Spanning nearly 300 years, the NHS Lothian collection exudes a sense of place and history. The collection started in the early eighteenth century when hospital life began in Edinburgh’s Old Town and gathered pace in the nineteenth century with the trend for commissioning portraits of those whose discoveries and donations had advanced medical science and patients’ care. An underpinning objective of NHS Lothian Charity is to enhance the wellbeing of patients, staff and visitors by providing a stimulating environment and by directly involving the artists with staff and patients. Some works are fully gifted by the artists. Many are partly gifted and partly purchased with the help of charitable bequests. Thanks to the generosity of so many, NHS Lothian now owns over 2,000 works of art, each playing an integral role in the lives of the staff, patients and visitors who pass by them.