The models in this case are part of a larger collection, which represents Dundee’s rich maritime past. We use these models to tell the story of Dundee’s shipbuilding heritage. They represent sailing ships, clippers, war ships and pleasure craft, Dundee is best known for the three J’s – the industries associated with Jute, Jam and Journalism. But Shipbuilding was also a hugely important industry in Dundee. Throughout the 19th and 20th Centuries, Dundee shipyards were known for their world-class skills. They successfully competed against the renowned yards on Scotland’s West coast for major contracts. From the early 19th century, Dundee’s economic development was largely tied to the development of the city’s shoreline. The ship model collection has two categories: builder’s models and amateur models. Builder’s models are scale models built before or just after the construction of the actual ship, like the model of sewage vessels Bexley, Newham and Hounslow you see here. Builder's display models were commissioned by the ship owners, made by skilled craftsmen and displayed within the company’s boardroom to showcase their fleet to attract support and investment. Many amateur models were built by crew members of local ships, using plans and photographs of the full-size vessels. The craftsmanship in the amateur models often reflects the love of the maker for seagoing vessels, as you can see in the model of the Terra Nova Look for the model of the Strathmore at the top of the case, on the back wall. It was made in 1875, the same year as the Strathmore ship was launched.

To find out more about the Strathmore, press the A button on your player, now. Or, for the next stop on your tour, please find the artwork by Van Beyeren , on the right hand wall, beyond the gallery entrance.


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The McManus: Dundee's Art Gallery and Museum

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.


  • The McManus: Dundee's Art Gallery and Museum
  • Dundee United Kingdom
  • www.mcmanus.co.uk