RSA Upper & Lower Galleries

Free Entry | Catalogue £8 (RSA Friends £6)

Exhibition Publication £30  (RSA Friends £26)



Collected by the Royal Scottish Academy of Art & Architecture

A partnership between the Royal Scottish Academy and the National Galleries of Scotland.

In collaboration with the Universities of St Andrews, Edinburgh and Dundee

Supported by: Museums Galleries Scotland, The Morton Charitable Trust, The Pilgrim Trust
Sponsored by: Lyon & Turnbull


The largest Collections exhibition ever mounted by the RSA, Ages of Wonder builds on the moment in 1910 when the Royal Scottish Academy transferred a number of significant works to the National Collection, securing exhibiting rights within the building shared by the two institutions today. The Academy had been a force behind the establishment of a national collection and NGS and RSA had previously coexisted in what is now the National Gallery of Scotland. Ages of Wonder reunites RSA works transferred to NGS with a selection of those remaining in the Academy's Nationally Significant Collection and those collected by the Academy up to the present day.


The exhibition includes over 450 works by over 270 artists and architects, from the masterpiece 'The Adoration of the Magi' painted by Jacopo Bassano of 1540, to recent Diploma Works by Callum Innes RSA and Alison Watt RSA, and works commissioned for and during the exhibition by Calum Colvin RSA, Kenny Hunter RSA and Richard Murphy RSA.



  • An entire gallery recreating a dado to ceiling Victorian Hang
  • A live Life School with students, live model and tutors including John Byrne RSA, Jennifer McRae RSA, Robert Rivers and George Donald RSA
  • Etchings being made live on E S Lumsden's historic etching press. Featuring Frances Walker RSA, Paul Furneaux RSA, Marion Smith RSA, Stuart Duffin RSA, Delia Baillie RSA and Jessica Harrison RSA (Elect)
  • The artist Calum Colvin RSA bringing his studio into the gallery and creating one of his trademark photographic works
  • A newly commissioned Wunderkammer display cabinet by the architect Richard Murphy RSA
  • A newly commissioned sculptural portrait of James Guthrie by the artist Kenny Hunter RSA
  • A substantial new, fully illustrated publication on the Academy's collections, edited by Tom Normand HRSA


The exhibition will explore eras and areas of the Academy's collecting, recreating conventions of exhibiting from the Contemporary, Modern and Victorian periods. Outwith the period hangs, the exhibition will feature a unique mix of contemporary and historic work, including some of the most significant works collected by and for Scottish art and artists in the last 200 years.



Live Life Classes in the galleries

10.30 to 12pm and 1 to 2.30pm on Thursdays during the exhibition (except Thu 28th Dec) - for dates please see Events page
Gallery 1, RSA Upper Galleries. Open to the public

A chance to view life drawing classes in progress in the gallery featuring a live model and some of Scotland's best emerging artists in life drawing. Led by the RSA's own expert in anatomy George Donald RSA; with guest tutors John Byrne RSA, Jennifer McRae RSA and Robert Rivers.


Live Etching in the galleries

7 sessions of up to 3 days during the exhibition - for dates please see Events page
Finlay Room, RSA Lower Galleries. Open to the public

Live printmaking in the galleries on Ernest S Lumsden's historic star wheel etching press (the first piece of working machinery to join the collections). New editions will be printed by technician Leena Nammari, from artists Frances Walker RSA, Paul Furneaux RSA, Marion Smith RSA, Stuart Duffin RSA, Delia Baillie RSA and Jessica Harrison RSA (Elect)


Calum Colvin studio installation

Artist in residence for 2 days every week during the exhibition - for dates please see Events page
South Octagon, RSA Lower Galleries. Open to the public

Join Calum Colvin as he brings his studio into the galleries, building an installation and creating one of his signature photographic works.


Drawing from the Self - A Reflection on a Reflection

Live drawing performance each Friday, 2-4pm
Gallery III, RSA Upper Galleries. Open to the public

Artist Rachael Bibby draws live in Gallery 7 from her work, Reflect, Study of a face perceiving itself - a self-portrait created almost 5 years previous, in April 2013.


Academies and Collecting Symposium

Friday 3 November, 3 to 4.30pm
Hawthornden Lecture Theatre. Free but ticketed.

Join the Presidents of the national academies of Scotland, England, Ireland, Northern Ireland and Pennsylvania, USA for a discussion on the past, present and future of Academies and collecting.


Lecture: Professor Dame Sue Black DBE, FRSE, HRSA: Art and Anatomy - A Marriage Made in Heaven.

Monday 13 November. 7 to 8.30pm.
Hawthornden Lecture Theatre.  Click here for ticket details.

This presentation will consider how the relationship between anatomy and its portrayal in a visual form has changed with time. From early manuscripts to today's 3-dimensional augmented reality, the bond has never been stronger.