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.

National Museum of Scotland

Edinburgh / United Kingdom

The National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh, Scotland, was formed in 2006 with the merger of the new Museum of Scotland, with collections relating to Scottish antiquities, culture and history, and the adjacent Royal Scottish Museum , with collections covering science and technology, natural history, and world cultures. The two connected buildings stand beside each other on Chambers Street, by the intersection with the George IV Bridge, in central Edinburgh. The museum is part of National Museums Scotland. Admission is free. The two buildings retain distinctive characters: the Museum of Scotland is housed in a modern building opened in 1998, while the former Royal Museum building was begun in 1861 and partially opened in 1866, with a Victorian Venetian Renaissance facade and a grand central hall of cast iron construction that rises the full height of the building. This building underwent a major refurbishment and reopened on 29 July 2011 after a three-year, £47 million project to restore and extend the building led by Gareth Hoskins Architects along with the concurrent redesign of the exhibitions by Ralph Appelbaum Associates.The National Museum incorporates the collections of the former National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland. As well as the national collections of Scottish archaeological finds and medieval objects, the museum contains artefacts from around the world, encompassing geology, archaeology, natural history, science, technology, art, and world cultures. The 16 new galleries reopened in 2011 include 8,000 objects, 80 per cent of which were not formerly on display. One of the more notable exhibits is the stuffed body of Dolly the sheep, the first successful cloning of a mammal from an adult cell. Other highlights include Ancient Egyptian exhibitions, one of Elton John's extravagant suits, the Jean Muir Collection of costume and a large kinetic sculpture named the Millennium Clock. A Scottish invention that is a perennial favourite with school parties is the Scottish Maiden, an early form of guillotine. In 2018, the museum received 2,227,773 visitors, making it Scotland's most popular visitor attraction that year.

Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art

Edinburgh / United Kingdom

The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art is part of the National Galleries of Scotland, which are based in Edinburgh, Scotland. The National Gallery of Modern Art houses the collection of modern and contemporary art dating from about 1900 to the present in two buildings, Modern One and Modern Two, that face each other on Belford Road to the west of the city centre. The National Gallery has a collection of more than 6000 paintings, sculptures, installations, video work, prints and drawings and also stages major exhibitions.

Merchant Company of Edinburgh

Edinburgh / United Kingdom

The Royal Company of Merchants of the City of Edinburgh, also known as the Merchant Company of Edinburgh or just the Merchant Company, is a company or society with a Royal Charter from 1681, but dating back to at least 1260. The Company or Confraternity was created to protect trading rights of the merchants of the royal burgh of Edinburgh. It also carries out a significant amount of charitable and educational work. Along with the Incorporated Trades it is one of the Guilds of the City of Edinburgh. The company historically formed part of the now defunct Corporation of the City of Edinburgh.

Signet Library

Edinburgh / United Kingdom

The Society of Writers to Her Majesty’s Signet is a private society of Scottish solicitors, dating back to 1594 and part of the College of Justice. Writers to the Signet originally had special privileges in relation to the drawing up of documents which required to be signeted, but these have since disappeared and the Society is now an independent, non-regulatory association of solicitors. The Society maintains the Category A listed Signet Library, part of the Parliament House complex in Edinburgh, and members of the Society are entitled to the postnominal letters WS.

Royal Society of Edinburgh

Edinburgh / United Kingdom

The Royal Society of Edinburgh is Scotland's national academy of science and letters. It is a registered charity, operating on a wholly independent and non-party-political basis and providing public benefit throughout Scotland. It was established in 1783. As of 2017, it has more than 1,660 Fellows.The Society covers a broader selection of fields than the Royal Society of London including literature and history. Fellowship includes people from a wide range of disciplines – science & technology, arts, humanities, medicine, social science, business, and public service.

City Art Centre

Edinburgh / United Kingdom

The City Art Centre is part of the Museums & Galleries Edinburgh, which sits under the Culture directorate of the City of Edinburgh Council. The City Art Centre has a collection which include historic and modern Scottish painting and photography, as well as contemporary art and craft. It is an exhibition based venue with no permanent displays. The City Art Centre is home to the City of Edinburgh's Recognised collection of Scottish Art. Edinburgh's fine art collection is approximately 4,800 pieces of Scottish work in a variety of mediums. Artists such Fergusson, Eardley, Paolozzi are represented in the collection as well as many other Edinburgh based and Scottish artists. Artists are represented dating from the 17th century to the present day.

Maggie's Centres

Edinburgh / United Kingdom

Maggie's centres are a network of drop-in centres across the United Kingdom and Hong Kong, which aim to help anyone who has been affected by cancer. They are not intended as a replacement for conventional cancer therapy, but as a caring environment that can provide support, information and practical advice. They are located near, but are detached from, existing NHS hospitals. The Scottish registered charity which promotes, builds and runs the centres is formally named the Maggie Keswick Jencks Cancer Caring Trust, but refers to itself simply as Maggie's. It was founded by and named after the late Maggie Keswick Jencks, who died of cancer in 1995. Like her husband, architectural writer and critic Charles Jencks, she believed in the ability of buildings to uplift people. The buildings that house the centres have been designed by leading architects, including Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid and Richard Rogers.Patrons of the charity include Frank Gehry, Jon Snow, Kirsty Wark, and Sarah Brown, wife of former British prime minister Gordon Brown. The charity's chief executive officer is Laura Lee, who was Maggie's cancer nurse. The President of the charity is Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.

Edinburgh City Chambers

Edinburgh / United Kingdom

Edinburgh City Chambers in Edinburgh, Scotland, is the meeting place of the City of Edinburgh Council and its predecessors, Edinburgh Corporation and Edinburgh District Council. It is a Category A listed building.

National Records of Scotland

Edinburgh / United Kingdom

National Records of Scotland is a non-ministerial department of the Scottish Government. It is responsible for civil registration, the census in Scotland, demography and statistics, family history and the national archives and historical records.National Records of Scotland was formed from the merger of the General Register Office for Scotland and the National Archives of Scotland in 2011, and combines all the functions of the two former organisations. The offices of Registrar General for Scotland and Keeper of the Records of Scotland remain separate, but since 2011 both have been vested ex officio in the Chief Executive of National Records of Scotland, currently Paul Lowe.