Re-opening of Aberdeen Art Gallery

Re-opening of Aberdeen Art Gallery

The gallery reopens after a four-year £35 million refurbishment

Aberdeen Art Gallery (founded in 1885) opens to the public from Saturday 2 November 2019. Home to magnificent collections, including works by Scottish artists, designers and makers Rachel McLean, Bill Gibb and Henry Raeburn, the gallery has undergone a major refurbishment. It's estimated it will attract around a quarter of a million visitors a year. Pictured above: The Tennis Party by Sir John Lavery, 1885

Aberdeen Art Gallery is home to one of the finest art collections in the UK, including works by important Scottish artists, designers and makers, as well as acclaimed artists including Barbara Hepworth, Francis Bacon, Tracey Emin and Claude Monet.
 
A key element of Aberdeen City Council’s City Centre Masterplan, the project is transforming the Art Gallery, Cowdray Hall and Remembrance Hall into a major cultural attraction, expected to attract around 250,000 visits annually - making it one of Scotland’s most-visited galleries.
 
Since work began in 2015, the Schoolhill complex of buildings has been completely reimagined and transformed by Hoskins Architects and exhibition designers Studioarc to meet both the needs of visitors and requirements for the care of the nationally recognised art collection.
 
 
Painting by Renoir
Sarah Walking by Julian Opie
Feedback Loop by Kenny Hunter
The £34.6million project includes investment in the fabric of the buildings, new exhibition and display galleries, improved visitor facilities and an enhanced activity programme.
 
Improvements include:
 
Restoring and modernising the Grade A-listed building and significantly improving access and way-finding for all visitors, including creating level access from Schoolhill and opening up vistas throughout the building as well as views across the city from the new second floor.
Increasing the number of spaces for the display of the permanent collections from 11 to 18, and the number of items on display from approximately 300 in 2015 to over 1,000 in 2019.
Re-interpreting the collections to provide a more enjoyable and enriching visitor experience, including the use of digital interactives and personal in-gallery playlists.
A striking new top floor housing The BP Galleries which will host three national and international touring exhibitions a year.
Repairing and modernising the Cowdray Hall, preserving its celebrated acoustic and enhancing its status as an excellent small-scale concert venue.
Improving the overall visitor experience by providing a more visually welcoming entrance area, clearer signage, enhanced retail and catering facilities and new learning and activity spaces.
Refurbishing the Remembrance Hall and re-establishing it as a quiet place for reflection, honouring lives lost in conflict.

Councillor Jenny Laing, city council co-leader, says it's been a wonderful achievement to create 'an exceptional centre for art and music in the heart of the city. It is part of an incredible period of positive change in Aberdeen, with the recent opening of the refurbished Music Hall and the excitement building as we prepare for the launch of P&J Live in the months ahead. With work on the restoration of Provost Skene’s House set to begin and Union Terrace Gardens ready to be transformed, it is a hugely important period in the story of Aberdeen.'
 
Councillor Douglas Lumsden, co-leader of the council, says the city now has a world class attraction: 'The cultural offering in Aberdeen has changed beyond all recognition in recent years and this project is of huge significance not only regionally but also in terms of our national and international standing.'
 
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