top of page

V&A Dundee Tartan Exhibition - Review

The first major tartan exhibition in Scotland for 30 years, has opened at the V&A Dundee! Exhibits include the oldest known tartan dating back to circa 1500 - 1600, a kilt worn in the First World War and from Chanel, an Ottoman silk cape from 1922 in the Gordon tartan plus much more!

V&A Dundee Marks 5th Anniversary With Major Tartan Exhibition

Tartan at V&A Dundee marks the 5th anniversary of Scotland's design museum. The first Victoria and Albert museum outside of London.

About Dundee

Dundee is known for its three J's, Jute, Journalism, and Jam. Today the city is a hub for creatives in gaming, design, and fashion. It is also the home to RRS Discovery, the 3-masted ship that took Scott and Shackelton on the Antarctic expedition between 1901-1903. With artefact collections exhibited over 2 decks and galley. A firm favourite is also the Dundee Cake.

Outside fisher and Donaldson bakery in Dundee
Since 1919, the family bakery has the best Dundee cake!


"Tartan is a textile, a pattern, a cultural phenomenon, a byword for all things Scottish.

Traditional and rebellious, adored and divided, tartan is a pattern of endless contradiction."

With more than 300 objects the tartan exhibition illustrates the universal and enduring appeal with examples of fashion, architecture, graphic and product design, photography, furniture, glass and ceramics, film, performance, and art.

Highlighting the ways tartan has shaped identities, embraces tradition, expresses rebellion, and conjures fantasy. From a checked cloth woven in multiple colours in the Highlands, tartan's distinctive pattern can now be found on every surface imaginable. No other textile pattern has been categorised to such a degree, with more than 11,000 known examples of tartan recorded worldwide proving its iconic grids continue to offer unlimited possibilities and inspiration.

Discover all the officially listed tartans via the Scottish Tartans Authority.

Christmas Card from Fisher & Donaldson featuring a tartan box coming out of a flying helicopter and Santa waving.