The new V&A Dundee design museum has engaged with more than 100,000 people in its pre-opening programme, it was announced on Wednesday.
From Menzieshill to Milan, Stornoway to South Kensington, the V&A Dundee team has given talks, run events and put on exhibitions from small community centres to major international design festivals.
The announcement came on the day of a Scottish Parliament reception to celebrate the new museum, ahead of its opening on Saturday 15 September this year.
In addition, V&A Dundee’s films of its remarkable architecture, museum objects and community projects have been watched online over one million times, with a further one million visits to its website.
The new museum will bring international touring exhibitions from the V&A and other museums to Scotland, making Dundee the principle location in the UK outside London to receive some of the best of the V&A’s globally significant exhibitions.
Philip Long, Director of V&A Dundee, said: “V&A Dundee is a new museum for the whole of Scotland, and since 2013 our team has been active across Scotland, the UK and overseas.
“Design is fundamentally about improving people’s lives, and from the start of V&A Dundee we’ve put people at the heart of our programme – and we’ve gone out to them, in schools, community halls, shopping centres and even a mobile travelling gallery.
“We could not have achieved this without the incredible support of our partners, founders and funders who have all made it possible for us to reach huge numbers of people before we’ve even opened.
“Now we’re focused on the hard work ahead, to get V&A Dundee open on Saturday 15 September, and to show world-class exhibitions alongside permanent galleries and a regularly changing programme of events for people of all ages.”
Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop, said: “The V&A Dundee team are doing an amazing job capturing the imagination of people of all ages and from all walks of life, promoting the forthcoming museum opening in September and inspiring a love of Scottish culture, creativity and design country-wide.
“The Scottish Government has been a long-time supporter of V&A Dundee. I am confident the project will help attract further inward business investment and promote tourism growth in Dundee, across the region and throughout Scotland.”
Seona Reid, Chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund Scotland Committee, said: “When it opens its doors to the world in September, V&A Dundee will be a very significant addition to Scotland’s cultural landscape and legacy.
“As well as celebrating the notable contribution that Scots and Scotland have made, and continue to make, to the world of design, V&A Dundee will inform, educate and inspire people with the power of design across the ages and across the world.
“I am delighted that the £14.1m grant from Heritage Lottery Fund, given on behalf of National Lottery players, has helped to make this possible.”
The total numbers of people attending events, exhibitions, talks and workshops since 2013 are as follows:
- Exhibitions, from the Schools Design Challenge in Dundee’s Overgate Shopping Centre to the international Milan Design Triennale – 56,902 people
- Staff talks, including to Asian and Muslim community groups in Dundee, care homes, mental health groups and military veterans – 23,945 people
- The Design in Motion travelling exhibition, in collaboration with the Travelling Gallery, which visited 84 locations across Scotland and ended outside the V&A in London – 11,956 people
- Public events, from the Edinburgh International Book Festival to the Oban Winter Festival – 10,540 people
- Total – 103,343 people
V&A Dundee’s first exhibition, Ocean Liners: Speed and Style, will re-imagine the golden age of ocean travel and explore all aspects of ship design from the remarkable engineering on the Clyde, to architecture, interiors and the opulent fashion and lifestyle aboard.
V&A Dundee will present the largely untold story of Scotland’s outstanding design achievements, bringing together in one place the world-renowned V&A collections with loans from other collections in Scotland and beyond to allow everyone to understand and be inspired by this important design heritage.
Young people will play a central role in V&A Dundee’s opening event, as part of Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018. A new V&A Dundee Young People’s Collective, a group of young people aged 16-24 from diverse backgrounds across Dundee, will help design and plan the opening celebration.
V&A Dundee is being developed with support from the Scottish Government, Heritage Lottery Fund, Dundee City Council, the UK Government, Creative Scotland, Scottish Enterprise, University of Dundee, Abertay University and many trusts, companies and private donors.