Aberdeen reopens gallery after £35m makeover

Aberdeen’s art gallery has reopened after a £35 million makeover.

The refurbished gallery, designed by Hoskins Architects and exhibition designers Studioarc, has increased the amount of display space for the city’s art collection, with the number of galleries increasing from 11 to 19. A further three galleries will present a programme of regularly changing special exhibitions.

The project, which has been paid for by the city council and a number of other funders, including the Heritage Lottery Fund, also includes investment in the fabric of the buildings, improved visitor facilities and an enhanced activity programme.

On display will will be works by important Scottish artists, designers and makers such as Henry Raeburn, Joan Eardley, Samuel Peploe, Rachel McLean, Bill Gibb and James Cromar Watt, as well as Barbara Hepworth, Francis Bacon, Tracey Emin and Claude Monet.

Aberdeen City Council contributed £14.6m for the new gallery, the National Lottery Heritage Fund £10m, while BP has donated £1m to the redevelopment project and the UK Government awarded £1.5m from the HM Treasury Libor funds. Public fundraising raised an additional £4.8m.

There was some disappointment from the city that the Scottish Government did not contribute to the scheme, despite backing the creation of a the new V & A at Dundee with a £38 million grant. However, the Scottish government claimed it had received no application for funding.

The city council has also backed a new events and exhibition complex in Aberdeen and supports a number of festivals, including Granite Noir, a crime writing festival in February, Nuart, a weekend of international street art in April, the Scottish Traditional Boat Festival in Portsoy and contemporary music festivals True North in September and soundfestival in October.



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