The Gallery of Modern Art, known as GoMA, is housed in the former neo-classical town house of William Cunninghame of Lainshaw (1731-1799), one of several tobacco merchants who profited greatly from overseas trade. The building, in Royal Exchange Square, later housed the Royal Exchange and then Stirling’s Library. GoMA opened here in 1996. The gallery is dedicated to modern art, housing works by such famous artists as Andy Warhol and David Hockney. In front of the gallery in Queen Street there is an equestrian statue of the 1st Duke of Wellington, sculpted by Carlo Marochetti in 1844. The Duke and his horse invariably have traffic cones on their heads, a circumstance that has become a longstanding joke and popular tourist attraction. It is the most visited of the modern art galleries in Scotland, collecting and borrowing works that highlight the interests, influences and working methods shared by local and international artists. The library has an extensive collection of books on art and design. There are temporary exhibitions and GoMA highlights social issues of the day through its varied programme.
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