Scotland’s national art collection will be available as today the National Galleries of Scotland (NGS) can share the dates and details of the first phase of our gradual reopening. 

The Scottish National Gallery will reopen to the public on Monday 17 August, and the Modern One building at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art will reopen the following week, on Monday 24 August. 

Those visiting will be able to enjoy a very special encounter with the much-loved artworks of the nation’s exceptional art collection, as we will be limiting the number of visitors in each gallery at any one time, to ensure physical distancing.

Visitors can book free time-slots for the Scottish National Gallery and for Modern One via our new online booking system, available from 10am on 12 August on our website. Admission remains free, but tickets must be booked online in advance. Tickets can be booked up to 2 weeks ahead.

We are delighted to welcome visitors back to the Scottish National Gallery, where they can reconnect with masterpieces such as Diego Velázquez’s Old Woman Cooking Eggs, Sir Edwin Landseer’siconic Monarch of the Glen and Sir Henry Raeburn’s Reverend Robert Walker (1755 – 1808), famously known as the Skating Minister. 

A treasure trove of modern art awaits visitors to Modern One, with works from Picasso to Jenny Saville via Francis Bacon, Scottish Colourist paintings and our world-class Surrealist collection featuring art from Salvador Dalí, René Magritte and others.

Visitors can immerse themselves in our specially-created sculpture trails in the grounds outside, or be mesmerised indoors by Katie Paterson’s Totality — the stunning centrepiece of our contemporary art series NOW — which brings together over 10,000 images of almost every solar eclipse documented by humankind in one monumental glitter-ball. 

Both buildings will be open from 10am-5pm and final admission is at 3.45pm. Visitors can print off tickets to bring with them, or simply show the email attachment from their mobile phone at the entrance of the gallery. 

We are implementing a one-way route around all our buildings. Those booking will receive a link to download a printable map of the Gallery so they can easily navigate each site. Some smaller rooms and spaces will remain closed so that we can conform with safe physical-distancing measures. Visitors can also use the Smartify app to delve deeper into the artworks on display, with our Smartify highlights tours revealing hidden details, stories and interpretations about key works.

We want all visitors to stay safe while visiting our buildings, and new measures have been implemented so that the health and safety of our visitors, employees and volunteers can be ensured. We have secured the UK-wide industry standard ‘We’re Good to Go’ accreditation, which means businesses across the sector can demonstrate that they are adhering to the respective Government and public health guidance, have carried out a COVID-19 risk assessment and check they have the required processes in place. 

As part of the gradual reopening, the Scottish National Portrait Gallery and Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (Modern Two) will reopen in the Autumn. We are still finalising the specifics for both buildings and their exact reopening dates will be announced in due course. Ray Harryhausen: Titan of Cinema will be taking place at Modern Two when it reopens.  

Visitors can now wander through the serene grounds of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. Admission to the grounds is free and unticketed, and there are specially-created sculpture trails for visitors of all ages to enjoy. A pop-up cafe in front of the main entrance to Modern Two is now offering takeaway coffee and snacks. Our Sculpture Trails would not be possible without the generous support of players of the People’s Postcode Lottery.

Look out for updates on the website, social media channels and sign up for the email newsletters. 

Sir John Leighton, Director-General of the National Galleries of Scotland, said: “We are delighted to now welcome visitors back to the Scottish National Gallery and Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art’s Modern One, as part of the first phase of our reopening. It’s been a challenging time for all, but our reopening offers the public the opportunity to reconnect with the national collection and to view their favourite works in a more intimate setting. Whether that’s to find comfort, calm or spark creativity, visitors will have their very own close encounters with art from across the centuries, be that Constable, the Colourists or Katie Paterson’s cosmos”. 

Stephanie Kerr, Programmes Advisor at People’s Postcode Lottery, said: “I’m so pleased the National Galleries of Scotland are able to safely re-open to the public, in particular the sculpture trails which are supported by our players and assessible for people of all ages. The fun trail is full of wonderful sculptures, and provide a great way for those who aren’t yet comfortable with going indoors to experience some of Edinburgh’s finest culture.”