Untitled (large head) by William Turnbull

The University of Dundee Museum Collections have been awarded £100,000 towards a collection of art inspired by Sir D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson, the University’s first professor of biology.


Watercolor and gouache on paper
56 x 76 cm
Art Fund grant:
£7,767 ( Total: £8,840)
Acquired in:
Osborne Samuel Ltd

Thompson founded a vast museum of natural history in the 1880s, which he used as a research base while writing his internationally significant book On Growth and Form, 1917. This pioneered the science of mathematical biology and helped build a bridge between the sciences and the arts, becoming influencial on Henry Moore, Eduardo Paolozzi and William Turnbull. The museum was demolished in the 1950s, but the remaining collection continues to be housed in the University of Dundee’s Zoology Museum, which opened to the public in 2008. The £100,000 given to the museum through the Art Fund’s Renew project will go towards developing a ‘capsule collection’ of significant contemporary works inspired by the work and collections of D’Arcy Thompson


Acquired from the artist 1950s; Robert Devereux collection; James Hyman Gallery; Osborne Samuel.

Venue details

University of Dundee Museum Collections Tower Foyer & Lamb Galleries, Tower Building, University of Dundee, DUNDEE Tayside DD1 4HN 01382 384310 www.dundee.ac.uk/museum

Entry details

Free to all

Tower Foyer & Lamb Galleries Mon-Fri, 9.30am – 7pm Sat, 1 – 5pm D’Arcy Thompson Zoology Museum Jun – Aug (or throughout the year by appointment) Fri, 2 – 4.30pm Artists’ Book Collection Dundee By appointment Mon – Fri, 10am – 6pm