The McManus Galleries, one of Dundee’s most distinctive landmarks, was built in Gothic Revival Style.The gallery and museum, which opened in 1876 as the Albert Institure, was closed to the public for four years between 2006-2010 for major renovations.
Upon entering the building, I was drawn to the stained glass windows in the Cafe.
The beautiful stained glass continued with the depictions of well known Scots, including Robert Burns and Sir Walter Scott, on the staircase windows.
On the first floor, the Albert Hall, there was more magnificent stained glass.
I found the ‘Making of Modern Dundee’ section very interesting, although it was rather sad to read about the decline of so many industries in the city.
In the 1870s Dundee was the UK’s largest whaling port. However, that industry had declined by the early 1910s. There’s a collection of whaling equipment, including the harpoons depicted below, in the gallery.
The Tay Rail Bridge opened in 1878, connecting the East Coast line from London. Two years later, the bridge collapsed when a steam train was crossing during a storm, resulting in the death of all passengers and crew.
NCR first started manufacturing cash registers in Dundee in1946, later moving onto the making of ATMs. In its heyday it employed more than 6,000 workers. The manufacturing side of NCR ceased in Dundee in 2009.
Dundee publisher DC Thomson is best known for the Dandy (which ceased publication in 2012) and Beano comics. Dennis the Menace and Gnasher, pictured below, are two of characters in the Beano.
Dundee became known for video game development with the launch of ‘Lemmings’ in 1991 and ‘Grand Theft Auto’ in 1996 by DMA Design. In the late 1990s DMA Design changed ownership three times and the Dundee office closed.
There was a Dundee United football strip from when this local team won the Scottish Premier League in 1983. Known locally as the ‘Tangerines’ the colour of the strip reminded me of the infamous Scottish ‘Irn Bru’ fizzy drink.
The McManus is open Monday to Saturday from 10am – 5pm and Sunday from 12.30pm – 4.30pm. Admission is free of charge.
If you’re in Dundee make sure that you visit the McManus Galleries, even if only to admire the interior of the building.