The modern & contemporary collection comprises around 4,000 works on paper including masterpieces by artists such as Beckmann, Freud, Kandinsky, Klimt, Matisse, Picasso and Pollock.
The collection is international in scope with a strong holding of British and Scottish graphic art. It also contains watercolours, pastels, collages, photographs and a wide range of prints and drawings from the 1880s to the present day, with special reference to artists working in Scotland. Contemporary holdings include works by Richard Wright, Martin Boyce, and Julie Roberts.
Matisse began taking drawing classes as a way of relieving the boredom of his job as a solicitor's clerk. However, in 1891 he abandoned his legal career in favour of painting, studying at various schools in Paris. In 1905 he exhibited with a number of artists who were dubbed by a critic, 'Les fauves' (wild beasts). Matisse began painting in rich bright colours after spending time in the south of France. He settled there permanently in 1940. After undergoing two major operations in 1941 he was left bed-ridden but continued to make paper cut-outs. These allowed him to 'draw' into the colour.
Book a visit
First-time visitors will be asked to show some form of ID such as a passport or driver's licence. There is wheelchair access via the rear entrance to Modern Two.
Groups of up to 10 are welcome to visit the library. Group visits should be pre-booked at least four weeks in advance.
+44 (0)131624 6253