Scottish Arts Club

The Social Hub of the Arts in Scotland

About the Scottish Arts Club

The Scottish Arts Club has been the social hub for the Arts in Scotland since its founding in 1872.

Our professional members include painters and sculptors, movie-makers and musicians, planners, playwrights and poets, novelists and journalists, architects and designers, dancers and diplomats. Lay members range from academics, accountants and administrators, to dentists and doctors, lawyers and librarians, and scientists and students, all with an interest in the Arts.

The Scottish Arts Club was founded by a group of artists in 1872 and moved to Rutland Square in 1895.

The Club has made few changes to the building. In 1895, in place of the three bedrooms that were on the top floor, one very large L-shaped room was created for two billiards tables. The ceiling was raised, and two large roof lights were put in. (These windows were blacked out during WWII.) The billiards tables have now been removed, and a large Studio created, providing wonderful light that was ideal for drawing and painting, as well as a Members' reading room. Naturally, the Studio is where the Club holds life and portrait painting, along with talks, film screenings, and concerts. The space is also used for music and play rehearsals and meetings.

An active gallery

Our annual programme of exhibitions, open to the public, showcases the best of Scottish and International artists.

Our three gallery spaces, from the intimate Geddes Gallery to the imposing Club Room Gallery, provide a range of environments to suit the artist.

Recent artists to exhibit in the Club Room Gallery include:

  • George Donald RSA RSW
  • James H Fairgrieve RSA RSW
  • George Gilbert RSW
  • Margaretann Bennett RSW
  • Victoria Crowe OBE FRSE RSA

Exhibition 3 May 2017 - 27 May 2017

Mike FarninghamAn exhibition by Mike Farningham, "Recent Paintings", with Dianne King's Silver Jewellery in the Cabinet.

Exhibition 5 April 2017 - 29 April 2017

Cecile Simonis, SSA 2015 Award WinnerAn exhibition by Cecile Simonis, the SSA 2015 Award winner, with Artist Books in the Cabinet and the Scottish Society of Botanical Artists in the Dining Room.

Exhibition 1 March 2017 - 1 April 2017

What is the Point?An exhibition by "What is the Point?" with works from over 30 artists, with Leona Roberts displaying "Small Sculptures" in the Craft Cabinet.

Exhibition 2 February 2017 - 26 February 2017

Catriona Mann, RSWAn exhibition by Catriona Mann RSW, the RSW 2014 Award Winner, with Christina Suter displaying hand weaving in the Craft Cabinet.

Exhibition 11 January 2017 - 1 February 2017

Club CollectionAn exhibition of the Club's collection of art works.

Exhibition 7 November 2016 - 7 January 2017

Members' Exhibition 2016An exhibition of Members' work. Five textile artists are exhibiting in the craft cabinet.

Exhibition 5 October - 5 November 2016

Diana Hope, 2015 RSA Award WinnerAn exhibition entitled "Outside Inside" by Diana Hope, the 2015 RSA Award Winner. Club favourite, Lucie Macaulay, is exhibiting in the craft cabinet.

Exhibition 7 September - 1 October 2016

Portrait ExhibitionAn exhibition of portraits by members is exhibiting in the Club Room, while Alex Lopez exhibits Sculpture in the Craft Cabinets.

Exhibition 3 August - 3 September 2016

Festival exhibition by Jennifer McRae RSAJennifer McRae RSA is exhibiting in the Club Room, Ian Stuart Campbell will exhibit his Pen & Ink Drawings in the Dining Room, Fiona Maher has exhibits in the Geddes Garden while Natalie Adams (VAS Award winner) exhibits Jewelery in the Craft Cabinets.

Exhibition 6 July - 2 August 2016

Members' ExhibitionExhibition by Members of the Scottish Arts Club, Craft (Ceramics) by Gavin Burnett.


A varied programme of talks, concerts, and events

Creation, Education and Entertainment

  • Exhibitions, with Private View parties for Members;
  • Lectures on myriad subjects;
  • Book launches where Members can meet authors;
  • Music recitals and concerts, where Members can meet and talk with musicians, after the performance.

We also hold regular, practical art gatherings for Members, including a Life Class and a Writers' group.

Learn the skills of Oil Painting

teacher and studentDesigned to teach oil painting techniques with a hands-on course where you will produce a detailed copy of your favourite masters. Cost £45 for Members and £75 for non-members. For further details and list of materials required please contact

The Tutor is Florence Sinclair-M: an accomplished multi-media artist with many solo exhibitions and awards to her name. A member of the Scottish Arts Club, she has successfully taught mixed age groups the art of oil painting.

10 x 2-hour sessions - Every Thursday evening 6:30pm - 8:30pm from May 4th

To sign-up and for further details of materials required either:

  • Sign the attendance sheet at the Club;
  • Email Valerie at; or
  • Telephone: 0131 229 8157

A range of spaces to suit your occasion

An oasis of calm, minutes from Princess Street, miles from stress.

We have a number of attractive spaces to suit your needs.

The entrance to the Scottish Arts Club is on the ground floor of a Georgian town house and leads to the Club's six public rooms, located on three floors.

  • Peploe Dining Room, ground floor
  • McTaggart Room, ground floor
  • Club Room, first floor
  • Bar, first floor
  • John Calder Reading Room, second floor
  • Studio, second floor

There is a stair lift between ground and first floor and from the first to the second floor.

While the Club has no accommodation, preferential rates are available from a selection of nearby hotels. See list.

Practical Support for the Arts in Scotland

The Scottish Arts Club supports a number of awards aimed at recognising artistic talent and bringing it to the attention of a wider audience.

Theatre Awards' Night: Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Awards are:

For Drama

  • Scottish Arts Club Theatre Award: the "Flying Artichoke" Award
    • The winner for 2016 is "Expensive Shit" by Adura Onashile, a Scottish Theatre Producers in association with Traverse Theatre.
    • The runner up was Sonder Theatre in association with Mermaids's "Delay Detach", at Greenside@Infirmary Street.

The Scottish Arts Club Theatre Award is supported by: Pickerings Gin

The Scottish Arts Club Bright Spark Award (for an emerging Scottish talent) was Julia Carstairs, Director of "Playback", a Stag Hart Production at Paradise in Augustines.

Full details of all the award winners, and the runners up, are available on the SAC Theatre Award microsite.

For Visual Arts

  • RSA Open
  • RSA Annual
  • RSW Annual
  • SSA Annual
  • VAS Annual

Winners are entitled to two years' free membership of the Club and an exhibition during the period, usually in the second year of their free membership. If the Club is unable to offer them an exhibition slot, their free membership can be extended for another year and the exhibition staged in that year. The RSA Award winners are chosen by the RSA without Club involvement. The RSW, SSA, VAS awards are chosen by representatives of the Scottish Arts Club, including the Art Convenor and other SAC members invited by the Arts Convenor. They are assisted on the day by a representative of the SSA/RSW/VAS.

Scottish Arts Club Short Story Competition

Thank you everyone who entered the 2016 Scottish Arts Club Short Story Competition. Read the stories written by our six finalists share your ideas on Facebook and Twitter @artsclubwriters about who you think should win the prize!

The 2017 Scottish Arts Club Short Story Competition will open for entries on 1 October 2016 with the winner and runners up again selected by Alexander McCall Smith. In addition to the £800 main prize, which is open to writers worldwide, we are introducing the Isobel Lodge Award for New Scottish Writing with a £500 prize for unpublished writers.

Workshops for Writers

The Scottish Arts Club also regularly offers two-day workshops for writers that are open to the public. The facilitators are always award-winning authors who have many years’ experience mentoring writers, including work with the Arvon Foundation. Look at our Writer’s Workshop page to find out about current and coming opportunities.

Alexander McCall Smith presents the 2014 award
to our first winner, Sandra Ireland

Alexander McCall Smith presents the 2014 award to our first winner, Sandra Ireland

Contact us

Scottish Arts Club
24 Rutland Square

+44 (0)131 229 8157



Tuesday - Saturday: 10.30am - 11pm


Tuesday - Saturday: 10.30am - 2pm