The Duncan of Jordanstone College Collection

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Delgaty Dunn

Thomas Delgaty Dunn

James Duncan of Jordanstone

James Duncan of Jordanstone

The University Museum Collections include an expanding selection of art works by staff and students of Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design. This includes drawings, paintings, prints, sculpture, textiles, artists' books, animation, video art, ceramics, graphic design, jewellery and metalwork.

A History of the Art College

Dundee's Art College began as part of the Technical Institute opened in 1888, though an earlier School of Art (based in the High School) had operated since 1856. The Technical Institute was built on Small's Wynd and shared facilities with the newly-established University College Dundee. Art was taught there from the start, but the arrival of Thomas Delgaty Dunn as Art Master in 1892 saw a significant expansion of the subject. In 1901 a nationwide review of art education saw the Technical Institute named as one of four Central Institutions of Art & Design in Scotland, and other art schools (such as the one in the High School) were closed down.

Within a few years the Small's Wynd building was becoming seriously overcrowded, and money was raised to move to new premises on Bell Street. The building (now part of Abertay University) was completed in 1910, and was renamed the Dundee Technical College & School of Art.

In 1909, local businessman James Duncan of Jordanstone bequeathed around £60,000 towards founding an independent art school in Dundee. Various legal problems meant that it was not until the 1930s that plans were finalised for a new College on Perth Road, after the Technical College was reorganised in 1933 as Dundee Institute of Art & Technology, with Dundee College of Art as a semi-autonomous part.

The war then caused further delays and the foundation stone for the new building (now the Crawford Building) was eventually laid in 1953. The first part opened to students in 1955, but only when the majority of the building was completed in 1961 was the College allowed to take the name Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art (though it had been unofficially known as this for many years). The College finally became fully independent of the Institute of Technology in 1975, the same year that a new building (now the Matthew Building) was opened. By the 1980s the Art College had become the largest in Scotland, and was awarding degrees validated by the neighbouring University. It eventually became a Faculty of the University in 1994, and expanded its name to Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design in 1997.

You can see a two part video about the early years of the Art College here:

You can see much of the fine art from the Collection on Art UK and search the entire Collection via our online database.


Original design for Duncan of Jordanstone College, Perth Road by James Wallace, 1938

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