Ship Models go on permanent display at The McManus

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Ship Models go on permanent display at The McManus

Today, a new exhibition has gone on permanent display at The McManus: Dundee’s Art Gallery & Museum as part of their 150th anniversary celebrations. The Maritime Quarter, tells the story of Dundee’s rich maritime heritage and the city’s links to the wider world. Located in the Dundee & the World gallery, a new bespoke case houses over 30 models from the city’s collections. Alongside a range of model sailing ships, war ships and half hulls, the exhibition also features Dundee Perth and London (DP&L) models acquired by the museum.

The display has been inspired by the purchase of eight DP&L Shipping Company models in 2015. Leisure & Culture Dundee campaigned to raise the money and with support from the National Fund for Acquisition alongside seven other public bodies they were able to secure the models.

This exhibition shows Dundee’s maritime history reaches well beyond the city’s limits. Whether through trade, leisure or service, connections can be felt worldwide. Dundee has always had strong trading links and from the 14th Century the city exported cloth, animal skins and fish and later imported fruit, wine, sugar and timber. From at least the 16th Century, Dundee had its own ‘Maritime Quarter’ situated between the Nethergate and Seagate, which was home to shipmasters as well as different trades that provided for the ships.

In the late 18th and 19th Centuries Dundee became Britain’s largest whaling port and from the 1830s jute dominated Dundee trade. Ship building was a key industry in Dundee and throughout the 19th and early 20th Centuries Dundee shipyards such as Caledon and Gourlay Brothers were known for their world class skills. As well as examining these periods, the display also looks at builders’ models created by skilled craftsmen around the times the actual ships were built.

Gareth Jackson-Hunt, Museum Services Section Leader at Leisure & Culture Dundee said

“We would like to thank everyone who has supported this exhibition and It is fitting now that they are now on permanent display. Dundee’s Maritime Heritage is such an important part of Dundee’s story and we are grateful we are to be able to share that with our visitors in our 150th anniversary year.”

Maritime historian Dr Andrew Jeffrey said,

“This remarkable new exhibition will highlight Dundee’s role as one of Scotland’s major sea ports. It will celebrate the shipyard workers who built the ships, it will honour the hardy crews who sailed them to every corner of the globe and it will tell the story of some of the truly dramatic events that they were caught up in. It is a very welcome addition to The McManus in its 150th anniversary year.”

The exhibition has been supported by Leisure & Culture Dundee, Unicorn Properties, The Lethendy Charitable Trust, W. S. Phillips Charitable Trust, Walter Craig Charitable Trust, The Alexander Moncur Trust, the National Fund for Acquisitions, Dundee City Council Common Good Fund, Dundee Sailors Home and Hostel and the Fraternity of Masters and Seamen of Dundee for supporting this display.

Admission is free and opening times are Monday to Saturday 10am-5pm and Sunday 12.30-4.30pm.

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