New Exhibitions Coming to Edinburgh in 2022

14 January 2022

Scottish Portrait Gallery Creative

From the formal portraits of the Old Masters to cutting edge modern art installations, historic artefacts from every corner of the world to innovations that have helped shape the modern world, Edinburgh has played host to a variety of breathtaking and mesmerising exhibitions in the past.

While a lot of galleries sadly had to close their doors temporarily last year, the good news is that 2022 is hotting up to be a year of exciting art and history exploration, as these top exhibitions arrive in the city…….

National Galleries of Scotland

Scottish Gallery Of Modern Art One Credit Visitscotland Kenny Lam(Image Credit: VisitScotland Kenny Lam)

With an ever-evolving programme, The National Galleries of Scotland’s four galleries have an exciting list of upcoming exhibitions, with everything from Impressionism and avant-garde sculpture to photographic depictions of Scottish identity:

 Ray Harryhausen Titan Of Cinema

It’s the last few months to catch Ray Harryhausen | Titan of Cinema at Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (Modern Two). The largest and widest-ranging exhibition of Harryhausen’s work ever seen, this fascinating display celebrates the life and lasting legacy of the pioneering film special effects superstar.

Exploring identity and the comparisons between the experiences of past and present generations of Scots is the theme of two photographic exhibitions at The Scottish National Portrait Gallery - You Are Here 2022 runs from 5 February 2022 – March 2023 and Counted: Scotland’s Census 2022 from 12 March – 25 September 2022.

In what will be the largest exhibition of her work in Scotland, Barbara Hepworth: Art & Life comes to The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (Modern Two) from 9 April – 2 October 2022 and will examine how her interests in dance, theatre, music, religion, politics and science influenced her iconic sculptures of the 1940s and 1950s.

Showcasing some of the recent acquisitions at The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, New Arrivals | From Salvador Dalí to Jenny Saville includes painting, sculptures, films and more, by artists such as Damien Hirst, Jenny Saville, René Magritte, Salvador Dalí, Oskar Kokoschka, John Bellany, Marie Harnett and Pablo Picasso.

The Royal Scottish Academy

Founded in 1826 and led by eminent artists and architects, The Royal Scottish Academy aims to promote and support the creation, understanding and enjoyment of the visual arts through exhibitions and related educational events.

Taking place from 13 July 2022 — 30 November 2022, The Royal Scottish Academy’s summer 2022 exhibition, A Taste for Impressionism: Modern French Art from Millet to Matisse will focus on the forward-thinking 19th century Scottish collectors who invested in this new avant-garde style of art. Visitors will also be able to see some of the counterfeit works that also appeared at this time, as forgers cashed in on the growing popularity of Impressionism. Can you spot the fake?

The City Art Centre

Championing both historic and contemporary Scottish visual and applied arts, The City Art Centre richly diverse programme of changing exhibitions, highlighting the 4,500+ items of paintings, drawings, prints, photographs and sculpture in its care. A selection of this year’s exhibits includes:

John Henry Lorimer Flight Of The Swallows

The first retrospective exhibition dedicated to the Scottish artist John Henry Lorimer, Reflections: The light and life of John Henry Lorimer (1856-1936), features almost 50 oil paintings, watercolours, sketches and objects, all of which explore Lorimer’s skill and creativity through five themes: light, identity, family, femininity and home. Including works which have not been on public display before, it is open until 20 March.

Presented as part of Edinburgh Art Festival 2022, Will Maclean: Points of Departure spans almost 50 years of work and explores this outstanding artist’s deep connection to the history, archaeology, and literature of the Scottish Highlands and its people.

Will Maclean Credit Museum And Galleries

Running from 12 November 2022 to 12 March 2023, Early twentieth century women filmmakers and photographers in Scotland will take a closer look at 14 pioneering women photographers and filmmakers working in Scotland during the early 20th century. It is the first time their work will have been seen together, uncovering a previously untold story within the history of Scottish photography.

Dovecot Studios

Established in 1912, Dovecot Studios is a world-renowned tapestry studio and a landmark centre for contemporary art, craft design and textiles.

Dovecot Studios Acanthus

In 2022, their major exhibition, The Art of Wallpaper - Morris & Co brings the archive of Morris & Co, one of the world’s best known interior brands, to Edinburgh to celebrate UK wallpaper innovation. Focusing on William Morris’ legacy and including framed original samples, as well as interior wallpaper designs, it is the first time many of these beautiful and historic samples have been exhibited in the UK.

Edinburgh Printmakers

Located in a beautiful building that used to be a rubber factory and a brewery site, Edinburgh Printmakers is a vibrant centre for printmaking and the visual arts.

On display from 21 January to 27 March, Anything is Possible: Mohammad Barrangi invites viewers into a world of magical creatures inspired by ancient Persian storytelling. Made using contemporary printmaking techniques, alongside traditional calligraphy and handmade paper practices on display will be both small pieces and large scale murals.

Van Gogh Alive – The Experience

It’s already amazed over 8.5 million visitors from across 75 cities worldwide, and this year Van Gogh Alive – The Experience arrives in Edinburgh.

Housed within a purpose-built venue on Festival Square, this multi-sensory experience allows visitors to become immersed in the world of Van Gogh and appreciate the work of this great artist in new and innovative ways. As you make your way through the trail, your senses will be heightened by a symphony of light, colour, sound and fragrance, giving the feeling of the masterpieces coming to life.

Sunflower Van Gogh ExhibitionNot to be missed, this ground-breaking visual experience runs from 17 March – 17 July 2022.

The Palace of Holyroodhouse

Queens Gallery Credit Visitscotland Kenny Lam(Image Credit: VisitScotland - Kenny Lam)

The King's official residence in Edinburgh, this stately palace is the home of Scottish royal history. At The Queen's Gallery, visitors can marvel at works of art from the Royal Collection, some of which will be shown in Scotland for the very first time.

Usually on display in Buckingham Palace, some of the greatest works from the Royal Collection, including works by Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Rubens and Artemisia Gentileschi will be able to be able to enjoyed close-up in Masterpieces from Buckingham Palace, 25 March - 25 Sep 2022.

The National Museum of Scotland

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Spanning Scottish history, the wonders of nature, art & design, science & technology and world cultures, The National Museum of Scotland really does have something for all interests.

The Typewriter Revolution is a fascinating exhibition, which not only looks at how styles of typewriters have changed through the centuries, but also examines how they have revolutionised offices and transformed the world of work.

Covering 500 years of medical exploration, Anatomy: A Matter of Death and Life offers a glimpse into the history of anatomical study, from artistic explorations by Leonardo da Vinci to the notorious 19th century Edinburgh murderers, Burke and Hare. Among the objects on display, are the Arthur's Seat miniature coffins, a collection of 8 miniature preserved coffins which were found on the city’s Arthur’s Seat in 1836. To this date, they have remained a mystery – what was their purpose? Who made them? Come and see for yourself and work out your own theory……

Spooky NMS Coffins

Giraffe About Town

Edinburgh Zoo Giraffe About Town

More than 40 huge giraffe sculptures will take to the streets of Scotland’s capital when Edinburgh Zoo’s Giraffe About Town trail goes live in Summer 2022.

In partnership with Wild in Art, the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) will display a herd of eight-foot-tall giraffe models across Edinburgh. Each sculpture will be designed and decorated by artists and communities, which will celebrate Edinburgh’s extraordinary heritage and cultural diversity.

Money raised from the event will support Edinburgh Zoo and RZSS conservation work around the world.


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