Better to be an Interesting Gallery or a Good Tea Room?

Landform by Charles Jencks

I think I may have visited the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art on a bad day.  Maybe there were no signs because they’re redoing them, and only mostly closed rooms because one exhibition has just finished and they’re rearranging the place for the next one, but it felt like a sad and rather dreary place last week.

It’s spread over two buildings on opposite sides of a road; both look substantial and impressive on the outside, in that patrician Edinburgh way, and last week both  had the feel of a rather neglected secondary school on the inside, showing a disappointing amount of shiny blue linoleum in the stairwells.

I found the artworks available to view rather disappointing, although the installation of Eduardo Paolozzi’s studio is fascinating if only to wonder at how a person could work in such a cluttered environment with so many heads looking down on you.

I did enjoy ‘Landform’ which is an area of lake and contoured and landscaped grass in front of one of the buildings – but only from a distance.  The description in the  museum materials extols its virtues as a space with which the visitors can interact and explore, as well as one which can be used for performance or strolling.  In harmony with the general theme of the day, it was closed to public access when I visited.

But on the upside, the tea room is very pleasant, and we had good tea, coffee and proper home-made shortbread and scones; and my friend and I both found something to buy in the shop.

Leave a comment


  1. margaret nickels

     /  November 19, 2011

    Tea every time I think !

  2. Jill Goldberg

     /  November 19, 2011

    Definitely coffee, carrot cake and the SHOP.


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