The National’s new Scottish galleries to open in September

Image: The garden level of the National (Cadpeople, Hoskins Architects and Metaphor 3)

An opening date for visitors to see the £38.62 million refurbishment, adding ten galleries dedicated to Scottish art, has been revealed

The National in Scotland – formerly the Scottish National Gallery – is to open its new gallery spaces in September 2023, it has announced.

The completion of the £38.62 million major project will give visitors access to a new suite of galleries focussed on Scottish art from the likes of Phoebe Anna Traquair, William McTaggart, Anne Redpath, Sir Henry Raeburn and Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

The project sees ten galleries at its Gardens level, featuring around 130 works of art. The new spaces will be home to key works from Scotland’s historic art collection, offering more than double the physical display space.

There are ten displays in the new galleries, and new trails and activities alongside five new international hangs at its Mound level opening in Summer, plus two additional Scottish displays with over 460 artworks. This includes three areas specifically designed to display drawings and other fragile artworks that will regularly change throughout the year.

New ways of looking at Scotland’s built and natural environments will be on offer, with early photographs of Scotland’s capital city shown in the same spaces as paintings of Highland landscapes.

The newly constructed galleries at the World Heritage site have been funded by the Scottish Government, The National Lottery Heritage Fund, and a £16m fundraising campaign.

Director-General of the National Galleries of Scotland, Sir John Leighton, said: “We believe that we have created a National Gallery that is more open, engaging and inviting than ever before. Whether immersing themselves in the highly Romantic paintings of the Scottish Highlands, taking part in a family day or just enjoying the views, all are welcome to come and discover.”

Earlier this year Leighton, who has been Director General since 2006, announced he will step down in February 2024.


Scotland’s Culture Minister Christina McKelvie said: “The National Galleries of Scotland has the world’s finest collection of Scottish Art and I’m delighted that the new galleries will now have space to show this off to a wide national and international public.”