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To celebrate our 40th birthday, we have assembled a selection of artworks that reveal its variety and quality. 


In August 1980, the City Art Centre opened in Market Street with two temporary exhibitions – The Legacy, a display of indigenous Canadian art from British Columbia; and Prescote in Edinburgh, a showcase for contemporary British craft. Since then, the gallery has mounted hundreds of exhibitions encompassing fine and decorative art, antiquity, photography and popular culture.

The City of Edinburgh’s collection of Scottish art, widely recognised as one of the finest in the country, has been a consistent thread in our exhibitions programme. To celebrate our 40th birthday, we have assembled a selection of artworks that reveal its variety and quality. Visitors will be able to view some of the finest Scottish art of the last two centuries, including works by The Scottish Colourists, examples of paintings by The Glasgow Boys, and a range of contemporary artwork featuring, among others, Maud Sulter, Alison Watt and John Byrne.

City Art Centre at 40 is free to attend but pre-booked time slots must be booked in advance. Slots can be booked online here. Visitors arriving without a pre-booked slot will be booked on the next available slot. Please be aware that this may involving coming back at an alternative time.

In keeping with Government advice in order to protect and maintain the safety of our visitors and staff, the City Art Centre has introduced a range of new safety measures and procedures throughout the venue, including a one-way system, installation of screens at reception, hand sanitiser stations, extra barriers and signage and staff will of course be wearing visors while offering visitors a very warm, socially distanced welcome. For the safety of all staff and visitors we request that all visitors wear face coverings inside the gallery unless there is a medical exemption.



City Art Centre at 40

George Henry, The Chalk Pit, 1922. City Art Centre, Museums & Galleries Edinburgh.

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