Perth Museum and Art Gallery

Perth Museum and Art Gallery
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Perth Museum and Art Gallery

Situated near the site of a former Dominican friary, Perth Museum and Art Gallery dominates the north end of George Street in the City of Perth. Designed by David Morison in 1824, this Roman Pantheon style building was erected to the memory of Lord Provost Thomas Marshall for the purpose of housing the collections of the city's Literary and Antiquarian Society.

More than 65,000 visitors per annum come to the museum to see its displays on the social history and archaeology of Perth and Kinross and the natural history of Perthshire, together with the items of furniture, silverware and glass on permanent exhibition. There are also substantial collections of costume, arms and armour, and coins, medals and postage stamps. The building also houses several galleries of art, including changing exhibitions, together with a lecture hall and small library.

Important paintings include Loch Katrine by Horatio McCulloch (1805-67) and The Wilds of Assynt by David Young Cameron (1865 - 1945), together with Italian and Flemish old masters from Perthshire collections and works of local interest by Edwin Henry Landseer (1802-73), John Everett Millais (1829-96) and Beatrix Potter (1866 - 1943). A collection of international importance by Scottish Colourist John Duncan Fergusson (1874 - 1961) is housed at the nearby Fergusson Gallery.

A sizeable store in the basement of the building contains the bulk of the collection which cannot be shown at one time, and a substantial archive, including photographs and rare books, such as the William de Brailles Illuminated Bible dating from c.1240.

In 1903, the museum was gifted the substantial collections of the Perthshire Society of Natural Science (founded in 1867) and the Society still meets regularly in the museum lecture hall.

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