Digital Interactives and Films

Digital Interactive image

Digital content to enjoy in-gallery and at home

The displays at Aberdeen Art Gallery use layers of interpretation to tell many different stories about the history of the building and the outstanding collection it is home to. Digital displays and interactives in the galleries are designed with a range of ages and interests in mind. Thanks to support from Museums Galleries Scotland we have converted some of this rich content for online use, enhancing access to information, and adding to the enjoyment and understanding of the collection for everyone – whether you visit online or in real life. 


Remembrance Hall

Opened in 1925 by King George V, the Remembrance Hall was dedicated to the lives lost during the Great War. Over 15,000 people visited the Hall the day after the official opening. Following the Second World War the Remembrance Hall was remodelled. A new dark green marble wall and shelf were created to display additional Rolls of Honour. During the redevelopment of the Art Gallery between 2015 and 2019, the marble-clad wall was removed, the original architectural openings in the adjoining spaces were reinstated and a wider balcony was built. The Remembrance Hall is a space for contemplation and commemoration, honouring Aberdeen lives lost in conflict, from the First World War to the present day. 

Visions of Remembrance film
This short film was commissioned as part of the redevelopment of Aberdeen Art Gallery 2015-2019, which coincided with the centenary of the end of the First World War in 2018. It was designed in response to the circular shape of the Remembrance Hall and is projected onto the marble floor, where it can be seen from all angles, whether standing on the Ground Floor or on the Level 1 balcony. This short film uses quotes, images, and extracts found in the collection of Aberdeen Archives, Gallery & Museums to present a powerful emotional snapshot from history. It was supported by grants from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Museums Galleries Scotland: World War One Commemoration Fund.


Gallery 1: Collecting Art

For almost 140 years, we have been collecting art for the city and caring for it on behalf of the people of Aberdeen.  The collection contains art created in our city and across the world; from carved stone balls which are unique to North-East Scotland dating to around 2500 BC to the present day. The founders of Aberdeen Art gallery looked to their contemporaries when choosing works to collect. This interest in collecting recent work has been a theme through most of the Gallery’s history. The collection has grown thanks to purchases, gifts and bequests. The Gallery now holds a collection Recognised as Nationally Significant to Scotland.

Exploring the building
Aberdeen Art Gallery has undergone many changes during the last 140 years. Discover the evolution of the building since it first opened in 1885.


Gallery 5: Crafting Colour

As human beings, we frequently try to recreate the shades we see in nature. Artists, craftspeople and designer-makers have perfected techniques in paints, dyes and glazes to make and decorate objects in the colours which inspired them. This display explores how colour is used in craft.

Craft Techniques
Enjoy eight short films which demonstrate craft techniques in metal work and pottery.


Gallery 6: Feasting

In Gallery 6 we explore eating and drinking - universal experiences which structure and punctuate our day, from breakfast to supper. The displays invite us to consider the significance of food and drink in our lives and its influence on design.

A way to explore the collection of domestic wares, discover what it was used for and zoom in to examine detail.

Place Setting
A game of setting the table using Victorian etiquette – can you use the correct cutlery?


Gallery 9: Balmoral Phenomenon

This display explores the Royal love affair with Balmoral and the Scottish Highlands. Victorian notions of Scottish identity have since been challenged through the work of contemporary artists.

Balmoral Phenomenon
This digital photo album includes photographs compiled by pioneering Aberdonian photographer George Washington Wilson and the Victorian artist Sir John Everett Millais. Wilson’s images illustrate Queen Victoria's 1868 book ‘Leaves from the Journal of our Life in the Highlands’. The subjects of Millais’ photographs range from group portraits to fishing parties and still lifes of game, many taken when the artist and his family were on holiday in Scotland


Gallery 11: Gallery of Memories

The displays in this space share local people’s experiences relating to war and conflict. It is a place for reflection.

Convalescing Soldiers’ Jottings
Flip through an Aberdonian nurse’s autograph book containing drawings, poems, jokes and messages from injured and recovering service men during the First World War.


Gallery 13: James McBey – Artist Adventurer

James McBey (1883-1959) was a self-taught etcher, draftsman and painter of international repute.  His life revolved around art, adventure and an undying love for Morocco. Thanks to the generosity of his wife Marguerite (1905-1999), Aberdeen Archives, Gallery & Museums holds the world’s largest archive of artworks by James McBey.

James McBey Etching Game 
James McBey taught himself printmaking using a book he borrowed from Aberdeen Public Library. He had no special equipment, but improvised and adapted the family’s washing mangle and turned it into a printing press. Learn how to create an etching from “scratch”, using many of the printmaking techniques McBey would have used 100 years ago. 

James McBey Photo album
McBey was a prolific collector. This album showcases McBey’s own photographs of his life and loves, arranged in the following chapters – Early Life, Self-Taught Artist, War Artist, Travel USA, Lovers and Muses, Travel Morocco and After 1959.


Gallery 14: Art of Empowerment

The turn of the 20th century saw dramatic changes in women’s social and political history. During this time there were also considerable changes in the way women were represented in and expressed themselves through art.

In the 1800s, women were expected to restrict their interests to the home and the family. Very few were encouraged to obtain a university education or to pursue a professional career. Only after decades of intense political activity did women eventually win the right to vote.

Social and political change empowered women to exert their influence outside the home and to publicly express themselves through art. The evidence of this change can be seen throughout this display.

Suffragette Letters
Animation and voice actors reading excerpts of letters to and from key Aberdonian and National figures in the suffrage movements.