Get Smart About Scottish Art!
Date Published: 19 Oct 2020
Scotland is justly proud of her artistic and cultural heritage and the country houses many wonderful collections of art from a variety of epochs. If you’re planning a visit then it’s worth checking out what the gallery scene has to offer – there are a few quirky ones that might surprise and delight you! Scotland is also home to impressive architecture and thought provoking sculptures which shouldn’t be missed – art comes in all forms after all!
If you’re a bit of a culture vulture, or if you’re just looking to find some cracking cafes, we’ve compiled a list of our favourite art haunts to get you started:
The McManus is a beacon of culture in the centre of Dundee City. The museum offers a fascinating insight into Dundee and with 8 galleries to explore, there is a wealth of information to discover in their various exhibitions of art, history and the environment. They also run a bustling calendar of cultural activities designed for all the family, so it makes a great afternoon out with the kids.
Kelvin Grove Art Gallery & Museum
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museumhouses one of Europe’s greatest art collections. It is amongst the top three free-to-enter visitor attractions in Scotland and is well worth a visit if you’re spending a day out in Glasgow. The museum has 22 themed galleries displaying an astonishing 8000 objects, brought together from across Glasgow Museums’ rich and varied collection, which is a recognised collection of national significance. The diverse offering, from arms and armour, to impressionist paintings, to the Charles Rennie Macintosh collection, means there is literally something for everyone.
The Riverside Museum
Fancy something a bit different when it comes to art? Why not explore the history of transport? The multi-award winning Riverside Museum is home to over 3,000 objects that detail Glasgow’s rich past from its days as a maritime powerhouse to a glimpse into daily Glasgow life in the early to mid 20th Century. Amongst the objects on display are everything from skateboards to locomotives, paintings to prams, velocipedes to voiturettes, vintage cars to a stormtrooper. This is a great day out for adults and kids alike and we’d highly recommend heading there to soak up a unique kind of art if you’re in the area!
Perth Museum & Art Gallery
Fantastic art in Scotland isn’t limited to the bigger cities by any means, you can soak up the culture everywhere! With more than half a million local, national and international objects, Perth Museum and Art Gallery have a recognised collection of national Significance to Scotland, divided into themes of Social History, Natural History and Art.
Edinburgh National Galleries
This complex covers three major galleries across the city including The National Gallery for Scotland, The Scottish National Gallery for Modern Art and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. Here you can see works from artists such as Picasso, Van Gough, Monet and Henry Raeburn – all in the heart of Edinburgh. This is one to take your time with, wandering amongst the various galleries before stopping for coffee and cake in the cafe. Not only are the artefacts inside stirring, we’d recommend taking your camera to capture the beauty of the Modern Art Galleries! It’s well worth the drive out of town to visit them…
Museum on the Mound
Money – can’t live without it? If you fancy whiling away a couple of hours in the healthy pursuit of cash and knowledge, then definitely check out the Museum on the Mound in Edinburgh. Opened in 2006, this fascinating museum takes a fresh look at money – and much, much more. Art & design, technology, crime, trade and security – all feature in the story of money. Plus, it’s free!
From bridges to buildings, Scotland boasts awe-inspiring architecture both modern and historic. Just South of Ayr, the bridge of Alloway offers a leafy, quaint view of the 15th century cobbled bridge. Staying in Glasgow? Head to the River Clyde to catch a glimpse of the Clyde Arc – the squinty bridge – you’ll see where the name comes from when you get there! Now, we couldn’t talk about architecture without mentioning the award-winning V&A Dundee! The V&A encompasses all things art, not only is it a museum of design, like a lot of the museums and galleries we have mentioned, it’s a must-see building within itself.
Must-see Monuments and Spellbinding Statues
Towering 30 metres about the sea, The Kelpies are a must-see monument if you’re taking a day-trip to Falkirk. Created by leading Scottish sculptor, Andy Scott, the impressive gateway to the canal is a nod to the horse-powered history of central Scotland.
Glasgow is swarming with art, whether that’s the music scene, galleries, museums or theatre. However, it also is home to an array of interesting statues and monuments, check out Culture Trip’s top 10 statues in Glasgow and make it into a walking tour for yourself!
Want your art a little bit quirkier, there’s no shortage of unusual statues in Scotland either, head to Atlas Obscura to find one near you. From homage to video games and beloved stray cats, each one has its own special tale.
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