With many galleries and museums coming to terms with the legacy of the past, Hidden Histories: Exploring Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at The McManus in Dundee considers how the 20th century works in the city’s art collection reflect different standpoints to provide a view which better mirrors the world we live in.
While they are seen by many as neutral spaces, historically they have reinforced the views of a small number of voices. For this exhibition curators have selected both little known and famous artworks which raise the visibility of historically marginalised groups, both artists and sitters.
Hidden Histories includes a large number of women artists, including Laura Knight, June Redfern and Wilhelmina Barns-Graham. Historically the contribution of women artists did not receive the same attention as their male counterparts and it was only in the 20th century that they had access to life drawing classes, still considered the foundation of an art education.
The two Roberts – Colquhoun and MacBryde – were openly gay at a time when homosexuality was criminalised. After their training in Glasgow, they moved to London, where their careers took off. Also included are artists with experience of disability, artists who moved to Scotland from overseas to study art and portraits of black sitters.