History

Read about the history of the building and how it was converted from a waterworks to artworks.

1830-1832 Dr. Adam Anderson (c.1780-1846), Rector of Perth Academy designs and builds a waterworks to supply the first plumbed water to houses in Perth. The stone is from the Longannet quarry in Fife.

This building is one of the earliest cast iron buildings in the world. The cast iron work is by the Dundee Foundry Company. It costs £13,609.11/11.5d to complete.

James Turnbull is appointed first Superintendent of Works with James Gray as Engineman and J Imries as Boilerman.

1965 After 133 years of service the building becomes redundant when the water board move to Gowans Terrace in North Perth.
1974 The building undergoes major renovation and reopens as the Perth Tourist Centre
Late 80’s The Tourist Centre moves to the High Street and the building becomes redundant once more.
1991 Perth and Kinross District Council is gifted the largest collection of work by John Duncan Fergusson (1874-1961), as well as an associated archive and copyright in all of Fergusson’s works.This gift is made by the Trustees of the J D Fergusson Art Foundation. The Foundation was established in 1963 to promote Fergusson’s life and work.

The redundant building is converted to The Fergusson Gallery.

1992 The Fergusson Gallery is formally opened by Sir Norman McFarlane (now Lord McFarlane of Bearsden) on the anniversary of  J D Fergusson’s birthday: 9th March.
2003-2005 The cast iron dome of the building undergoes major renovation in a project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic Scotland and Perth & Kinross Council.
2010 Another major gift is made to Perth and Kinross Council, comprising the entire collection of artwork, costume and archive of the pioneering dancer, choreographer and artist Margaret Morris (1891-1980). The collection is housed and displayed at The Fergusson Gallery, alongside that of her lifelong partner, J D Fergusson. The gift was made by the International Association of Margaret Morris Movement.

A more detailed history of the building and J D Fergusson and the Fergusson Gallery collections is contained in the booklet ‘The Fergusson Gallery’, published to celebrate the completion of major renovation work in 2005. Further information about Adam Anderson is available in the booklet Adam Anderson : The Schoolmaster Engineer by Kenneth Cameron, available at The Fergusson Gallery and the A K Bell Library in Perth.

The Fergusson Gallery houses collections recognised as of National Significance to Scotland, is fully accredited and enjoys Visit Scotland four star rating.

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