History of Angus and Dundee

 

Angus is a little known area of Scotland for many tourists, but with its fertile soil, pretty glens, a North Sea coastline and couthy villages there is much for the visitor to enjoy.  A traveller can find many evidences to support the fact that Angus is known as Scotland’s birthplace.  St Vigean’s museum in Arbroath, the standing stones at Aberlemno and Meigle Museum tell the story of the Picts, the blue painted people.

Dundee is a city of many discoveries.  It was once the financial centre of Scotland until the city was sacked by General Monck in 1649 in a campaign to crush the last of the Royalist support during the time of Oliver Cromwell in the Civil Wars.   It reinvented itself many times over in the next  few hundred years and even today there is a great resurgence of civic pride with thriving universities, a cultural centre including the fine Repertory Theatre and a Contemporary Arts Centre. In the centre of the town, the McManus Gallery is an impressive Gothic building with a spectacular Renaissance horseshoe staircase and includes a splendid collection of Scottish Art. The Scottish Jute Museum (Verdant Works), RRS Discovery and Frigate Unicorn are testimony to Dundee’s past.

What is perhaps less well known is Dundee has the finest seafront in Scotland, temperate weather, strong character and has one of the friendliest populations in the world – according to our many guests who are world travellers.

2016 and Dundee is changing again.  The waterfront area is being transformed.  The main feature is an outpost of the Victoria and Albert museum where the best of Scottish design – past and present –  will be housed in an iconic building designed by the Japanese architect Kengo Kuma.

The Scottish Design Galleries will present the extraordinary and internationally significant story of Scotland’s design heritage. They will provide an introduction to over 500 years of creativity, ingenuity and achievement by bringing together around 250 fascinating objects. From furniture, fashion and textiles, ceramics, glass and metalwork, to architecture, engineering and digital design, the galleries will showcase the huge scope and diversity of Scottish design historically and today. Drawing extensively on the V&A’s outstanding collections of over 12,000 Scottish objects, as well as significant collections in Scotland and worldwide, the Galleries will display both iconic objects and many works that have never previously been seen by the public.

Specific areas of focus include the international diaspora of Scottish design, the role of design to effect societal change, and the design process – from vernacular traditions to design for industry, to contemporary digital design in Scotland.

2016 is the year of innovation and design.

An excellent book for detailed information is “Dundee – An Illustrated Architectural Guide” by Charles McKean & David Walker published by Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland ISBN 1 873190 09 3 – well worth the read.

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