Scottish National Portrait Gallery
The Scottish National Portrait Gallery located in Queen’s Street Edinburgh is part of the National Museums of Scotland. It houses Scotland’s national collection of portraits, sculpted, painted, drawn and photographed. At the close of the 19th Century it was proposed by many luminaries of the day, including historian Thomas Carlyle, that there was a need for a building to house the Scottish nations growing collection of portraiture. The Gallery finally opened its doors in 1889 after much financial assistance and publicity by the Scotsman newspaper and in particular is leading proprietor one John Ritchie Findlay. A neo-gothic red sandstone building, it was designed by leading Scottish architect of the day Sir Robert Rowand Anderson and at the time was one of the most up-to-date buildings of its day. The remit of the Gallery is to collect portraits of eminent Scots whether executed by Scottish artists or not. Since 1982 the policy of the Gallery has been to commission the ‘likenesses’ of living Scots by contemporaneous artists. The Gallery closed its doors to visitors in 2009 for a major overhaul and expects to reopen at the end of 2011.