Folk, Yarn and Fancy: Paintings from the RSA Collections

RSA Friends' Room
Open Mondays 10am - 5pm or by appointment (0131 225 3922)


From generation to generation people have passed on folklore and belief through story, myth, song and creativity. Finding imagination rendered in tangible forms allows us to trace paths from the thoughts of our ancestors to the present day.


Scotland's Celtic roots have created strong oral and visual customs, while inspiration from literature and other cultures has contributed to the vibrancy of artistic thought through the ages. John Faed's 'Annie's Tryst', Otto Leyde's 'Auld Robin Gray' and F C B Cadell's 'The Poet' show the importance to RSA artists of embracing a shared perspective in the arts. Foreign and universal stories have also held sway with works like William Lockhart's 'The Cid and the Five Moorish Kings' and James Archer's 'Rosalind and Celia' portraying a sustained fascination.


Arts durability lends itself to this imparting of knowledge, ensuring it can be enjoyed and learned from in perpetuity. The RSA collections are a safe haven for the survival of our stories and this exhibition helps liberate them to new audiences.