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Modern Two art gallery to close indefinitely

Modern Two, one of the two galleries at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, is closing until further notice. 

The National Galleries of Scotland is facing an unprecedented crisis in funding, according to their Director-General Sir John Leighton. Speaking at Holyrood in September, he said:

‘Already, before the events of recent months, we were looking at a pretty substantial deficit in our budget for next year, widening in the years beyond.

Leighton said the organisation was feeling impacts from covid, inflation and energy costs, which he said would double year-over-year from a six figure sum to a seven figure one.

“Then you are talking about a crisis that feels more serious and more difficult to deal with than the pandemic itself.”

The gallery housed a permanent collection of work by Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, one of Scotland’s most famous artists, and included an exact recreation of his studio.

It also contained other modern art, and regular temporary exhibitions.

The most recent exhibition there was Barbara Hepworth: Art and Life, a major retrospective on the English sculptor’s life featuring more than 120 works. 

The arts sector more broadly in Edinburgh has already seen substantial losses this year, due to rising costs.

On 6 October, the Centre for the Moving Image (CMI), the charity behind the Edinburgh Filmhouse went into administration and ceased trading with immediate effect.

The charity also ran the Edinburgh International Film Festival, the future of which is now uncertain. 

The National Galleries of Scotland shared this statement with The Student:

“The culture sector was badly affected during the pandemic and, like so many national and local cultural organisations, National Galleries of Scotland is still in a period of recovery with visitor numbers and self-generated income still well below pre-COVID levels.

“On top of the lingering impact of the pandemic, we now have a cost of living crisis with rampant inflation and the prospect of dramatic increases in energy costs.

“National Galleries of Scotland will of course work hard, with the support of the Scottish Government, to do everything possible to maintain its ambitions and position as a flagship of Scottish culture in the years to come.

“Modern Two closed as planned at the end of the Barbara Hepworth exhibition. We will be making announcements about the forthcoming exhibition programme for Modern Two in due course.”

Paolozzi’s studio, the Prints and Drawings Study Room, and the Reading Room in Modern Two can still be visited by appointment during the closure.

Modern One, the other building of the gallery, is also free to visit and has two exhibitions on currently, ‘New Arrivals: From Salvador Dalí to Jenny Savile’ and ‘Conversations with the Collection’. It is open daily 10am-5pm.

‘Modern Two’ gallery, Edinburgh – geograph.org.uk – 3716890” by Anthony O’Neil is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.