Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art

Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art






The National Galleries of Scotland (NGS) cares for, develops, researches and displays the national collection of Scottish and international art and, with a lively and innovative programme of activities, exhibitions, education and publications, aims to engage, inform and inspire the broadest possible public.

NGS is a non-departmental public body (NDPB) centrally funded by the Scottish Government. It is internationally renowned, attracts nearly 2.4 million visitors per year and consists of the following sites in Edinburgh:

  • The Scottish National Gallery on The Mound
  • The Scottish National Portrait Gallery on Queen Street
  • The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art on Belford Road

There are also partner galleries: Duff House in Banff and Paxton House in Berwickshire.


Housed in two galleries and set in extensive parkland, the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (SNGMA) is home to Scotland’s outstanding national collection of modern and contemporary art. Consisting of works from 1900 to the present, the collection includes the most comprehensive collection of modern and contemporary Scottish art, and has particularly strong holdings of expressionist and modern British art, and world-class holdings of Dada and Surrealism.

In 2008, National Galleries of Scotland and Tate jointly acquired ARTIST ROOMS, a modern and contemporary art collection created through one of the largest and most imaginative gifts of art ever made to museums in Britain. The gift was made by Anthony d’Offay, with the assistance of the National Heritage Memorial Fund, The Art Fund, and the Scottish and British Governments. This established a national resource which continues to be made available to audiences through a significant national touring programme, with a particular emphasis on engaging with children and young people.

The contemporary programme at SNGMA remains a vital aspect of the Gallery’s activity. Building upon the scale and ambition of GENERATION: 25 Years of Contemporary Art in Scotland in 2014, a national programme of exhibitions devised by National Galleries of Scotland in partnership with Glasgow Life, SNGMA is launching a new contemporary programme in 2017, entitled NOW, which will take place across the ground floor galleries at Modern One. This series of six exhibitions over three years will feature the work of artists based in Scotland and those from elsewhere, in order to provide opportunities for audiences to encounter the breadth and wealth of creative practice. Alongside this programme, the SNGMA continues to develop other projects and partnerships, including Pig Rock Bothy, a semi-permanent structure situated in the grounds at Modern One, which is home to a dynamic and changing programme of residencies, exhibitions, workshops and events.


The Curatorial Assistant assists curatorial colleagues with the organisation, administration and delivery of temporary exhibitions and collection displays at Modern One and Two, ARTIST ROOMS, collections research, loans, acquisitions and digitisation. The post assists with the delivery of information in its various forms to the public, and updates departmental records as necessary.

The post-holder will report to the Senior Curator.



The main functions of this role are to:

  1. Assist curators with the organisation and administration of temporary exhibitions and collection displays, liaising with internal colleagues and external partners where appropriate.
  1. Assist curators with the organisation and administration of special programmes and projects, including Pig Rock Bothy.
  1. Assist curators with research and administration for acquisitions and collection documentation, creating records and maintaining filing.
  1. Assist in preparing and proof-reading leaflets, wall texts and labels, visitors’ comments books, large-type labels and other public information for print and digital.
  1. Collate and prepare information for lenders, funders and other stakeholders.
  1. Answer enquiries from the public – emails, letters and verbal queries in person, or by phone.
  1. Any other duties appropriate to the grade.

Knowledge, Skills and Experience

The following range of knowledge, skills and experience are required. Please ensure these are reflected in your application. Short listing for interview will be based on meeting these requirements.


  • A strong interest in and knowledge of 20th century and contemporary art.
  • Experience of working within a gallery or museum environment.
  • Excellent organisational and administrative skills, including the ability to prioritise work effectively and make accurate decisions under pressure and to tight deadlines.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Meticulous attention to detail and high level of accuracy.
  • Ability to work as part of a team and to develop and maintain effective working relations with a broad range of people, internally and externally.
  • Ability to take the initiative.
  • Competent and confident in working with computer packages.
  • Flexible approach and willingness to undertake duties outside normal working hours.


  • A degree or equivalent in 20th / 21st-century art history.
  • An interest in and knowledge of Scottish modern and contemporary art.
  • A working knowledge of Mimsy or other museum systems.


Salary range: £17,960 - £19,139 per annum

Starting salaries will normally be at the minimum or at a rate that reflects qualifications and/or experience which are of special value for the post and which are above minimum entry requirements.

Hours: 42 per week inclusive of meal breaks

Annual Leave:25 days per annum

In addition, all staff receive 10.5 public and privilege holidays

Pension:Civil Service pension provisions enables the National Galleries of Scotland to offer a choice of occupational and stakeholder pensions, giving you the flexibility to choose the pension that suits you best.

Closing date for applications 30th November 2017

It is anticipated that interviews will be week commencing 11 December 2017

Please note that the successful candidate will be subject to Basic Disclosure Scotland security clearance.

NGS is an equal opportunities employer committed to eliminating discrimination and encouraging diversity amongst our workforce.

National Galleries of Scotland is a charity registered in Scotland (No. SC003728)