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Top five things to see at V&A Dundee

The new museum offers exhibits for fans of fashion, architecture – and comics.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s Oak Room is one the highlights of the new museum (VandA Dundee)
Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s Oak Room is one the highlights of the new museum (VandA Dundee)

Here are some highlights of V&A Dundee as the design museum prepares to open its doors on September 15:

1. Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s Oak Room

Unseen for 50 years, the interior of Miss Cranston’s famous Ingram Street tearoom was salvaged ahead of a hotel development in the 1970s and taken into Glasgow City Council’s museum collection. Carefully restored, it is the first time all the surviving pieces will be reassembled and put on public display, in the 150th year of Mackintosh’s birth.

A scale model of the Oak Room with Joanna Norman, VandA Dundee curator, and Alison Brown of Glasgow Museums (Robert Perry/VandA Dundee)

2. Artwork for Dennis the Menace strip

The Beano was first published by DC Thomson in 1938 and its style went on to define the look and tone of British comics. This artwork by David Law was made for publication on April 30 1960. Hand-coloured and with pencil annotations, the speech bubbles were made separately and have been glued on.

Dennis the Menace artwork by David Law features in VandA Dundee’s Scottish Design Galleries (DC Thomson and Co Ltd)

3. Valkyrie tiara

More than 2,500 diamonds were used to create this headpiece, the last of its type ever made by Cartier. The fashion for Valkyrie tiaras originated on the stage before being adopted by fashionable aristocrats at the start of the 20th century. This one was commissioned by Mary Crewe-Milnes, Duchess of Roxburghe, in 1935.

The tiara is on display in the Scottish Design Galleries (VandA Dundee)

4. Costume worn by Natalie Portman in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones

Star Wars fans will delight in seeing one of Padme Amidala’s intricately-designed gowns up close. The embroidered dress and cloak were created by Glasgow designer Trisha Biggar, who said around three-quarters of all Padme’s dresses “have got a touch of Scottish vintage on them somewhere”. The costume is on loan from The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Los Angeles.

Padme wears the outfit as she travels with Anakin Skywalker to Naboo (Michael McGurk)

5. The largest remaining fragment of the Titanic

Found floating in the Atlantic, the detailed wooden panel fragment is from an over-door in the first-class lounge of the doomed liner that sank in 1912. The museum says: “Executed in Louis XV style with Rococo motifs and forms, it demonstrates the extraordinary quality of the decoration on board the Titanic.” On loan from the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The wooden fragment of the Titanic is part of VandA Dundee’s inaugural exhibition Ocean Liners: Speed and Style (Maritime Museum of the Atlantic/VandA Dundee)

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