The Courier

McManus celebrates landmark year with new book

McManus Ship Models

McManus Galleries has marked its momentous 150th anniversary with a retrospective book.

Dundee writer Anna Day and photographer Alan Richardson worked with the McManus team and community groups to record the special events of 2017 and day-to-day running of the museum.

The result of the year-long collaboration is The McManus at 150, which launched on Tuesday night.

The McManus Galleries opened in 1867 as the Albert Institute and was commissioned as a memorial to Prince Albert.

Anna interviewed a range of local people connected with the McManus, asking them to choose a favourite object or place and how they and their families have used the building over the years.

The photographs cover the annual spring clean of artefacts, painting of the gallery walls, exhibitions being installed and other events.

Alan said: “It was a fabulous project to work on, being given the chance to see behind the scenes as well as the public face of all the work that goes on to conserve and display the treasures of Dundee.

“It has been a real privilege to see the dedication, expertise and enthusiasm the team and volunteers have towards art, culture and history. I hope the pictures tell part of the story and remind Dundonians that the past should be celebrated as much as the future of our vibrant city.”

Anna said: “I hope the book will serve as a reminder of fantastic year for the McManus and it’s ongoing relevance to the culture and heritage of the city.

“The contributions from the host of local people who have shared their memories and favourites shows the breadth of the collections and the affection in which they are held.”

The McManus celebrated its landmark with a 12-month programme of exhibitions and events highlighting the role it has played as a cultural attraction.

This included the ‘Festival of Museums McManus 150: The People’s Story’, a day in May when families enjoyed live music, guided tours and living history performances.

Bill Gartley, head of Cultural Services at Leisure and Culture Dundee, said: “Having the opportunity to work with Anna and Alan over a full year has been a wonderful experience for the museum.

“The book captures and illustrates all aspects of the museum, from the collections we look after to the communities we work with and the celebrations that took place in our 150th anniversary year.”