Ray Harryhausen: Titan of Cinema exhibition reopens Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art

The work of visionary stop-motion auteur Ray Harryhausen is being celebrated as part of the late filmmaker’s centenary, at the Ray Harryhausen: Titan of Cinema exhibition, at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art Modern Two, Edinburgh.

Harryhausen was responsible for many iconic moments in cinematic VFX, with classics such as Jason and the Argonauts (1963) and Clash of the Titans (1981).

The exhibition, hailed as the largest and most comprehensive exhibition on the pioneering and work of Ray Harryhausen yet, corresponds with the publication of Ray Harryhausen: Titan of Cinema, written by Harryhausen’s daughter Vanessa. It runs tober October 24 to September 5.

The exhibition will showcase original models from Harryhausen’s work, including the iconic skeletons from Jason and the Argonauts, the Cyclops from his highly-influential Sinbad series and the UFOs from Earth vs the Flying Saucers

Himself inspired by the work of King Kong creator Willis O’Brien, Harryhausen went on to influence Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Peter Jackson and Guillermo del Toro.

Harryhausen was responsible for many iconic moments in cinematic VFX, with classics such as Jason and the Argonauts and Clash of the Titans

Harryhausen’s painstaking approach defined the fantasy film genre

Visitors will also see posters, memorabilia, never-seen-before photographs, storyboard illustrations and the drawings and art that inspired Harryhausen’s creatures and films, all taken from his remarkable collection. 

The exhibition, originally scheduled for May this year and delayed due to COVID-19, will now lead the reopening of Modern Two.

The exhibition also traces Harryhausen’s unique connection to Scotland. Not only did Ray and his lifelong partner Diana have an affinity for Scotland, but Diana was also the great-great granddaughter of the Scottish explorer David Livingstone. One of Harryhausen’s final projects was designing a statue of the legendary missionary, which now resides in Blantyre.  

Harryhausen’s models had sophisticated metal armatures

Vanessa Harryhausen, daughter of Ray Harryhausen and a Trustee of The Ray and Diana Harryhausen Foundation, said: “Our plans to celebrate Dad’s centenary at the National Galleries in Edinburgh are so exciting; if he was still around, he would be so enthused by all the centenary celebrations and plans! It’s wonderful that we are able to display so much of Dad’s collection: the space at the Galleries gives us great scope to display as many of his models and artworks as possible, as well as personal items which have never been exhibited before.” 

The exhibition runs from October 24 to  September 5, ticket are £14-12 (concessions available). Visitors can secure their tickets via the new online booking system, available from

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