After almost 60 years, the stunning and beloved Inverleith House has closed its doors. As a groundbreaking centre for international contemporary art, Inverleith has shown more Turner Prize winning artists than any other U.K gallery aside from the Tate. Yet, the sudden closure of the space has occurred without consultation or prior warning.
Royal Botanical Gardens Edinburgh have remained tight-lipped on the reasons for the move or plans for the future, although many have voiced suspicions that the house is destined for use as office space or even a wedding venue. If this is the case it is easy to see why some are dubbing the move ‘cultural vandalism’, with exhibited artists including James Turrell, Andy Goldsworthy and Martin Creed, as well as Matisse, Picasso and Henry Moore it’s easy to see how this conclusion has been drawn by the majority. Douglas Gordon has been quoted as saying the closure is “the most myopic decision that any forward-thinking administration could possibly make. Bang goes the Enlightenment–roll on the Dark Ages!”.
Since the news was announced the following surge of opinion has prompted widespread hope that there is a compromise to be made, and that this iconic venue will not be lost forever. Culture secretary Fiona Hyslop, plans to meet with RBGE and Culture Scotland in an attempt to discuss funding issues and reach a positive resolution. In the meantime the petition against the closure is still gaining signatures.