All of the Edinburgh galleries are once more open to visitors. Some of the exhibitions below close this month although others last for much longer than that. If you are reluctant to go to the galleries there are some online events towards the bottom of the article.

Scottish National Gallery

Last chance to see: Turner in January 

On now until Monday 31 January 2022

Open daily, 10am-5pm 

Advance booking required – a ticket to visit the Scottish National Gallery includes admission to Turner in January

The National Galleries of Scotland has presented an exhibition of the work of JMW Turner every January for more than a century. This year’s exhibition will showcase all of the 38 watercolours by Turner that were given to the National Galleries of Scotland in 1900 by the art collector Henry Vaughan.

The works in the Vaughan bequest range from early wash drawings of the 1790s, to the colourful, atmospheric and wonderfully expressive late works executed on visits to the Swiss Alps during the 1830s and 1840s. 

Highlights of the bequest include a series of spectacular views of Venice such as The Piazzetta, Venice and Venice from the Laguna, which capture the drama and explosive skies of late summer Adriatic storms and demonstrate the artist’s consummate mastery of atmospheric lighting effects.

Turner In January exhibition at the Scottish National Gallery. Charlotte Topsfield, senior curator of drawings and paintings at National Galleries Scotland is pictured. PHOTO Greg Macvean

Scottish National Portrait Gallery

Last chance to see: Thomas Joshua Cooper | The World’s Edge 

On now until Sunday 23 January 2022

Open daily, 10am-5pm 

Admission free, advance booking recommended

Over the course of the last three decades, Thomas Joshua Cooper (American, born 1946) has circumnavigated the globe making photographs of the most extreme points and locations surrounding the Atlantic Ocean.

The result is an episodic journey that covers five continents (Europe, Africa, North America, South America, and Antarctica). He has set foot on uncharted land masses, contributing to cartography and earning him naming rights of previously unknown islands and archipelagos.

The only artist to have ever made photographs of the two poles, Cooper refers to the body of work as The World’s Edge – The Atlas of Emptiness and Extremity. This exhibition contains 35 photographs and is based on the 2019 presentation at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Cooper has lived in Glasgow since 1982 and is Professor and Senior Researcher in Fine Art at the Glasgow School of Art.

Thomas Joshua Cooper | The World’s Edge | National Galleries of Scotland

Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (Modern One) 

New Arrivals: From Salvador Dalí to Jenny Saville 

On now until spring 2023

Open daily, 10am-5pm 

Admission free, advance booking recommended

This exhibition presents the latest and greatest modern and contemporary art additions to Scotland’s national collection. With more than 100 works on display, New Arrivals: from Salvador Dalí to Jenny Saville offers a stunning range of modern and contemporary work including painting, sculptures, films and more.

New Arrivals | From Salvador Dalí to Jenny Saville | National Galleries of Scotland

Salvador Dalí (1904 – 89) and Edward James (1907 – 1984). Lobster Telephone , 1938 Painted plaster and Bakelite telephone , 21.3 x 31 x 17 cm . Collection: National Galleries of Scotland, purchased by the Henry and Sula Walton Fund, with assistance from Art Fund. © Edward James Foundation and Fundació Gala – Salvador Dalí, DACS, London, 2021

Joan Eardley & Catterline

Open daily, 10am-5pm 

Admission free, advance booking recommended

This two-room display marks 100 years since the birth of Eardley, who is widely regarded as one of the most influential painters of her generation. It offers an insight into her working practice and focuses on works produced in Catterline, the coastal village in Kincardineshire, where she worked from the early 1950s.

The works featured are all drawn from the National Galleries of Scotland’s collection and include some of her most iconic paintings, 11 works on paper, and a selection of photographs and archival materials. 

Joan Eardley & Catterline | National Galleries of Scotland

The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (Modern Two) 

Ray Harryhausen | Titan of Cinema

On now until Sunday 20 February 2022

Open daily, 10am-5pm 

£14-12 (concessions available), booking recommended 

Free to Our Friends (booking essential) 

Film special effects superstar Ray Harryhausen helped elevate stop motion animation to an art. His innovative and inspiring films, from the 1950s onwards, changed the face of modern movie making forever. This is the largest and widest-ranging exhibition of Ray Harryhausen’s work ever seen, with newly restored and previously unseen material from his incredible archive.

Titan of Cinema traces Harryhausen’s career as a special effects guru, whose only limits was his boundless imagination. Titan of Cinema shows his creative processes: from embryonic preparatory sketches, through to model making and bringing characters to life who went onto terrorise and delight audiences in equal measure on the cinema screen.

Ray Harryhausen | Titan of Cinema | National Galleries of Scotland

Ray Harryhausen – Titan of Cinema. Photo: Martin P. McAdam


Visually Impaired Programme Online | Seascapes

Online via Zoom

Wednesday 19 January 2022, 2-3.30pm

Free, booking essential: Visually Impaired Programme Online | Seascapes | National Galleries of Scotland

Join us for an informal, sociable online session exploring art through audio-description and conversation for participants with a visual impairment. Fancy a new year’s dip? In this session, we will explore a selection of works depicting the sea in some of its many moods.

Access to this session will be via Zoom. A telephone number, link and password will be sent out before the session.

Art Connects

Online via Zoom Link will be sent the day before the activity.

Thursday 20 January, 10-10.45am

Free, booking essential: Art Connects | National Galleries of Scotland

Art Zoom session for parents and carers of babies born in the last 12 months. This is not a session for your baby, it’s time and space for you. 

Each session is led by a different artist but follows the same welcoming and supportive format. You will have a playful time, making immediate ‘no pressure’ artworks and enjoying some time and space to chat, if you like. 

This month artist Nancy Nightingale will guide participants in a drawing session exploring tonal value and mark making. 

Harryhausen Virtual Exhibition Experience LIVE #4 Jeremy Dyson and Mark Gatiss

Online (Virtual Exhibition Experience)

Wednesday 26 January 2022, 6-7pm

Free, subscription to the Virtual Exhibition Experience required: Harryhausen Virtual Exhibition Experience LIVE #4 Jeremy Dyson and Mark Gatiss | National Galleries of Scotland

The last of our four exclusive live-streamed interactive events in which Hollywood insiders and celebrity super-fans delve into the magical world of Ray Harryhausen.

In this event, the writers Jeremy Dyson and Mark Gatiss will reveal their passion for ‘the godfather of stop-motion animation’. They will talk about some of their favourite Harryhausen films, andexplain his influence upon their own careers.

Both Jeremy and Mark were mesmerised by Harryhausen’s iconic animated scenes during their childhoods. So much so that, throughout their careers, they have acknowledged Harryhausen as a major influence on their approach to film-making. A notable example of this is the stop-motion sequence in The League of Gentlemen Apocalypse feature film.

This event will be chaired by writer and podcaster, Becky Darke.

To take part in this event, all you need to do is to subscribe to the Harryhausen Virtual Exhibition Experience, a specially-curated online exhibition featuring a wealth of exclusive videos, virtual exhibits and more! Subscription to the experience costs £10 – no further charge is required to take part in any of the events. The Virtual Exhibition Experience will remain online until 20 February 2022.