Object Of The Month

April 2024 - Caledon Shipbuilding Medal

Jeannie, a volunteer at the McManus Collections Unit, talks about a medal donated by a Caledon shipyard worker, as well as the history of the Caledon company. 

The medal is on display in The McManus's This Just In exhibition, open until 20 October 2024, free entry.

Previous Objects

March 2024 - Dor Beetle

Did you know there are around 2600 species of beetle in Scotland? Visitor assistant Kristen talks about her favourite critter, the Dor Beetle, and the role of bugs in our ecosystem.

February 2024 - Astrolabe

Before GPS, people used the stars to find their position in the world. Here visitor assistant Robert talks about the oldest known Astrolabe, which is on display in the McManus.

January 2024 - Four Pears by Allan Beveridge

Art Curator Susan Keracher talks about Four Pears, a colour etched print by Allan Beveridge. It is featured in The McManus' free exhibition "Impressed: Twentieth Century Artist Prints from Dundee’s Collection"

December 2023 - The McManus' European Beaver

McManus visitor assistant Neil talks about a European beaver on display in the museum, as well as the interesting story behind their reintroduction to the Scottish countryside.

November 2023 - Haar Head by Stephen Bird

The McManus's visitor assistant Amelia Gourlay talks about Haar Head, a sculpture by Stephen Bird which encapsulates his time in Dundee.

October 2023 - Grocer's Shop

The McManus's museum services manager Gareth Jackson-Hunt talks about the Grocer's Shop, a display featuring a collection of retail products spanning 150 years. The display is based on the museum's highly popular The Street exhibition.

September 2023 - Covid Display Case

Brian and Rebecca from the Scottish Ambulance Service talk about items in a new display at The McManus which tell the story of Dundee during the pandemic, and what it was like for those working on the front line. 

The display case can be found in The McManus' Making of Modern Dundee gallery.

August 2023 - Jeweller's Book

Social history curator Carly Cooper looks at a beautiful book from Dundee jeweller Frank Robert Edward which would have been used to showcase his designs to customers.

The book was purchased at auction with help from the National Fund for Acquisitions.

July 2023 - Uphill, Portrait of Syd Scroggie

Neil Williamson talks about "Uphill, Portrait of Syd Scroggie (1919–2006)" by Lex Braes. The portrait is on display in The McManus' Hidden Histories exhibition.

June 2023 - Where are we in this? by Lil Neilson

Kirsty Matheson, curatorial assistant for The McManus' Fine & Applied Art section, talks about 'Where Are We in This?', an abstract artwork by Scottish artist Lil Neilson which is currently on display in the gallery's Hidden Histories exhibition - more information at https://www.mcmanus.co.uk/exhibitions

April 2023 - Bank Notes

Shahbaz Majeed - photographer, author, and presenter of the BBC's Landward - talks about bank notes featuring his photography which are now in a display dedicated to iconic Dundonians at The McManus.

March 2023 - Discovery Walk Pin

Artist Suzanne Scott, AKA Whimsical Lush, talks about a pin badge in The McManus' display dedicated to Dundee icons. The badge was made to fund Dundee's Discovery Walk, which Suzanne created designs for.

February 2023 - Red Deer Stag

Curator Mike Sedakat talks about the Red Deer Stag that can be found in The McManus' collections.

January 2023 - Dundee Cake Ale Bottle

Dundee artist Suzanne Scott (Whimsical Lush) talks about the label she designed for Dundee Cake Ale which is now on display in a special case celebrating Dundee icons in The McManus.

December 2022 - Signed Dundee FC Ball

The rivalry between Dundee's two football teams is a hot topic, and both teams are represented in our Making of Modern Dundee gallery. Here The McManus' engagement officer Paul Campbell talks about a football signed by Dundee FC's squad and his connection to the club for Object of the Month.

November 2022 - The Associates

June Barrie talks about The Associates and objects related to the band which are now on display in a special case celebrating Dundee icons in the McManus' Making of Modern Dundee gallery.

September 2022 - Fire Screen

Curator Mike Sedakat talks about a fire screen from The McManus' The Street exhibition. It features taxidermied sun birds from South Africa and would have been used in the Victorian/Edwardian era.

The Street is on at The McManus until 8 January 2023, admission is free.

August 2022 - The Lyric by William Quiller Orchardson

Museum registrar Lili Bartholomew talks about a painting by Scottish artist William Quiller Orchardson, which is on display in the McManus' Victoria Gallery.

July 2022 - Rae Family Medals

On the outbreak of the Second World War, four brothers from Dundee enlisted. They were Stanley, Ian, Douglas and Bruce. The boys had a very similar education at Cargilfield Preparatory School and later Fettes College, Edinburgh, but each would experience very different theatres of war. Remarkably, the four boys brought four Military Crosses home to Dundee – a medal awarded only for ‘exemplary gallantry’.

June 2022 - Greek Amphora

Vicky Donnellan from The British Museum tells the story of Achilles and Hector illustrated on an ancient Greek amphora which is on display at The McManus as part of Troy: beauty and heroism until 14 August 2022.

May 2022 - Suffragette Certificate

A certificate designed by Suffragette Sylvia Pankhurst was discovered in Broughty Ferry in the 1970s. Sanna Dyker talks about the certificate and the history of the Suffragettes for The McManus' Object of the Month.

You can find the certificate on display in The McManus' Making of Modern Dundee gallery until the end of May 2022.

April 2022 - Disbanded by John Pettie

Art curator Susan Keracher talks about John Pettie's Disbanded, a striking image of a kilted highlander. You can see it in The McManus' Victoria Gallery.

This painting was chosen as part of the BBC's Art That Made Us festival, a nationwide event celebrating creativity. Find out more at https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/arti...

March 2022 - Baledgarno Disc

Fraser Hunter from National Museums Scotland talks about a polished stone disc from The McManus' collection which was discovered in a Tomb at Baledgarno Gravel Pit, and discusses its origins and usage in Iron Age Scotland.

January 2022 - Certificate of Discharge

Curator Julie McCombie talks about a Certificate of Discharge in the McManus' collection. The certificate was an important document used by sailors in the 18th century.

December 2021 - Christmas Traditions

Conservator Rebecca Jackson-Hunt talks about traditional Christmas items from The McManus' collection which will be included in the new exhibition, The Street.

November 2021 - 1961 Trade Fair Badge

Zoe Polanska-Palmer was a prisoner at Auschwitz in World War II. Curator Carly Cooper tells the story of how Zoe escaped and ended up in Broughty Ferry, and the badge she wore at an emotional time of her life.

October 2021 - Pterygotus Fossil

Pterygotus is an aquatic arthropod which went extinct hundreds of millions of years ago. The McManus' curator David Lampard talks about a fossil of the creature from their collection.

Find out more about geology and the history of Scotland's landscapes at the Scottish Geology Festival https://www.scottishgeologytrust.org/festival/


September 2021 - Benvie Stone

Not much is known about the Picts, a group of people indigenous to the North and East of Scotland, but they left behind fascinating artwork carved into stones. Curator Christina Donald talks about one of these stones for The McManus' Object of the Month

August 2021 - Ellie Diamond Costume

Dundee drag queen Ellie Diamond was a finalist on RuPaul's Drag Race UK, and produced a handmade Dennis the Menace inspired costume for a challenge on the series. The costume will be going on display in The McManus so here Ellie talks about creating the look.

July 2021 - Golden Eagle

The golden eagle has become the unofficial bird of Scotland. Curator Mike Sedakat tells us more about the impressive and iconic species in The McManus' Object of the Month.

June 2021 - My Wife by Herbert James Gunn

The McManus' museum registrar Lili Bartholomew talks about the beautiful portrait, 'My Wife', by Glasgow-born artist Herbert James Gunn's.

Image © Estate of the Artist

April 2020 - Dura Den Fossils

Around 1859, sandstone deposits containing incredible fossilised fish were discovered in Ceres, Fife. Curator David Lampard talks about their significance and how they came to be there in The McManus' Object of the Month. The stones can be found in our Landscapes and Lives gallery.

March 2020 - Serbian Women by Francis Newbery

Francis 'Fra' Newbery was the Director of Glasgow School of Art from 1885 to 1918. His work is characterised by his interest in folk art and embroidery which are shown in 'Serbian Women'. Jeremy Howard talk about the painting, which you can see in The McManus' Dundee & The World gallery.

February 2020 - Dundee United FC Shirt

One of Dundee's football clubs, Dundee United, began its life as Dundee Hibernian. Club historian Tom Cairns talks about the team's history in The McManus' Object of the Month.

January 2020 - Maison Souter Bodice

Mary Souter was a Dundee-based dressmaker in the late 1800s. Kirsty Hassard from V&A Dundee talks about a beautiful bodice designed by Souter at her shop, Maison Souter, on the Nethergate.

December 2019 - Willielma Campbell, Lady Glenorchy by Katherine Read

Artist Katherine Read was born into a merchant family and was the first Scottish woman to pursue professional training as an artist.