The Best Museums & Art Galleries in Edinburgh – Mus3ums

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Edinburgh / United Kingdom

Edinburgh ; Scots: Edinburgh; Scottish Gaelic: Dùn Èideann [ˈt̪uːn ˈeːtʲən̪ˠ]) is the capital of Scotland and one of its 32 council areas. Historically part of the county of Midlothian , it is located in Lothian on the Firth of Forth's southern shore. Recognised as the capital of Scotland since at least the 15th century, Edinburgh is the seat of the Scottish Government, the Scottish Parliament and the supreme courts of Scotland. The city's Palace of Holyroodhouse is the official residence of the monarch in Scotland. The city has long been a centre of education, particularly in the fields of medicine, Scots law, literature, philosophy, the sciences and engineering. It is the second largest financial centre in the United Kingdom and the city's historical and cultural attractions have made it the United Kingdom's second most visited tourist destination attracting 4.9 million visits including 2.4 million from overseas in 2018.Edinburgh is Scotland's second most populous city and the seventh most populous in the United Kingdom. The official population estimates are 488,050 for the Locality of Edinburgh , 524,930 for the City of Edinburgh, and 1,339,380 for the city region. Edinburgh lies at the heart of the Edinburgh and South East Scotland city region comprising East Lothian, Edinburgh, Fife, Midlothian, Scottish Borders and West Lothian.The city is the annual venue of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. It is home to national institutions such as the National Museum of Scotland, the National Library of Scotland and the Scottish National Gallery. The University of Edinburgh, founded in 1582 and now one of three in the city, is placed 20th in the QS World University Rankings for 2020. The city is also known for the Edinburgh International Festival and the Fringe, the latter being the world's largest annual international arts festival. Historic sites in Edinburgh include Edinburgh Castle, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the churches of St. Giles, Greyfriars and the Canongate, and the extensive Georgian New Town built in the 18th/19th centuries. Edinburgh's Old Town and New Town together are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, which has been managed by Edinburgh World Heritage since 1999.

Scottish National Gallery

Edinburgh / United Kingdom

The Scottish National Gallery is the national art gallery of Scotland. It is located on The Mound in central Edinburgh, close to Princes Street. The building was designed in a neoclassical style by William Henry Playfair, and first opened to the public in 1859.The gallery houses Scotland's national collection of fine art, spanning Scottish and international art from the beginning of the Renaissance up to the start of the 20th century. The Scottish National Gallery is run by National Galleries of Scotland, a public body that also owns the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. Because of its architectural similarity, the Scottish National Gallery is frequently confused by visitors with the neighbouring Royal Scottish Academy Building , a separate institution which works closely with the Scottish National Gallery.

Royal Scottish Academy

Edinburgh / United Kingdom

For Scotland's national academy, see Royal Society of Edinburgh. The Royal Scottish Academy is the country’s national academy of art. It promotes contemporary Scottish art. The Academy was founded in 1826 by eleven artists meeting in Edinburgh. Originally named the Scottish Academy, it became the Royal Scottish Academy on being granted a royal charter in 1838. The RSA maintains a unique position in the country as an independently funded institution led by eminent artists and architects to promote and support the creation, understanding, and enjoyment of visual arts through exhibitions and related educational events.

National Trust for Scotland

Edinburgh / United Kingdom

The National Trust for Scotland for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty, commonly known as the National Trust for Scotland is a Scottish conservation organisation. It is the largest membership organisation in Scotland and describes itself as "the conservation charity that protects and promotes Scotland's natural and cultural heritage for present and future generations to enjoy".The Trust owns and manages around 130 properties and 180,000 acres of land, including castles, ancient small dwellings, historic sites, gardens, and remote rural areas. It is similar in function to the National Trust, which covers England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, and to other national trusts worldwide.

Royal Collection

Edinburgh / United Kingdom

The Royal Collection of the British Royal family is the largest private art collection in the world.Spread among 13 occupied and historic royal residences in the United Kingdom, the collection is owned by Elizabeth II and overseen by the Royal Collection Trust. The Queen owns some of the collection in right of the Crown and some as a private individual. It is made up of over one million objects, including 7,000 paintings, over 150,000 works on paper, this including 30,000 watercolours and drawings, and about 450,000 photographs, as well as tapestries, furniture, ceramics, textiles, carriages, weapons, armour, jewellery, clocks, musical instruments, tableware, plants, manuscripts, books, and sculptures. Some of the buildings which house the collection, like Hampton Court Palace, are open to the public and not lived in by the Royal Family, whilst others, like Windsor Castle and Kensington Palace, are both residences and open to the public. The Queen's Gallery at Buckingham Palace in London was built specially to exhibit pieces from the collection on a rotating basis. There is a similar art gallery next to the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, and a Drawings Gallery at Windsor Castle. The Crown Jewels are on public display in the Jewel House at the Tower of London. About 3,000 objects are on loan to museums throughout the world, and many others are lent on a temporary basis to exhibitions.

Edinburgh College of Art

Edinburgh / United Kingdom

Edinburgh College of Art is one of eleven Schools in the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Edinburgh. Tracing its history back to 1760, it provides higher education in art and design, architecture, history of art, and music disciplines for over two thousand students, and is at the forefront of research and research-led teaching in the creative arts, humanities, and creative technologies. ECA comprises five subject areas: School of Art, Reid School of Music, School of Design, School of History of Art, and Edinburgh School of Architecture & Landscape Architecture . ECA is mainly located in the Old Town of Edinburgh, overlooking the Grassmarket; the Lauriston Place campus is located in the University of Edinburgh's Central Area Campus, not far from George Square. The college was founded in 1760, and gained its present name and site in 1907. Formerly associated with Heriot-Watt University, its degrees have been issued by the University of Edinburgh since 2004. The College formally merged with the University on 1 August 2011, combining with the School of Arts, Culture and Environment and continues to exist with the name Edinburgh College of Art as an enlarged school in the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.

NHS Lothian

Edinburgh / United Kingdom

NHS Lothian is one of the fourteen regions of NHS Scotland. It provides healthcare services in the City of Edinburgh, East Lothian, Mid Lothian and West Lothian areas. Its headquarters are at Waverley Gate, Edinburgh

Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh

Edinburgh / United Kingdom

The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh is a professional organisation of surgeons. The College has seven active faculties, covering a broad spectrum of surgical, dental and other medical practice. It has a main campus that is located on Nicolson Street, Edinburgh, within the Surgeons' Hall, designed by William Henry Playfair, and adjoining buildings. The main campus includes a skills laboratory, a Museums, a medical and surgical library, and a hotel. A second office was opened in Birmingham in 2014 and an international office opened in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 2018. It is one of the oldest surgical corporations in the world and traces its origins to 1505 when the Barber Surgeons of Edinburgh were formally incorporated as a craft guild of Edinburgh. The Barber-Surgeons of Dublin was the first medical corporation in Ireland or Britain, having been incorporated in 1446 . It represents members and fellows across the UK and the world. The majority of its UK members are based in England with others across Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Scottish National Portrait Gallery

Edinburgh / United Kingdom

The Scottish National Portrait Gallery is an art museum on Queen Street, Edinburgh. The gallery holds the national collections of portraits, all of which are of, but not necessarily by, Scots. It also holds the Scottish National Photography Collection. Since 1889 it has been housed in its red sandstone Gothic revival building, designed by Robert Rowand Anderson and built between 1885 and 1890 to accommodate the gallery and the museum collection of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. The building was donated by John Ritchie Findlay, owner of The Scotsman newspaper. In 1985 the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland was amalgamated with the Royal Scottish Museum, and later moved to Chambers Street as part of the National Museum of Scotland. The Portrait Gallery expanded to take over the whole building, and reopened on 1 December 2011 after being closed since April 2009 for the first comprehensive refurbishment in its history, carried out by Page\Park Architects.The Scottish National Portrait Gallery is part of National Galleries of Scotland, a public body that also owns the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and the Scottish National Gallery in Edinburgh.

Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh

Edinburgh / United Kingdom

The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh is a medical royal college in Scotland. It is one of three organisations that sets the specialty training standards for physicians in the United Kingdom. It was established by Royal charter in 1681. The college claims to have 12,000 fellows and members worldwide.