As a collection, it is nothing if not eclectic. What better way to lure the curious world to Dundee than with a little help from some wellies, lemmings and Fair Isle jumpers?
The Scottish city is to be relaunched into the centre of the art world this weekend, with the opening of a new multi-million-pound V&A Dundee, the first V&A museum built outside London and the country's only dedicated design museum.
Curators have gathered around 300 objects, some from the V&A’s own collection and other borrowed from around the world, aimed at telling the world about Scotland’s innovation in an £80.1 million building on the waterfront of the River Tay.
Dating from a 15th century book of illuminated manuscripts to a just-completed videogame, they include furniture, fashion and one of the city's most famous sons: Dennis the Menace.
Lemmings, the 1980s computer game loved by a generation after being developed by a company founded in Dundee, will be shown in the form of footage being played by one of its creators.
A pair of Hunter green wellington boots, also from the 80s, will be put on show, more than 150 years after the North British Rubber Company was founded in Edinburgh.
Linoleum, invented in 1863, also stars in the exhibition, with a promotional case in the shape of an elephant which once carried a catalogue for Kirkcaldy’s Nairn Floors.
From the modern era come a costume from Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, worn by Natalie Portman’s character and designed by Trisha Biggar, who is Scottish while honouring one of Dundee’s most famous exports, DC Thompson’s Beano, is a piece of artwork for a 1960 Dennis the Menace comic strip, hand-coloured and annotated.
Pride of place will be given to a Fair Isle jumper, made in the 1920s in the knit which became a craze after being worn by the future Edward VIII.
Described as a "living room for the city", the £80.1 million Kengo Kuma-designed building opens to the public fully on Saturday and forms part of an ongoing £1 billion regeneration of Dundee's waterfront.
More than 10,000 people are expected to attend a special festival event at the museum on Friday. Its highlights include the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Oak Room, a conserved and painstakingly reconstructed interior of Miss Cranston's Ingram Street tearoom which has been unseen in storage for 50 years after the shop’s closure.
Kengo Kuma, architect of V&A Dundee, said: “The big idea for V&A Dundee was bringing together nature and architecture, to create a new living room for the city. I hope the museum can change the city and become its centre of gravity.
Joanna Norman, director of the V&A Research Institute, said: “The influence of Scottish design is not limited to one country: it has been felt around the world.
“I think those who visit V&A Dundee will be intrigued and inspired to learn about the impact this relatively small country has, and continues to have, on the world of design.”
Sophie McKinlay, director of programme, said: “Dundee was built on trade and exchange and I want the new museum to be a gate through which the city can once again access the world.
“Reflecting upon its past as a port city is crucial part of rethinking Dundee’s future. V&A Dundee is a new opportunity for the city and the museum is poised to trade and exchange ideas globally.”
Entry to the museum will be free, with temporary exhibitions such including its first, Ocean Liners: Speed and Style, requiring a paid ticket.