National Galleries of Scotland announces an extraordinary programme of unmissable free and ticketed exhibitions for 2024, on sale now. Take a trip with Lavery on Location, feel empowered by Women in Revolt!, get lost in Drawings from Chatsworth House, marvel at the eccentric world of Paolozzi at 100 or embrace the defiant and inspiring works of Everlyn Nicodemus, there is even more to be discovered across all three gallery sites in Edinburgh.
Visitors can indulge their wanderlust in National Galleries of Scotland’s summer exhibition at the Royal Scottish Academy, An Irish Impressionist: Lavery on Location, from 20 July 2024 to 27 October 2024. Dip your toes in the sun, sea and society of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, through the works of renowned Glasgow Boy, Sir John Lavery. Travel through the extraordinary life of the Belfast born artist, from Scotland to New York via Paris and Morocco. Witness sumptuous portraits, impressionistic landscapes and idyllic scenes of leisure against a backdrop of Tangier, Palm Springs and the Venice Lido. Be whisked away to Switzerland, Spain, Ireland and Italy, as well as cities such as Glasgow, Seville, Monte Carlo and New York.
At Modern Two, be inspired by stories of collaboration, creativity and rebellion as National Galleries of Scotland presents Women in Revolt! Art and Activism in the UK 1970-1990 from 25 May 2024 to 26 January 2025. Touring from Tate Britain, this major survey of feminist art celebrates the women who challenged and changed the face of British culture. Discover the powerful and often provocative work of over 100 artists and collectives forged against the backdrop of seismic social, economic and political change over two decades. Women in Revolt! explores key themes and issues, such as the Women’s Liberation Movement, Punk and independent music, the visibility of Black and South Asian women artists and the AIDS epidemic. Showcasing painting, drawing, textile, sculpture, performance, film and photography alongside archival materials – with many artworks on display as part of this tour for the first time since the 1970s – this timely and urgent show is one not to be missed.
For the first time ever in Scotland discover Dürer to Van Dyck: Drawings from Chatsworth House, home to the Devonshire family. From 9 November 2024 – 23 February 2025 get a closer look at one of the finest and most significant holdings of drawings anywhere in the world, at the Royal Scottish Academy. A spectacular group of 50 Flemish, Dutch, Early Netherlandish, and German drawings and watercolours, spanning from about 1500 to 1700, will be exhibited. Look forward to stunning drawings by Rembrandt, Holbein, Rubens, Dürer, van Dyck and more. Not to be missed, this exhibition is exclusive to the National Galleries of Scotland.
In January 2024 celebrate 100 years since the birth of Scottish ‘father of Pop’ Eduardo Paolozzi at Modern Two. Packed with the artist’s most popular works, Paolozzi at 100 allows you take a step inside the whacky and eclectic mind of the artist and his take on popular culture and the machine age. Tour through his early work from the late 1940s, to his designs and prints of the 60s and 70s, and later epic public art projects. Delve in to works such as his Mickey Mouse tapestry made with Dovecot Tapestry Studio and graphic and gold ceramic plate collaborations designed with Wedgwood. Marvel at his colourful mosaic designs for Tottenham Court Road Underground station, and don’t miss the kinetic energy of the Calcium Light Night and Moonstrip Empire news screenprints. Free to visit, Paolozzi at 100 runs from 27 January 2024 to 21 April 2024.
Marking the bicentenary of the National Gallery in London, we have National Treasures: Vermeer in Edinburgh. This incredible artwork A Young Woman Standing at a Virginal comes to Scotland, presenting a unique chance to see two works by Vermeer at the National in Edinburgh. Compare one of Vermeer’s later works with one of his earliest surviving paintings, Christ in the House of Martha and Mary which is on permanent display at the National. A Young Woman Standing at a Virginal will open on 10 May 2024, the 200th birthday of the National Gallery, along with the rest of the National Treasures programme across the UK.
Explore the history and lasting impact of coal through photographs and voices from Scottish mining communities, as National Galleries of Scotland responds to the 40th anniversary of the Miners’ Strike of 1984. In a powerful free exhibition at the Portrait from 23 March 2024 until September 2024, Before and After Coal: Images and Voices from Scotland’s Mining Communities hears from those who are the lifeblood of these, once booming, areas. In 1982, American photographer Milton Rogovin came to Scotland to photograph Scottish miners – at their pits, in their homes, and during their leisure time. Artist, Nicky Bird has updated Rogovin’s documentation of these communities by meeting with individuals and families connected with the photographs, who share their views on the past and the present in these former mining towns and villages.
From 19 October 2024 – 25 May 2025 get ready for the first ever retrospective exhibition by Tanzania-born, Edinburgh-based artist, Everlyn Nicodemus at Modern One. Discover works spanning 40 years of the artist’s life, as well as new works created especially for this show. This inspiring free experience is made possible by the prestigious Freelands Award won by Everlyn Nicodemus and National Galleries of Scotland in 2022. Believing that creativity can be a form of healing, her exceptional artworks are a powerful response to the global oppression of women, the profound impact of racism and her personal trauma and recovery. Experimenting with colour, form and mark making her practice invites us to explore and question our understanding of identity, belonging and faith. This ambitious exhibition celebrates Nicodemus as a painter deeply invested in the social fabric of her time. It will be accompanied by an inclusive and welcoming programme of community engagement, taking inspiration from the artist’s collaborative ways of working.
The much-loved Turner in January returns to the Royal Scottish Academy. The free annual display of these watercolours is a keenly awaited tradition for many people in Scotland. At the dawning of the New Year, as we leave behind the darkest days of winter, the bright vitality of Turner’s watercolours is just what we need.
There is also the chance to see further works by Turner at Duff House. National Galleries of Scotland hold the only complete set of Turner’s finished vignette illustrations that remain together in the same collection; these form his 20 watercolours for The Poetical Works of Thomas Campbell, published by Edward Moxon in 1837. For the first time in over 20 years, these illustrations are on show at Duff House for selected dates until Sunday 24 March. Also on display at Duff House until Sunday 25 August 2024 is the iconic portrait of the infamous romantic poet Lord Byron by William Edward West, 1822.
Launched in 2009 in partnership with Tate, the hugely successful ARTIST ROOMS programme will continue to share the superb collection of modern and contemporary art across Scotland and the rest of the UK. Exhibitions in 2024 include Louise Bourgeois at Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museum from 2 March 2024 to 9 June 2024 and Vija Celmins at Dunoon Burgh Hall from 17 May 2024 to 18 August 2024.
A first for National Galleries of Scotland and for Scotland, immerse yourself in the wondrous imagination of one of the world’s leading contemporary artists, Do Ho Suh: Tracing Time, from 17 February 2024 – 1 September 2024. In this major solo exhibition by the South Korean-born, London- based artist, experience works, some never-before-seen, that ask: where and when does home exist? Discover the artist’s compelling and technically innovative thread drawings – in which multicoloured threads are embedded in handmade paper – shown alongside animations, architectural rubbings, paper sculptures, printmaking, watercolours and the artist’s sketchbooks. This free exhibition takes over an entire level of Modern One, with works spanning 25 years of the artist’s practice. The exhibition includes an immersive installation of Suh’s famed ‘hubs’, life-size sculptures that recreate physical spaces meaningful to the artist and his life in colourful, translucent fabric. In this wide-reaching and timely exhibition, drawing is the connective thread that binds together Do Ho Suh’s creative energies.
Opening this winter, discover 500 years of boundary-pushing artwork in The Printmaker’s Art: Rembrandt to Rego at the Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh. At this National Galleries Scotland exhibition, visitors can explore four galleries packed with around 100 artworks by some of the world’s most iconic artists, including Rembrandt, Hokusai, Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, Bridget Riley and Paula Rego. The Printmaker’s Art: Rembrandt to Rego is on from 2 December 2023 until 25 February 2024.
Summer 2024 will also see a celebratory display of two rooms of works by internationally renowned Scottish artist Bruce McLean, to mark his 80th birthday. Free to visit at Modern One, trace Bruce’s humorous and lively six-decade long inquiry into sculpture and revel in his criticisms of the art world from within. Through works made across a range of media – including photography, performance, painting, printmaking, film, and ceramics – this display invites you to challenge your thinking about sculpture and expand your ideas of what it can be. You’ll also be met with works that reveal Bruce’s fascination with every aspect of human behaviour. From the trivial to the outright brash, you’ll encounter gestures, manners, the ‘theatre’ of social interaction, and the style and posturing of those who are intent to impress. Sharp, witty and satirical, this unmissable display showcases the breadth of Bruce’s boundary-pushing work across two rooms and spotlights him as one of the most important artists of his generation.
In 2024 the National Galleries of Scotland will mark a significant 40 years since the beginning of its photography collection, with a spectacular exhibition at the Portrait. Showcasing the birth of photography through to the present day, the exhibition celebrates Scotland’s world-renowned collection.
Sir John Leighton, Director-General of the National Galleries of Scotland said: ‘There is so much for visitors to look forward to next year at the National Galleries of Scotland, with our tantalising 2024 exhibition programme. Whether immersing yourself in Sir John Lavery’s idyllic beach scenes, soaking up the history of Women in Revolt! or stepping into the eclectic world of Eduardo Paolozzi, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Our four galleries are yours to discover, from the world’s greatest collection of Scottish art at our new Scottish galleries, international highlights at the National, the very best contemporary art at the Modern and famous faces from history to pop culture at the Portrait, we can’t wait to welcome you.’
For more on upcoming exhibitions and displays, and to get tickets, visit What’s on | National Galleries of Scotland