12 May to 8 July 2012

William McKeown (1962 - 2011)


We all look at it as we wake up, and again as we leave our homes in the morning, throughout the day and before we go to sleep; our eyes have evolved to sense it acutely and green plants harness its energy, mostly in the blue and red regions of the spectrum, which is why they appear green: it is the light that makes life on earth possible. Yet as a subject for art it is relatively ignored. The Californian sculptor James Turrell uses it as a primary art material, building 'Sky spaces' - enclosures open to the sky to present light as solid colour. The German Romantic Landscape painter Caspar David Friedrich (1774 - 1840) notably captured the sublime qualities of the sun at dawn and dusk and of the moon at night.

Along with these artists, and relatively few others, stands the work of Northern Irish - Born painter William McKeown, who until his death in 2011 painted the sky of his adopted city of Edinburgh and his native County Tyrone. McKeown was a great admirer of Inverleith House where in spring 2012, a collection of his most recent paintings were exhibited for the first time.

We are deeply grateful to the artist's estate and to the Kerlin Gallery, Dublin for their support in making this exhibition possible.

William McKeown, Untitled, oil on Linen, 2007. Courtesy of Kerlin Gallery, Dublin and the artists estate

Remarkable Trees - Photographs from the Collection of George Paxton (1850-1904)


Birch Bark - George Paxton, Courtesy Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.

Illustrating an amateur botanist's fascination with trees, these photographs taken in Scotland in the late 1800's have never before been shown in public. Printed from glass plate negatives donated to the Garden, the exhibition contributes to ongoing archival research into this collection's origins and significance.

Agnes Martin Centenary - Gabriel (1976)


Photograph by Charles R. Rushton, Courtesy the Photographer and Pace Gallery, New York.

A rare screening of the artists only film, was displayed continuously in the basement gallery of Inverleith House.

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The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is a charity (registration number SC007983)