Visiting Fascinating Fergusson Gallery
The city of Perth, with its many historic and cultural features, is a fascinating place to explore and should not be missed when visiting Scotland. The Fergusson Gallery in Perth is devoted to the works of world-renowned Scottish artist, John Duncan Fergusson (1874-1961). Fergusson was viewed as one of the most influential 20th century Scottish artists, and was one of the few British artists to be actively involved in the Impressionist Revolution in art that took place in Paris prior to WWI.
Fergusson was born in Leith on 9 March 1874 and, although spending most of his life in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Paris and London, Fergusson regarded Highland Perthshire as his spiritual home, primarily due to the fact that his parents came from Pitlochry. Following his death on 30 January 1961, the JD Fergusson Art Foundation was established by his partner of many years, Margaret Morris. During the 70s and 80s many of this talented artist’s works were loaned to galleries throughout Scotland, but the ultimate goal of the foundation was to establish a permanent home for the complete collection of Fergusson’s artworks, letters, notebooks, documents, sketchbooks and other noteworthy items.
This goal was reached with the opening of the Fergusson Gallery in 1992 in Perth’s historic waterworks building. The waterworks building was completed in 1832 and provided the growing city with clean drinking water for 133 years. When it was no longer needed for its original purpose, the uniquely beautiful building was renovated and initially used to house a Tourist Information Center before becoming the home of the Fergusson Gallery. Between 2003 and 2005 extensive restoration was undertaken on the building, leaving the exterior in much the same condition as when it had first been built.
The Fergusson Gallery is divided into three individual sections, with two being housed in the main circular-shaped building and the third in a wing attached to the main building. The extensive collection consists of more than 5,000 artworks, including oil paintings, watercolors, drawings and twenty-three sculptures. The collection also includes about sixty sketchbooks which, along with photographs, books, letters and personal items, provide insight into the remarkable life of John Fergusson. Due to the size of the collection, some items remain as permanent exhibits and others are changed from time to time. Certainly, the Fergusson Gallery in Perth is well worth visiting, whether you consider yourself to be an art-lover or not.