The National Museum of Scotland has a jam-packed schedule of events and exhibitions rolling out this August, part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Edinburgh International Festival and Edinburgh Art Festival programmes.

To celebrate the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the Museum has two special series of events planned.

On 17 and 24 August the Museum, in partnership with C venues, launches Museum After Hours, a unique opportunity to explore the Museum’s collections and its brand new Mary, Queen of Scots exhibition after hours, with bars, music and performers in the Grand Gallery. Artists from across the globe will perform at these unmissable events, including Russian mimes Confused in Syracuse, the spectacular Japanese circus troupe Company Man, and acclaimed Korean physical theatre group A Romance. There will also be renaissance entertainment featuring Shakespeare for Breakfast and hands on activities linked to the exhibition. Tickets cost £15 (£12 concessions) and are on sale now at

Free Fringe Music, in partnership with Live Music Now Scotland, will showcase some of the country’s most talented young musicians – for free. Every lunchtime, between 3 - 25 August, visitors in the Grand Gallery will be invited to enjoy music inspired by the national collections, from the Renaissance to the present day, all performed by young Scottish artists.

From contemporary artists Jo Mango, Miniature Dinosaurs, Amy McDougall and Dave MacGregor to the classically trained Jennifer Port, Arunda Trio and Trio Nielsen; to Scots with a global musical outlook such as Knox and Ion Latin, Les Buckle Combo and Trovodor, Free Fringe Music is a true celebration of both the diversity of the museum’s collections and Scotland’s music scene today.

National Museums Scotland is also proud to be working with the Edinburgh International Festival on Movements, a series of fascinating talks and events exploring how artists have kept pace with technology over the centuries and how, in turn, technology influences their work.

From the 19 to 25 and 27 August musicians such as Brian Eno, Irvine Arditti and Simon Kirby will discuss subjects ranging from the history of the piano to commissioning music for the deaf, and from the phenomenon of Deus ex machina to the value of using period instruments in contemporary music. Tickets cost £6 and are on sale now at

To complete the summer festivals strand, Ilana Halperin, the artist behind the stunning contemporary art exhibition The Library, currently on display in the Grand Gallery, is hosting two events as part of the Edinburgh Art Festival. On 3 August Geological Home Movies, a special screening of films at the Museum, explores how different artists interact with geological processes, play with the laws of physics and embrace nature's capacity to create and destroy, including a new work by the Ilana herself. Then on 17 August, Andrew Patrizio, Professor of Visual Culture at the University of Edinburgh, explores the surprising relationship between contemporary art and geology in A Tour of The Library. Both these events are free but can be booked in advance online here

As well as tailored festival events the National Museum of Scotland also has special exhibitions on display, including Amazing Amber – which has free entry – and our major summer exhibition Mary, Queen of Scots. Both have innovative programmes of accompanying events, including In Conversation: Antonia Fraser, a unique opportunity to hear the author discuss her highly acclaimed book on the Scottish queen. Children and families can also enjoy a variety of fun-filled events throughout the holidays, including RSPB: Raptors! which explores the importance of birds of prey throughout history, and Royal Rumblings! courtly crafts, costumes and hands-on history inspired by the Mary, Queen of Scots exhibition.

Notes to Editors

  • National Museums Scotland is one of the leading museum groups in the UK and Europe and it looks after collections of national and international importance. The organisation provides loans, partnerships, research and training in Scotland and internationally. Our individual museums are the National Museum of Scotland, the National Museum of Flight, the National Museum of Rural Life and the National War Museum. The National Museums Collection Centre in Edinburgh houses conservation and research facilities as well as collections not currently on display.

  • The National Museum of Scotland reopened in summer 2011 following a three-year, £47m redevelopment. Since then it has been awarded the Tripadvisor Travellers’ Choice Award for the number one museum in the UK, 6th in Europe and 18th in the world. It has entered the top ten most popular UK visitor attractions (ALVA), becoming the most popular attraction in the country outside of London. And with nearly 1.9 million visitors in 2012, the Museum has just entered the top 20 most popular art museums and galleries in the world (The Art Newspaper).

For more information or images, please contact Esme Haigh, Ruth Mackie or Bruce Blacklaw, Press Office, Tel (0131) 247 4391 or email

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