The new Queen's Gallery at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, inaugurated by Her Majesty The Queen on 29 November 2002, opens its doors to the public the following day, St Andrew's Day. Built in the shell of the former Holyrood Free Church and Duchess of Gordon's School, the £3 million Gallery provides purpose-built, state-of-the-art facilities to enable exhibitions of the most delicate works of art from the Royal Collection to be shown in Scotland for the first time. The bold transformation of the two buildings has been designed by Edinburgh-based Benjamin Tindall Architects.
Benjamin Tindall's visual theme is a celebration of The Queen's Golden Jubilee, expressed through a series of arches and screens which lead visitors from the entrance to the exhibition spaces beyond. The design is executed in a contemporary style that complements the original 19th-century architecture, elements of which have been incorporated into the new spaces. The architects have collaborated with a number of artists to create permanent and functional art and craft works within the Gallery.
The Gallery's dramatic entrance on the Horse Wynd, directly opposite the new Scottish Parliament building, gives it a strong visual presence when approached from the Royal Mile. Inside, its two floors are linked by a sweeping wood staircase, which takes visitors from the entrance hall and shop to the main exhibition area above. On the first floor there are some 250 square metres of flexible display space, which can be treated as a single area or divided into smaller interconnecting units. Among the new public services are computer screens giving access to the Royal Collection's e-GALLERY, providing interactive electronic versions of exhibition catalogues and a database of other works from the Royal Collection.
Golden Jubilee year sees a major expansion of exhibition space for the Royal Collection, which began with the opening of the new Queen's Gallery at Buckingham Palace in May. Both Galleries are funded entirely by the Royal Collection through public admissions to the official residences of The Queen and a range of retail activities.
The Queen's Gallery at the Palace of Holyroodhouse will host a programme of changing exhibitions from the Royal Collection, focusing primarily on works from the Royal Library at Windsor Castle.
The opening of the Gallery will be marked with the exhibition Leonardo da Vinci: The Divine and the Grotesque (30 November 2002 - 30 March 2003), the largest exhibition devoted to Leonardo da Vinci ever held in Scotland and the first to examine the artist's life-long obsession with the human form. All 68 works come from the Royal Collection, which holds the world's finest group of Leonardo's drawings.
Further information is available from Public Relations and Marketing, the Royal Collection, telephone: 020-7839 1377, fax: 020-7839 8168, e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org.