Situated on Schoolhill in the centre of the City of Aberdeen, Aberdeen Art Gallery houses a collection of Impressionist, Victorian, Scottish and 20th Century British paintings as well as collections of ceramics, costume, furniture, glass and silver.
The fine A-listed Classical building was built in granite 1883-85, the work of local architect A. Marshall Mackenzie (1847 - 1933). Mackenzie added the top-lit Sculpture Court in 1905, to house a collection of plaster casts from which art students at the newly established Gray's School of Art could practice drawing, but now used to exhibit works by leading contemporary artists.
The gallery was the initiative of a group of local art collectors and its origins can be traced back to 1873. Aberdeen Town Council took responsibility for the building and its growing collections from 1907. Aberdeen War Memorial and Cowdray Hall were built adjacent in the 1920s, while the James McBey Print Room and Art Library opened within the gallery in 1961, named after a local artist.
The collection includes 18th century portraits by Raeburn, Hogarth, Ramsey and Reynolds, together with works by the French Impressionists and Post Impressionists Degas, Monet, Renoir and Toulouse-Lautrec, 20th century paintings by Paul Nash, Ben Nicholson, Sir Stanley Spencer and Francis Bacon and contemporary art by the likes of Damien Hirst.
Aberdeen Art Gallery remains the largest public gallery in the North of Scotland and attracts more than 200,000 visitors annually.
The gallery will be subject to a £30-million redevelopment between Spring 2015 and Autumn 2017, which will add an additional floor, dynamic displays and contemporary interpretation.