Scotland will get its first design museum when V&A Dundee opens to the public this Saturday 15 September. It has been established in close partnership with the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and will be the only V&A museum in the world outside of that one. It will feature permanent galleries of Scottish design, as well as an ambitious international programme of changing exhibitions. These will cover architecture, ceramics, engineering, fashion, furniture, healthcare, jewellery, textiles, video game design and more.
The exhibitions will include new design commissions, fast-changing installations by emerging designers and creative projects developed through the museum’s learning programme. Its galleries will be free to enter and will feature around 300 exhibits drawn from the collections of the V&A, as well as from museums and private collections across Scotland and the world.
The £80m V&A Dundee has been designed by Japanese architect, Kengo Kuma, and is located at the centre of the £1 billion transformation of the Dundee waterfront, which was once part of the city’s docklands. Its complex geometry has been inspired by the cliffs along the east coast of Scotland, and it stretches out into the River Tay.
At the centre of its galleries will stand Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s magnificent Oak Room, fully restored and preserved for future generations in a partnership with Glasgow Life. Other key objects in the Scottish Design Galleries will include a beautifully decorated 15th century Book of Hours, a spectacular Cartier ‘Valkyrie’ diamond tiara, original Beano artworks from Dundee publishers DC Thomson, and the snap40 digital device that has been designed to improve healthcare.
The museum’s opening exhibition, Ocean Liners: Speed & Style, will explore the designs behind a mode of transport that came to represent the status of nations and the aspirations of millions. The show, organised by the V&A and the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts, is the first to explore the design and cultural impact of the ocean liner on an international scale.
“After many years of planning for V&A Dundee, we are absolutely thrilled to announce the date of the new museum’s opening, ” says Philip Long, Director of V&A Dundee. “It is the country’s first museum dedicated to design, which visitors will be able to experience and get involved with in very many ways. Particularly important is that the new museum enables major V&A exhibitions to be seen more widely by more people across the UK.”
For further information on V&A Dundee, see here.
This article was originally published on 22 January 2018 and was updated 13 September.