Work to transform Scottish National Gallery set to begin - Museums Association

Work to transform Scottish National Gallery set to begin

£22m scheme will create new suite of galleries
Jasper Hart
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The National Galleries of Scotland (NGS) will start construction work next month on its £22m scheme to redevelop Edinburgh’s Scottish National Gallery.

The plans include building a new suite of galleries to hold NGS’s collection of Scottish art, in a space that is more accessible to the public.

The new galleries, which will open in early 2021, will be directly accessible from Princes St Gardens in the centre of Edinburgh. They are being designed with access to natural light in mind, with large windows that offer views of the Edinburgh cityscape.

Tricia Allerston, the co-director of the Scottish National Gallery Project, said: “Visitor numbers to the Scottish National Gallery have almost doubled in the past ten years but fewer than one in six of them made their way to the cramped, dark spaces which used to house the national collection of Scottish art. 
"Soon, visitors will be able easily to discover, appreciate and enjoy our highly significant collections of Scottish art through a series of innovative displays designed expressly to engage them.”

The project will include extensive landscaping in the gardens, a larger shop, a new cafe and a more accessible restaurant. There will be a dedicated family day one day every week, and more volunteers in the galleries to provide information about the art.

The galleries will provide increased exposure to artists such as Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Allan Ramsay, Gavin Hamilton and Sir David Wilkie.

The project is sponsored by the National Lottery and Scottish Government. The redevelopment is being overseen by Scottish architectural practice Hoskins Architects, which has worked on a number of other cultural projects, including at the National Museum of Scotland and Aberdeen Art Gallery.

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