The Edinburgh Reporter National Gallery Blackadder

A major exhibition of stunning American Impressionist paintings, an ambitious survey of 25 years of contemporary art in Scotland and a fascinating look at the sport of golf in art are among the highlights of the National Galleries of Scotland’s exhibition programme for 2014, which is announced today.  Other key moments in the calendar include the opening of a landmark exhibition of watercolours and drawings by the great nineteenth-century critic and artist John Ruskin; the first exhibition to be devoted to two forgotten stars of mid-twentieth century British painting, the ‘Two Roberts’; and the hanging of Titian’s great mythological paintings Diana and Actaeon and Diana and Callisto in a display which unites them with a third masterpiece from the same series, The Death of Actaeon, on loan from the National Gallery in London.

Titian and the Golden Age of Venetian Painting, which opens at the Scottish National Gallery in March will draw on the Gallery’s exceptionally rich collection of sixteenth-century Venetian paintings, drawings and prints to showcase and place in context these three world-renowned canvases.

Also opening in March, the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2013 will be shown at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery for the first time.  The exhibition brings together the cream of recent portrait photography from around the world, highlighting 60 outstanding entries selected from the 5,000 images submitted to the judges of the prestigious £12,000 prize last year.

American Impressionism, which opens at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art on 19 July, will explore the impact of French Impressionism on American artists working in France and in the US in the period between 1880 and 1900, bringing together some 80 paintings by major international artists such as James McNeill Whistler, John Singer Sargent and Mary Cassatt.  A collaboration between the musée des impressionnismes in Giverny, the Terra Foundation for American Art, the National Galleries of Scotland and the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid, the exhibition runs until 19 October, and will have its only UK showing in Edinburgh.

The National Galleries’ contribution to GENERATION, the nationwide celebration of contemporary art in Scotland which will take in more than 60 venues in 2014, will be shown at both the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and the Scottish National Gallery on The Mound, from June until October.  More than 30 artists will be represented in this hugely ambitious exhibition – the first to be shown across the two sites – and works made at key moments in the last quarter-century will be shown in parallel with new commissions by both established and promising younger artists. Further details of the GENERATION programme will be announced next year.

This major project will have a high profile during international events like the Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup and fittingly The Art of Golf, an exploration of the depiction of golf in art from the seventeenth century to the present day, will be on show at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in summer 2014.  At its heart will be the most celebrated golfing painting in the world, Charles Lees’s nineteenth-century masterpiece The Golfers, but it will also feature around 60 other works which beautifully illustrate the emergence of the sport, particularly in Scotland.

The little-known artworks of John Ruskin, the famous aesthete, art critic and champion of Turner will also be on show at the Portrait Gallery next summer.  Ruskin’s watercolours and drawings express his sense of exhilaration as he observed landscape and nature, buildings and artifacts, and his extraordinary skill as a draughtsman, so long overlooked, will be revealed in this landmark exhibition.  A collaboration with the National Gallery in Ottowa, the exhibition’s only showing outside Canada will be at the SNPG.

To mark the centenary of the beginning of World War I, the SNPG will also be showing Remembering the Great War, from August 2014 to July 2015.  The display will focus on individuals – including Dr Elsie Inglis, who took a team of Scottish nurses to Serbia and Harry Lauder, who entertained troops at the Front – and how they were affected by the war.

The year will end at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art with the first exhibition to trace the twin careers of Robert MacBryde and Robert Colquhoun, otherwise known as the The Two Roberts, who burned brightly in the post-war London art-world, enjoyed a string of successful exhibitions and whose work was bought by the Museum of Modern Art in New York.  Following their subsequent lapse into obscurity and early deaths in the 1960s, this exhibition will be a long-overdue re-examination of their work.

Sir John Leighton, Director-General, National Galleries of Scotland said: “In recent years, NGS has offered a dynamic and varied exhibition programme which has attracted national and international acclaim. Next year, as the attention of the world turns to Scotland there are many opportunities to showcase the best of our art and culture. This is why we have conceived what I believe to be a truly exceptional programme, ranging from a survey of contemporary art in Scotland to surprising thematic shows such as the Art of Golf. It is an amazing offer and one which we hope will attract wide audiences at home and from abroad.”

For full details of the exhibition programme at the National Galleries of Scotland, please click the following link.