Look up through the skylight window and at the graphic panel on the right. The architect of The McManus, George Gilbert Scott, commissioned these lead goddess statues to decorate the grandest spire, on the west side of this building. In Greek mythology, it was believed that “The Muses” were responsible for inspiring science, literature and the arts through the creativity of poets, artists, musicians and scientists. In total, eight muse figures were commissioned for The McManus. Each Muse carries a symbolic object: a harp for music and literature, a compass for science and mathematics, a globe for science and geography, a rock for science and geology, a mallet for art and architecture, a star globe for astronomy, and an artist’s palette for art and painting. Specifically for Dundee, one figure holds a model of The McManus itself! Now please enter the “Dundee and The World” display, for the next stop on the tour.
The McManus: Dundee’s Art Gallery and Museum is situated in the centre of Dundee. The Museum and Art Gallery originally known as the Albert Institute was opened in 1867 as a memorial to Prince Albert. In 2005 The McManus closed for a major refurbishment, reopening again on the 28th February 2010. We celebrated our 150th Anniversay in 2017 with a year of celebration. In 2020 we were awarded Visitor Attraction of the Year by Visit Scotland. The McManus has 8 galleries, which are laid out on 2 floors. Visitors can embark on a journey through 400 million years, and witness how a small settlement developed into the City of Dundee as it is today. From exhibits relating to the life of early man in the area, stunning paintings and decorative art through to artefacts from industries past and present, the City's collections, many of which are recognised as being of national significance, give an insight into Dundee and its people.