New Town, NPGofS & SNG

Now does this title make sense? I will fill you in after I illuminate all y’all with my brilliance:

On day 1 I stayed in the area of Edinburgh called New Town.  It’s where all the rich people moved due to overcrowding in the Old Town.  It is a Georgian Era construction and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site (so is Old Town).



The National Portrait Gallery of Scotland (NPG) and the Scottish National Gallery (SNG) are both located here.

Now it should make sense! Also, I really should have just come up with a better title in the first place.  Oh well, too late now (not really, but I am tired).


The National Portrait Gallery of Scotland


London, once again, kind of got the jump on the whole names for Museums, entities and streets. So, the National Portrait Gallery is in London.  But here in Edinburgh we find the National Portrait Gallery of Scotland.  Got it? Got it.



The NPGofS has a super entry hall. My guidebook said it’s in the Byzantine Venetian style. To which was like, “huh?”  It works though, it really does.



The mosaics are portraits (WHAT!) of famous Scots in a procession from oldest, historically, to youngest.

They do a lot of work with modern artists along with hanging portraits of currently famous Scots (they own pieces of Tilda Swinton, Alan Cumming and Sean Connery).



I quite liked the modern photography they had. Entitled “Ties that Bind” it focused on the work of four Scottish photographers and how they navigate being Scottish.  One looked into the colonial history of Scotland in modern Jamaica, names, people and places. Another about the lives of farmers, who also happen to be women.  The other two focused on local rituals-one the weekly football matches and the other an annual festival on the border.



This gallery was all about how modern sports became codified and national pastimes.  This is an actual giant painting about curling. For Real.

Rating: 4/5

Pros: lots of changing exhibits,  good balance between text and imagery, cool building, great cafe, amazing collection

Cons: since they rotate the exhibits I saw two or three closed galleries, I did not see much for kids but often they have booklets at the front desk.

The Scottish National Gallery


It’s big, beautiful, and full of some great art!  It’s very close to the Royal Scottish Academy (THE art school).  Their proximity allows for a tunnel between the two so that young RSA artists can just pop over to study/ imitate the great masters of art.  Back in the day, artists literally just copied other paintings until their teachers thought they had absorbed enough genius to make their own stuff.



What are you guys up too? Not much just hanging.



Lady Elgin! Her husband is the one who took the Parthenon Marbles to England, now currently in the British Museum.

Rating 3/5

Pros; Fancy Art! More Raphael’s than I’ve ever seen outside of Florence. Great location! Cool building. I really liked the relaxed kinda informal atmosphere

Cons: the bright RED carpet- it was a lot of look and kept distracting me, there wasn’t enough text for me, kids will def get bored.  The path around the galleries was not intuitive- I double backed multiple times


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