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Best Contemporary Art in Edinburgh

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The Scottish National Gallery is home to an extensive collection of paintings, sculpture and artwork that chronicles the history of art, right from the Renaissance to the early years 20th Century. The gallery's collection of Scottish artwork is especially extensive and well-curated. Featured alongside are several notable pieces created by masters like Monet, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Edgar Degas and Rembrandt, as well as several other noteworthy international artists. The neoclassical museum building is a work of art in itself. Admission is usually free, however a fee may apply for access to special exhibitions. As the home of the Scottish national collection of fine art, the Scottish National Gallery grants access to one of the world's foremost fine art collections.

Previously known as the Dean Gallery, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art - Modern Two is an art gallery in Edinburgh that focuses mainly on modern and contemporary art. The building was originally an orphanage, designed in 1831 by Thomas Hamilton and was later converted into a gallery by Terry Farrell. The gallery hosts several world-class exhibitions along with permanent works and displays. The main highlight here is Eduard Paolozzi’s studio and giant sculpture of Vulcan. Also, at Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art - Modern Two you can see the large-scale project by Richard Wright which is an intricate and complex piece of art. Don't forget to check out Café Modern Two and the Gabrielle Keiller library.

This building was designed by William Burn in the 1820s in the neoclassical style for the John Watson School. Since 1984, the National Gallery of Modern Art has housed a magnificent art collection of which the city is justly proud. On the ground floor there are special exhibition rooms and displays from the permanent collection. Here you'll find American Pop Art, the Glasgow Boys, Rennie Mackintosh watercolors and one small room devoted to works by Ian Hamilton Finlay. The upper level features an impressive collection of early 20th-century international art, representing Bonnard, Vuillard, Matisse, Kirchner, Magritte, Picasso and Miro amongst others. The surrounding parkland contains sculpture by the likes of Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, William Turnbull and Anthony Caro. Calm down from the high-brow glory of it all in the cafe downstairs, or in the well-stocked museum shop.

Generally accepted as Scotland's 'Best Gallery' for contemporary art, the Fruitmarket should not be missed. It was converted into a museum by architect Richard Murphy in 1992. It is conveniently located in the center of town and adjacent to Waverley Station. Visiting exhibits come from far and wide, with a healthy presence of Scottish artists. The Fruitmarket regularly has showcases of new talent, including the prestigious Becks Futures which is a collaboration with the ICA in London. Talks and events are a must for enthusiasts. If you'd rather just absorb the ambiance, the glass fronted cafe and excellent bookshop are always buzzing.

The Royal Scottish Academy, an imposing neo-classical structure, was designed by William Playfair in the 1830s. Originally the home of the Society of Antiquaries and the Royal Society, the Royal Scottish Academy took over residence in 1911. Today, in early summer and midwinter, it holds exhibitions of contemporary Scottish work. The Royal Scottish Society of Watercolourists, the Society of Scottish artists and the Academy itself are frequent contributors. Student art is also often exhibited. RSA also presents exciting multi-media programs featuring the latest in film, video, digital and sound works.

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