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.

40 years of making history

  • Timeline Queenopening

    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.

  • The Tower Entrance to the National Museum of Scotland

    The new Scotland Galleries were opened in 1998, with substantial support from the American Foundation, creating a permanent home for significant Scottish collections.

  • 2018_02_27_XX_014.jpg

    Scotland's Concorde, G-B0AA, was transported 385 miles over ground from Heathrow to the National Museum of Flight. 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 2004.

  • Timeline Openingday

    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.

  • Artist's impression of the new fashion gallery.

    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.

  • Dolly the sheep in a glass case surrounded by vehicle displays in the Science and Technology galleries.

    At the National Museum of Scotland, the ten new galleries were in 2016 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.

  • Galloway Hoard Hub Vessel 700X525

    2017 The campaign to raise the £1.98 million required to save for 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 from the American Foundation for National Museums Scotland.

  • 2019 01 31 NH 013

    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.

  • Maryqosbox 06256 (1)

    2022 - Thanks to support from the American Foundation, a national treasure of Scotland is added to our collection. Containing a note over 300 years old, this silver casket tells its own story of ownership linking back to Mary, Queen of Scots.

  • 2022 04 07 RA 030

    Adventure Planet opens in 2022 providing a revitalised space helping families to understand our natural world and the steps they can take to protect it thanks to the generosity of the American Foundation.

  • Wet Clean The Sampler On Suction Table

    The new Leslie B. Durst Textile Conservation Internship programme started in 2022. Thanks to the American Foundation for National Museums Scotland, Leslie B. Durst and the Clothworkers Company for making these internships possible.

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