So expansive are the collections of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art that they need not one but two enormous buildings to house them: Modern One and Modern Two. Modern One, occupying a 19th-century building, features a collection of 20th-century works, including pieces from Tracey Emin, Matisse, Picasso, and Lichtenstein.
One of Edinburgh’s leading modern art venues, the Scottish Gallery of Modern Art One is a common stop on hop-on hop-off bus tours of the city. The venue, which is situated in a neoclassical building opposite Modern Two, features exhibits from the permanent collection, including displays devoted to figurative art in Scotland from 1918–1945, abstract art, Cubism and more.
Free tours, including family-focused options and an introduction to contemporary art for adults, are held on select dates. Talks and workshops are also held here, as are performances. An audio tour, covering the grounds of Modern One and Two—dotted with sculptures and works by the likes of Charles Jencks and Barbara Hepworth—is available to visitors. Special exhibitions, occasionally held here, sometimes require a separate entrance ticket.
Things to Know Before You Go
The Scottish Gallery of Modern Art One is a must for art lovers.
Free Wi-Fi is available at the museum.
A café is situated on-site.
The gallery is wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art One is located on Belford Road, amid a landscaped sculpture park, about a 15-minute walk west of Princes Street. To get there, take the Edinburgh Coach Lines Service 13 bus or ride the Gallery bus from the Scottish National Gallery on the Mound. Hop-on hop-off tour buses also stop at the museum.
When to Get There
The museum’s galleries are busiest on weekend afternoons, especially in the peak summer tourist season. Try visiting at opening (10am) or an hour or two before closing (5pm) to avoid the crowds.
Highlights of the Collection
A host of household name artists are on show here, including British artist Bridget Riley who is synonymous with op art (short for optical art), a movement that focuses on using geometric forms to create sensations of movement, vibrating, or warping in paintings. Scottish artists are also given lots of space, with works from the likes of James McIntosh Patrick, Edward McEwan Baird, and Peter Howson hanging here.