National Museum of Scotland

The Christmas festivities and New Year celebrations are well and truly over. January is upon us, most of us are back to work, and the cold weather and grey days are certainly setting in.

But, it’s not all doom and gloom. There’s still plenty going on here in the capital this month, and with temperatures reaching shivering lows we thought we’d share some interesting exhibitions that are on around the city, so you can get out the cold and into the warmth!

In Focus: Scottish Photography

Fans of photography can enjoy an exploration of the history of Scottish photography at the City Art Centre. From the early developments of fine art photography, through to 19th century photography to present day.

Learn how Scotland played a key part in the development of fine art photography through the work of pioneers such as David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson, and how this has gone on to inspire future generations and works.

Expect the likes of Joseph KcKenzie, Thomas Begbie, Wendy McMurdo and David Williams.

Entry to this exhibition is free and it’s the perfect way to pass a chilly afternoon in the city centre. 

Where: City Art Centre

When: 7th July 2018 – 12th May 2019

Embroidered Stories: Scottish Samplers 

The National Museum of Scotland is home to vast array of amazing and varied collections, covering everything from animals, fashion, Scottish history to science and culture. You can easily pass a day at the Museum and still have lots left to uncover. The beautiful building is home to permanent collections and galleries, as well as exhibitions that change with each season.

Until the 21st April, visitors can pop in and see a free, temporary exhibition focusing on Scottish Samplers. You may know what a sampler is, but for those that don’t, it is a small piece of needlework made by children, usually girls but occasional boys. The sampler contains information about the maker’s family, their education, religion and interests. They were typically made by children at school as part of their education.

The National Museum of Scotland have been lent a unique collection of 70 samplers created by children between the 18th– 19th centuries. Each intricate sampler offers an interesting insight into both the child’s life, as well as shifting societal changes in Scotland between this time.

Where: National Museum of Scotland

When: 26th October 2018 – 21st April 2019

National Museum of Scotland

Robots at the National Museum of Scotland

Robots is another of the National Museum of Scotland’s temporary exhibitions that will take place from the 18th January to the 5th May.

Having seen this exhibition in the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester, we can confirm that it will delight and intrigue all ages – whether you’re a science fanatic or not.

The exhibition charts the extraordinary 500-year journey of robots, from early mechanised human forms to present day cutting technology, to bring us the most significant collection of humanoid robots ever to be assembled.

With over 100 objects, visitors can expect to see everything from early clockwork machines to stars of the screen such as T-800 endoskeleton which was used in the film Terminator Salvation.

The exhibition costs £10, or £8 concession, and promises to teach, fascinate and entertain.

Where: National Museum of Scotland

When: 18th January – 5th May

Storyworlds: Paper Sculptures by Edinburgh Young Artists

2018 was heralded the Year of Young People in Scotland, so how better celebrate than showcasing some amazing young talent from across the city?

The Storyworlds exhibition comprises paper sculptures that have been curated and created by students from across Edinburgh’s secondary schools. Each sculpture has been thoughtfully inspired by stories or characters from Scottish literature. The result is a group of intricate, magical sculptures each telling their own enchanting story under glass domes.

These skilfully crafted sculptures are perfect to peek into whilst exploring the stories and delights of the Writer’s Museum just off the Royal Mile and will be on display until the 12th May.

writer's museum edinburgh

Liberty: Art Fabrics and Fashion

Fans of fashion and fabrics should rush down to the Dovecot Studios fast to catch Liberty: Art Fabrics and Fashion before it ends on the 12th January.

This exhibition is a celebration of the impact and history of iconic retailer and design studio, Liberty London, and showcases over 100 garments and fabrics created over 140 years. Track changes in fashion, tastes and styles, whilst leaning a thing or two about this iconic brand.

Take a journey through time, from early garments inspired by the Far East, iconic sixties designs, the Arts and Crafts revivals of the seventies, right through to botanical prints of the current century and find out how Liberty gained their global reputation as the source of key trends.

Orla Kiely: A Life in Pattern

Another great exhibition finding its home in the Dovecot Studios this year throws a light on another reputable and instantly recognisable designer – Orla Keily. Renowned for her fun, colourful plant-based patterns and designs, this exhibition offers a unique look into the designer’s work and world with exclusive access to Keily’s company archive.

We are promised an exploration of the story of pattern and how designs such as Keily’s have the power to define the styles and tastes of their time.

Where: Dovecot Studios

When: 7th February

Dovecot Studios

The MacKinnon Collection

Another vast and varied collection of Scottish photography that fans can flock to in the capital this winter comes in the form of the MacKinnon Collection which can be found at the National Portrait Gallery.

The exhibition displays a hearty collection of historic images documenting a century of Scottish life from the 1840s through to the 1940s.

The collection is one of the last to remain in private hands and covers topics from working life, street photography, sports, everyday life, family portraits right through to mountains to monuments.

Visually exceptional, informative, interesting and educational, the MacKinnon Collection is a must for any photography and history enthusiast.

Where: Scottish National Portrait Gallery

When: 16th November – 16th February

Scottish National Portrait Gallery

Emma Hart: Banger

London based artist Emma Hart brings her exhibition Banger to the Fruitmarket Gallery until the 3rd February – marking her Scottish debut.

Like most of the exhibitions held at the Fruitmarket Gallery, Banger is immersive, experimental and truly fascinating.

The exhibition is experienced by walking through and around Hart’s work. As you you’re your way through the gallery you can find yourself engulfed by projected light, moving fans, and even large ceramic objects hanging from the ceiling, Banger is curious and beguiling and a must see for modern art fans.

Where: Fruitmarket Gallery

When: 27th October – 3rd February