The Albert Institute (now the McManus, Dundee’s Art Gallery and Museum) was established in 1867 as the first civic museum and art gallery in Dundee. It was funded entirely through public subscription with 261 subscribers pledging £15,770 in 1863. By February 1865 the number of subscribers had increased to 327 and share capital totalled £21,470. Read more...

This project was set up by the McManus 168 Group (Supporters of The McManus) to mark the 150th anniversary of The McManus and to shed new light on Dundee’s history and heritage by discovering more about the men and women that gave so generously.

One of the Original Subscribers

Miss Helen Jobson gave £30 towards the building of The Albert Institute. Helen Jobson had extensive connections in Dundee and used her inherited wealth to support many charitable causes. Her will indicated bequests to the Aged and Infirm Ministers of the Free Church of Scotland,[will][test] Wallace Feus Infant School,[test] School of Industry.[test]

Read more about Miss Helen Jobson...

ABOUT

From June 2017 to June 2018, the project brought together all the heritage groups in Dundee supported by an expert project planning team with academics, genealogists, archivists, the library service and Leisure and Culture Dundee, project managers and history enthusiasts.

We recruited 30 expert lead researchers and a further 75 novice researchers, ranging in age from 16 to 84 and from right across Dundee. Together they collected information on the subscribers among which were, manufacturers, nautical instrument makers, grocers, hecklers, waiters, ship’s chandlers, dyers, bleachers, and flax spinners. View in the Subscriber Archive....

Find out more about the project...

Dundee had a key role in the Scottish arts and crafts movement. This hanging was designed by George Dutch Davidson around 1900 and shows talent for stylising forms from nature. It was sewn by Davidson’s cousin Elizabeth Burt.

Courtesy of The McManus Collections. Copyright: Dundee City Council (Dundee's Art Galleries and Museums)