The Galleries

The McManus: Dundee’s Art Gallery and Museum has a fascinating history. 

Originally known as the ‘Albert Institute for Literature, Science and Art’, it was built as a memorial to Prince Albert, the greatest cultural champion of his age. The building was constructed in three stages - the Public Library (1865-67) was followed by the Art Gallery and Museum (1871-73) and finally the Victoria Galleries were added in 1889. Access into the building was through the magnificent external staircase on the east side of Albert Square. In 1984 the refurbished museum was renamed after Lord Provost Maurice McManus, who served from 1960-67. 

Today The McManus: Dundee's Art Gallery and Museum remains at the very heart of the city. Sir George Gilbert Scott's magnificent Victorian Gothic building was redeveloped by Page/Park architects between 2005-10 and combines stunning historic galleries with contemporary visitor facilities. The McManus is proud to be nicknamed The People's Museum and is home to a museum collection spanning 400 million years, much of which is considered of national importance. Eight beautiful open gallery spaces house stunning exhibitions of art, history and the environment.

What is a Museum

Discover what kind of objects make up the City’s collections and learn about the myriad ways in which design contributes to our lives. This display celebrates Dundee’s status as a UNESCO City of Design.

Landscapes and Lives

Journey through time to witness the creation of Dundee's natural landscape. Learn about the animals that used to live here, explore the lives of people who made their home in the area and see how a small settlement developed into the Burgh of Dundee.

Making of Modern Dundee

Experience the influences that shaped the City from the 1850s right up to the present day. From shopping to work, through two world wars, this gallery explores the development and successes of the City and its people.

Dundee and the World

Delve into the City’s international collections, evidence of Dundee’s relationships with the rest of the world. Learn about how these objects came to be here, and what they can tell us about the cultures they originate from.

This gallery is housed in the stunning Albert Hall, with its magnificent wooden ceiling and spectacular stained glass.

The Long Gallery

Marvel at the City's collection of studio ceramics. Learn about what inspired these artists and discover the processes used to create the stunning pieces on display.

Victoria Gallery

Explore Dundee’s historic Scottish oil paintings, shown alongside works by major English artists. This gallery with its original curved walls is preserved as it was when it opened in 1889. The paintings are hung high in the Victorian manner, to give a sense of how they were seen by visitors at the time.

Our Portrait of Willielma Campbell (nee Maxwell), Lady Glenorchy (1762) by Katherine Read is going on loan to Tate Britain, London. It will be on show in their exhibition Now You See Us; Women Artists in Britain 1520-1920, running from 16 May – 13 October 2024.

While she is away you will be able to see Mrs Moir of Leckie (1746-1823) by Henry Raeburn, from our collection; and a beautiful portrait of Margaret Campbell of Dudhope (c.1830) by the renowned Victorian portraitist John Partridge, on loan from a private collection. On display in the Victoria Gallery, McManus Gallery and Museum, from Wednesday 17 April.

Willielma Campbell (nee Maxwell), Lady Glenorchy

20th Century Gallery

Join us for our latest exhibition showcasing our collection of twentieth century art. See what’s on at the moment.

Here and Now

Come along to see the current temporary exhibition in this gallery, drawn from the City’s permanent collections. See what’s on at the moment.