Our collections contain some of the best works by Scottish artists and architects of the last 200 years.
They are supported by an extensive archive and library. Together they tell the story of Scottish art and architecture through the eyes of its practitioners and the institution they have led. They were Recognised as a collection of National Significance to Scotland in 2008.
The foundation for the collections is the Diploma Collection. Established in 1831, it is comprised of works self-selected by our members on their election as an RSA Academician. Our nineteenth-century collecting was strongly linked to our teaching and support of artists. We collected paintings, prints and books to provide access to the best examples of Scottish and European art.
We had a national outlook from early in our history and acquired numerous major works. Many of these were transferred to the Scottish national collection in 1910.
Our collections are rich in work that has been purchased from our Annual Exhibitions and deposited by recipients of our many scholarships and awards. The Kinross Collection is one of the most significant holdings of emerging artists’ and architects’ work in Scotland.
Since the William Gillies bequest of 1973, major studio gifts have brought entire artists’ estates into our collections. These include everything from sketchbooks to finished paintings and sculptures, alongside memorabilia, archives and personal libraries.
Our collections continue to move with the times, and contain film, sound, installation and digital media. During our history nearly 500 practitioners have been elected to our membership, and many more have been our students, scholars, prize and award winners. Our collections reflect this great heritage.
Visit our collections site to explore our collections in more detail.
Picture LibraryPicture Library Our Picture Library can supply reproduction-quality, high-resolution digital files of works in our collections, together with reproduction and copyright licenses. Please contact us to request a quotation for...
Research & ContactResearch Research appointments are available at our collections department from Monday to Friday. Our collections team will be happy to welcome you, but please contact us in advance to check...