Free book alert! Grab the latest edition of our Art Collection

Posted on April 17, 2018 | in 50th anniversary of the Main Library, Arts, Culture, Educational Research, Library, Library & University Collections, New books | by

We have some great news to share. The 3rd edition of the University of the Edinburgh Art Collection is hot of the printing press! Once a year since 2015, we’ve produced a booklet that introduces various parts of our Art Collection to staff, students and members of the public.

With the invaluable help of colleagues from the Edinburgh College of Art’s graphic design team, it’s free and available from the Centre for Research Collection (6th floor of the Main Library on George Square) but you’ll often find copies at Edinburgh College of Art, Talbot Rice Gallery or St Cecilia’s Hall if you keep your eyes peeled!

Reprinting the booklet allows us to give readers the most up-to-date information on our collection. In particular, it lets us highlight the newest acquisitions in the collection. The first of many recent acquisitions is hard to miss – an image of Spite Your Face by Rachel Mclean graces this edition’s front cover! Commissioned for the Venice Biennale in 2017 and on display at Talbot Rice Gallery until May 5th 2018, this is one of the latest works to enter the Modern and Contemporary Art Collection.

It joins Four Blades, a sculpture work by Ian Hamilton Finlay that was acquired with the support of the Art Fund and the National Fund for Acquisitions.  The booklet also allows us to share exciting developments and avenues for the collection generally. The last and current years (2017/18) has seen a significant expansion to the Contemporary Art Research Collection with acquired works by Kate Davis, winner of the Margaret Tait Award in 2017.  And major commissioned permanent works by Nathan Coley and Susan Collis are featured in the new booklet and emphasise our renewed focus on art on campus.

As the booklet explains, the Art Collection is a catch-all term for what is essentially a family of smaller collections. Keeping it divided in this way serves a number of purposes – principally to make it easier to navigate. Instead of being faced with a list of over 8,000 objects, you will see in this publication that you begin your journey by looking at 12 sub-collections. So why not grab a copy and start exploring?

The University holds over 8,000 works of art and is an amalgamated collection of the University of Edinburgh’s original Fine Art Collection, which spans some 400 years of collection and the Edinburgh College of Art Collection of prints, drawings, paintings and sculpture, which came into the University Art Collection in 2011 when the institutions merged.

Thanks to Library and University Collections for their support of this edition and Neil Lebeter, our former Curator of the Art Collection. A big thanks to Nicky Regan and Allander Print Limited.

By: Liv Laumenech, Public Art Officer at the University of Edinburgh’s Main Library, Museums Department #morethanjustbooks




The University of Edinburgh’s Main Library is celebrating its 50th anniversary at George Square – where connections come alive. The library is currently creating an archive of current and former students and staff memories. Submit your memories via our websiteFacebook or Twitter pages #UoElib50.

Photos and videos are welcome! In the meantime, check out our current interactive memory timeline.

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