - 4pm


+4 other sessions

Related Products
Our Friends

Our Friends

Friends of the Galleries get free unlimited entry to all exhibitions, and enjoy a wide range of exclusive benefits including early exhibition access, special events and 10% discount in our cafes.

What's on

Browse what's on at the galleries below, or filter results to narrow your search.

or those for:
Custom date
Access options