Review of the Year 2022

Installation View of Sculpture Court, Aberdeen Art Gallery

Happy Hogmanay from all of us to all of you! 
Hogmanay is a time when many of us reflect on the year gone by and look ahead to the year to come. This Hogmanay we're taking the opportunity to share our best bits of 2022. 
We rang in the New Year with a raft of new exhibitions at the Art Gallery, including Zandra Rhodes: 50 Years of Fabulous, Kenny Hunter – Sculpture Court, Diamond Celebration: 60 Years of Embroiderer’s Guild in Aberdeen and Art Fund Museum of The Year Micro-Commissions – new commissions by 12 local artists, made possible thanks to our success as joint winner of Art Fund Museum of the Year 2020. Which was your favourite? 


white room with pale wood floor. Installation view of micro-commission exhibition at Aberdeen Art Gallery
Installation View of Museum of the Year Micro-commissions exhibition at Aberdeen Art Gallery


What a day, what a dame! We had the absolute pleasure of welcoming Dame Zandra Rhodes to the Art Gallery for an exclusive In Conversation event. The following day, local Fashion and Textile students from NESCol and Gray’s School of Art joined the legendary designer for breakfast (a rowie, of course!) and a private tour of the exhibition.


white woman with shoulder length pink hair wearing black and gold clothes smiling and eating a buttery
Dame Zandra Rhodes eating a rowie at Aberdeen Art Gallery


Ready, steady, cook! Aberdeen Restaurant Week made its annual return, with exclusive menus and promotions, including the Art Gallery Café. Restaurant Week returns 16 – 29 January 2023 – keep an eye on social media to find out our exclusive promotions.


3 plates in a tower filled with sandwiches, cakes, scones and biscuits, and 2 Champaign flutes of sparkling prosecco
Afternoon Tea at Aberdeen Art Gallery


Aberdeen Artists Society’s 2022 exhibition opened and our team worked hard with members of the hanging committee to install almost 300 works including drawings, paintings, ceramics, sculptures, prints, photography, jewellery and video submissions from 178 UK-based artists.


woman wearing green top and blue jeans leaning against white wall with multiple paintings hanging
Behind the scenes of Aberdeen Artists Society 2022 exhibition


As a gesture of solidarity with our colleagues working in museums and galleries in Ukraine, we opened Pavlovka Pinhole Photography Festival Retrospective at Aberdeen Maritime Museum. This exhibition is now at the Art Gallery and features 40 works by 13 international artists. Proceeds from sales will go directly to support the Pavlovka Gallery in their efforts to continue to run the Pinhole Festival in a time of war. View the online catalogue here.


black and white photograph showing street with lines of light
Andriy Bondarenko, Untitled 2


Introducing a new way to experience Aberdeen Art Gallery... In June we launched our new digital guide on the Bloomberg Connects app! The free app helps tell the stories of each of the collection galleries. Listen in as our staff, local school children and artists, makers and writers share their own highlights and responses to the incredible variety of artworks on display. Download the app today and explore our digital guide!


Download Bloomberg Connects!


We travelled back to the Medieval era in new exhibitions at the Art Gallery, with the 10th century illuminated manuscript, the Book of Deer and The Galloway Hoard: Viking-Age Treasure

With the school holidays in full swing, our favourite menace left Beanotown for the day and took a trip to Aberdeen. Dennis had a totally bla-mazing time visiting Provost Skene’s House and learning about the pioneering people of the North East. Blam!


Dennis the menace behind two children shining torches on wall
Dennis at Provost Skene's House, Visit Scotland


In August we launched our new podcast series, Gather Round. Every month we speak to members of the team about the collection, special exhibitions, the histories of our fascinating venues and tales of Aberdeen – sometimes they might be dark and dramatic, and hopefully always entertaining and informative.  

In our first episode, Phil Astley (Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Archives) and Dr. Dee Hoole (Honorary Research Fellow in History at the University of Aberdeen) told the story of the 19th century Aberdonian criminal Grace McIntosh.




Inspired by our exhibitions Book of Deer and The Galloway Hoard: Viking-Age Treasure, September was jam-packed with special events, including our Local Heritage Symposium: That Belongs in a Museum! and Gallery Late: Medieval Mayhem.


white man dressed as viking shouting outside Aberdeen Art Gallery while holding poster detailing Medieval Mayhem event
Medieval Mayhem Viking at Aberdeen Art Gallery


October is Black History Month and 2022’s theme was ‘Time for Change: Action Not Words.’ We opened the current exhibition in Gallery 3 of the Art Gallery – Re-framing the Collection

This exhibition shares our approach to tackling offensive and discriminatory language in object titles and our efforts to bring new and varied voices into the interpretation and curation of the collection. The thousands of objects in our care belong to the people of Aberdeen.  We want everyone from across our diverse communities to connect with and feel pride in their collection. Through research, re-interpretation and re-display we can ‘re-frame’ objects to give them meaning and relevance to as many people as possible. 

Removing offensive language from the title and description of artworks and re-naming is part of this process. It also enables us to share new discoveries about the collection.


Imogen by Claude Rogers, 1938 (detail) © Crispin Rogers Purchased in 1991 with assistance from the National Fund for Acquisitions.


We started our Christmas shopping early with Tea Green Festive Market. With 50 different independent creative businesses exhibiting over the weekend, it was great to celebrate and support an incredible line up of Scotland's creative talent.

Tea Green Festive Market Makers


In December we were joined by Edinburgh-based glass artist Vicky Higginson and curator Svetlana Panova for the final Guest @ Gray’s talk of the year. Vicky and Svetlana shared insight into Vicky’s process behind her new work for Jerwood Art Fund Makers Open, Coping Mechanisms. 

Vicky Higginson, Coping Mechanism


Thanks for all your visits, likes, comments and shares this year. Let’s do it all again in 2023!