History

Established in 1980, the American Foundation has made a lasting contribution to Scotland’s culture and heritage. Over this time, our supporters have contributed to major renovations at the National Museum of Scotland and the National Museum of Flight, as well as the acquisition of important artefacts, revealing the stories that connect Scotland to the world and the world to Scotland.

We are proud of what our supporters have enabled National Museums Scotland to accomplish. The donations received continue to be vitally important to revealing Scotland’s national collections, for people around the world to enjoy.

American Foundation Timeline

  • 1980 - The American Foundation, originally called the Scottish National Trust Golden Jubilee Foundation (USA), was founded with the vision to becoming a significant source of funding to enable the development and preservation of Scottish culture.

    1980 - The American Foundation, originally called the Scottish National Trust Golden Jubilee Foundation (USA), was founded with the vision to becoming a significant source of funding to enable the development and preservation of Scottish culture.

  • 1985 - The Royal Scottish Museum was amalgamated with the National Museum of Antiquities. This created what is now known as National Museums Scotland, the largest multi-disciplinary museum in Scotland.

    1985 - The Royal Scottish Museum was amalgamated with the National Museum of Antiquities. This created what is now known as National Museums Scotland, the largest multi-disciplinary museum in Scotland.

  • 1998 - Queen Elizabeth II opens the National Museum of Scotland in the old Victorian Royal Museum building in Edinburgh, with substantial support from the American Foundation, creating a permanent home for significant Scottish collections.

    1998 - Queen Elizabeth II opens the National Museum of Scotland in the old Victorian Royal Museum building in Edinburgh, with substantial support from the American Foundation, creating a permanent home for significant Scottish collections.

  • 2004 - Scotland's Concorde, G-B0AA, was transported 385 miles over ground from Heathrow to the National Museum of Flight. Based at East Fortune airfield, which played major roles in both WWI and WWII, this is one of the most significant aviation museums in Europe. The American Foundation was pleased to contribute to the movement of this historical plane to its new home, where it has been enjoyed by visitors since. This year also saw the launch of the National Museums Scotland Masterplan – an ambitious project to restore the true beauty of the original National Museum of Scotland building and reveal treasures of international importance.

    2004 - Scotland's Concorde, G-B0AA, was transported 385 miles over ground from Heathrow to the National Museum of Flight. Based at East Fortune airfield, which played major roles in both WWI and WWII, this is one of the most significant aviation museums in Europe. The American Foundation was pleased to contribute to the movement of this historical plane to its new home, where it has been enjoyed by visitors since. This year also saw the launch of the National Museums Scotland Masterplan – an ambitious project to restore the true beauty of the original National Museum of Scotland building and reveal treasures of international importance.

  • 2008 - Two thirds of the National Museum of Scotland closed for the largest single refurbishment in its history. Only the West Wing of the old Victorian Royal Museum building remained open whilst almost all artefacts from the closed galleries were packed away into storage.

    2008 - Two thirds of the National Museum of Scotland closed for the largest single refurbishment in its history. Only the West Wing of the old Victorian Royal Museum building remained open whilst almost all artefacts from the closed galleries were packed away into storage.

  • 2011 - With assistance from the American Foundation, the initial phases of the Masterplan transformed a large portion of the old Victorian Royal Museum building into a vibrant museum for the 21st century. A huge crowd gathered to witness the opening of the museum, which received over 20,000 visitors on its first day, all clamouring to view 26 newly unveiled galleries.

    2011 - With assistance from the American Foundation, the initial phases of the Masterplan transformed a large portion of the old Victorian Royal Museum building into a vibrant museum for the 21st century. A huge crowd gathered to witness the opening of the museum, which received over 20,000 visitors on its first day, all clamouring to view 26 newly unveiled galleries.

  • 2014 - National Museums Scotland announced the next stage of the £80 million Masterplan, continuing to restore the much loved Victorian building to its former grandeur. Supporters of the American Foundation enabled the project of creating ten new galleries to get underway.

    2014 - National Museums Scotland announced the next stage of the £80 million Masterplan, continuing to restore the much loved Victorian building to its former grandeur. Supporters of the American Foundation enabled the project of creating ten new galleries to get underway.

  • 2016 - The National Museum of Flight opened two newly restored hangars telling the stories of military and civil aviation over the past 100 years and showcasing a world-class collection of aircraft alongside uniforms, documents and photographs. At the National Museum of Scotland, the ten new galleries were unveiled revealing more than 3,000 artefacts through four Art, Design and Fashion galleries and six Science and Technology galleries – with many of these artefacts having not been on display for generations.

    2016 - The National Museum of Flight opened two newly restored hangars telling the stories of military and civil aviation over the past 100 years and showcasing a world-class collection of aircraft alongside uniforms, documents and photographs. At the National Museum of Scotland, the ten new galleries were unveiled revealing more than 3,000 artefacts through four Art, Design and Fashion galleries and six Science and Technology galleries – with many of these artefacts having not been on display for generations.

  • 2017 The final phase of the Masterplan to complete the National Museum of Scotland’s transformation commenced including the creation of two new galleries to display the Ancient Egypt and East Asia collections.

    2017 The final phase of the Masterplan to complete the National Museum of Scotland’s transformation commenced including the creation of two new galleries to display the Ancient Egypt and East Asia collections.

  • 2017 The campaign to raise the £1.98 million required to save  or the nation the Galloway Hoard - the richest collection of rare and unique Viking-age objects ever found in Britain or Ireland  was successful. The acquisition was  made possible by donations from all across the globe including the USA through support for the American Foundation for National Museums Scotland.

    2017 The campaign to raise the £1.98 million required to save or the nation the Galloway Hoard - the richest collection of rare and unique Viking-age objects ever found in Britain or Ireland was successful. The acquisition was made possible by donations from all across the globe including the USA through support for the American Foundation for National Museums Scotland.

  • 2019 The opening of the Ancient Egypt Rediscovered, Exploring East Asia and the Art of Ceramics galleries in February 2019 saw the completion of the 15-year, £80 million transformation of the Museum, restoring the much-loved Victorian building and revealing more of its treasures.

    2019 The opening of the Ancient Egypt Rediscovered, Exploring East Asia and the Art of Ceramics galleries in February 2019 saw the completion of the 15-year, £80 million transformation of the Museum, restoring the much-loved Victorian building and revealing more of its treasures.

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