A 500-year-old prayer book, a Jacobite garter and a Highland pistol will get starring roles alongside a pair of “wellies” and Dennis the Menace in Dundee’s new V&A Museum of Design when it opens next year.
The groundbreaking designs of the Forth Bridge, the city’s Maggie’s cancer care centre and Pop Art pioneer Eduardo Paolozzi will be celebrated in the £80 million complex.
A host of highlights of its Scottish design galleries, which will feature around 300 objects spanning more than 500 years, were revealed today as it emerged the museum would open in the “second half of 2018.”
They include an Indian throne chair created by a Berwickshire painter, Robert Home, a bookcase created by “Glasgow Style” designer George Logan for the city’s famous International Exhibition in 1901 and a recreation of part of a Glasgow tearoom designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh.
The Scottish galleries will showcase everything from furniture, textiles, metalwork and ceramics to the latest digital technology, innovations in the health service, modern-day architecture and fashion trends.
Dundee’s famous comic strip heritage will be celebrated with Dennis the Menace artwork created for a 1960 edition of The Beano, the creation of the Wellington Book in Edinburgh in the mid-19th will be recalled and an elephant case designed by Leith-born Paolozzi for the Kirkcaldy linoleum company Nairn Floors will go on display.
The oldest exhibit, which dates back to the 1480s, will be a book of Christian text, prayers and psalms featuring several Scottish saints.
Among the most up-to-date highlights will be a dress created by the Scottish fashion designer Holly Fulton and a brand new video game being created by The Secret Experiment, a Glasgow-based studio, for release early next year.
V&A Dundee director Philip Long said: “Scotland has an extraordinarily rich design heritage and continues to lead the way with creative and inspiring innovations.
“The Scottish design galleries, which will be at the heart of V&A Dundee, will highlight and celebrate the influence of Scottish design both at home and abroad.
“These permanent galleries will explore the design process, the international diaspora of Scottish design and the role of design to effect societal change.
“They will be complemented by a changing programme of exhibitions presenting the best of international design.
“The majority of the objects will come from the world-renowned V&A collections and have never been displayed in Scotland before.
“Others will be loans from collections and designers across Scotland.
“Getting to this stage has taken years of diligent research and the hard work goes on. Over the coming months we will continue to secure fascinating objects and begin moving them to the new galleries by the River Tay to prepare for V&A Dundee opening in the second half of 2018.”
Joanna Norman, lead curator of the Scottish design galleries, said: “The influence of Scottish design is not limited to one country, it has been felt around the world.
“I think those who visit V&A Dundee will be surprised and intrigued to learn about the impact this relatively small country has, and continues to have, on the world of design.
“The Scottish design galleries will transform people’s knowledge of Scotland’s legacy of design and innovation.
“Drawing on the V&A’s world-famous collections of art, design and performance, it has taken several years of careful research to establish this unique collection of objects which together will tell a fascinating and relatively unknown story.
“The galleries are currently under construction and over the coming months we will continue to confirm more of the objects that will go on display when the museum opens next year.”