Five ways to enjoy art

As Scotland’s largest visual arts festival gets underway here’s how to get the most out of art with the help of Edinburgh Libraries – all the year round.

1. Visit the Art Library

Edinburgh is incredibly lucky (even if we say so ourselves) to be blessed with its very own public art library, located within Central Library on George IV Bridge.

You’ll find plenty to amuse and amaze among its massive collection of books, magazines and DVDs covering every aspect of painting, sculpture, architecture, photography and design.

As someone once said to me, “It’s one of these places that every time I visit I think I really should come here more often”. And they’re right.

2. Log on to the most informative art site on the web

One of the best things about being a member of Edinburgh Libraries is that it gives you FREE access to subscription-only web sites like Oxford Art Online, probably the most comprehensive source of art information on the web. We could spend ages going on about how great this site is but probably the best thing is just for you to go take a look for yourself. Then impress your friends with your new-found levels of knowledge, taste and sophistication.

3. Get active

Throughout the year libraries play host to all manner of art and craft based activities for readers of all ages. This week, for example, budding graphic novelists have been getting busy at Blackhall.

And if you’re not a creative type, but enjoy finding out about those who are, our programme of talks and lectures has a strong visual arts strand.

4. See and be seen

Libraries play host to an ever-changing cycle of exhibitions. A great way for artists to get their masterpieces seen – and sometimes even sold.

5. Sample the delights of Capital Collections

Finally, spend a happy hour or six browsing this wonderful online gallery from the collections of Edinburgh’s libraries, museums and galleries. You can even order prints of your favourite pictures, taking care of everyone’s Christmas presents in a oner. Here’s a personal favourite, from one of our ancient Japanese scrolls.

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