Thomas Joshua Cooper | The World's Edge
Until Sun 23 Jan 2022
Open daily, 10am-5pm
Those visiting the Scottish National Portrait Gallery will have their very own special experiences with the much-loved artworks of the nation’s exceptional art collection, as we are limiting the number of visitors in each gallery at any one time. To manage this we've instituted a free, timed ticketing system. Admission is free, and we recommend tickets are booked in advance to avoid disappointment. A ticket gains you admission into the whole gallery, including our exhibition Thomas Joshua Cooper | The World's Edge. Some spaces are still temporarily closed, so check here to find out what displays are included in your visit.
Although it is not an entry requirement, in line with Scottish Government advice, we would encourage taking a lateral flow test prior to visiting us. Please see below for more information on the Covid safety measures we have already implemented.
We have signed up to the Good to Go scheme to show we are committed to meeting current Scottish Government health and safety standards for our buildings and staff.
The Scottish National Portrait Gallery is one of Edinburgh’s most remarkable buildings – a great red sandstone neo-gothic palace which sits proudly on the city’s skyline. The Gallery was designed by Sir Robert Rowand Anderson as a shrine for Scotland’s heroes and heroines. It opened to the public in 1889 as the world’s first purpose-built portrait gallery.
An elaborate decorative scheme, both inside and out, with its glittering friezes, evocative murals and extensive sculptural embellishment, make it a very special experience.
Displays at the Gallery explore different aspects of the story of Scotland and her people, told through a wealth of imagery including portraits of famous historical figures such as Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott and Prince Charles Edward Stuart, through to more recent pioneers in science, sport and the arts including Emeli Sandé, Billy Connolly and Tilda Swinton.
Located in the city centre on Queen Street, the Scottish National Portrait Gallery is easy to access.
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.
Gallery Open daily, 10am-5pm.
Café Portrait Open daily, 10am-5pm (last orders 4.30pm). No advance booking required.
Gallery shop Closed. Our online shop is open and ships worldwide.
Ground floor including the Great Hall.
First floor the Ambulatory, The Modern Portrait and Thomas Joshua Cooper | The World's Edge in the The Photography Gallery are open. The Library and Research Consultation Area is by appointment only.
Second floor including Scots in ltaly, The King’s Last Day, Imagining Power, Art and Analysis, Heroes and Heroines and The Remaking of Scotland, Reformation to Revolution.
For general enquiries regarding your visit or gallery services:
+44 (0)131 624 6200
Enhance your visit with wee ones with our Art Spot guide. You can pick up copies in the gallery or use our online resource. Who will you meet - and what will you spot?
We are now welcoming schools and community groups of 10 or more to book free self-led visits to all our galleries.
Although it is not an entry requirement, in line with Scottish Government advice, we would encourage taking a lateral flow test prior to visiting us.
We have signed up to Check In Scotland, a voluntary service which enables visitors to quickly and securely provide their contact details to asssist with COVID-19 contact tracing.
We have signed up to the Good to Go scheme to show we are committed to meeting current Scottish Government health and safety standards for our buildings, staff and visitors.
Admission is via a ticketed entry system. Booking is required at the National and Modern Two and recommended at our other galleries. If you have not pre-booked, entry may be available on the day. Ask a member of staff onsite for details.
We have instituted a programme of deep cleaning of the Galleries and will have staff onsite cleaning all touch points throughout the day.
We ask that you maintain physical distancing from others during your visit.
We ask all visitors over the age of 12 to bring and wear a face covering. Our staff will be wearing face coverings.
Hand sanitiser is available in key areas, along with increased cleaning regimes in toilets and other high use areas.
We are admitting visitors coming into our galleries via hourly visitor slots at Portrait and Modern One and 15 minute slots at the National and Modern Two.
If you or anyone you live with displays symptoms associated with COVID-19, please delay your visit until it is safe to do so.
Download Smartify to access our highlights tour, large print labels and get more information about the artworks during your visit.
When visiting us, please limit your group to three households or less.
Liz Louis, Curator of Portraiture introduces the Great Hall of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. Liz gives us a tour of the elaborate decorative interior and examines the glittering frieze and mural decorations by William Brassey Hole. The Great Hall is a work of art in itself, and Liz explains how the decorative scheme relates to both the outside of the building, and the contents that it was purpose built to house.
Lucinda Lax, Curator of Portraiture (1700-1800) gives us a tour of the Jacobite display at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, home to the most extensive and significant collection of Jacobite visual material in the world. Lucinda gives us in insight into this fascinating display, focussing on the way Jacobites presented themselves in portraiture.
Until Sun 23 Jan 2022
Open daily, 10am-5pm
Open daily, 10am-5pm
After visiting the galleries head to Café Portrait, where you can relax and enjoy a delicious lunch or coffee and cake in impressive surroundings.
All our food is prepared from scratch in our kitchen, which is why it tastes so good. You can choose from a wide variety of gluten and dairy free dishes.Book a table
Our shop at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery is currenlty closed. We look forward to welcoming you back soon. In the meantime, you can visit our shops located at the garden's entrance of the Scottish National Gallery and at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. Our online shop is open. We also offer click and collect and ship worldwide.Shop online
This beautiful neo-gothic gallery is one of Edinburgh’s most striking city centre event venues.
The National Galleries of Scotland cares for, develops, researches and displays the national collection of Scottish and international art and, with a lively and innovative programme of activities, exhibitions, education and publications, aims to engage, inform and inspire the broadest possible public.