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Dick Institute, Kilmarnock

(4.7/5 based on 50+ reviews on the web)
The Dick Institute is a museum in Kilmarnock, Scotland. It is an important cultural venue in the south-west of Scotland, featuring the largest museum and art gallery space in Ayrshire as well as East Ayrshire's central library.History of the buildingThe Dick Institute was opened in 1901. The funds which were required to build the Institute were provided by James Dick, who lived in Australia but was born, in 1823, in Soulis Street, Kilmarnock. The building was severely damaged by fire only eight years after it opened. Some of the museum's collections were lost in the fire but it reopened in 1911 and was used as an auxiliary hospital in 1917 during World War I.The Modern BuildingThe Dick Institute has a programme that includes nationally important exhibitions, permanent displays of the museum's own collections and work by contemporary artists, film makers and young people from the area, giving the Dick Institute a growing reputation for the quality and scope of its exhibitions and events. Previous major exhibitions have included Miffy, Quentin Blake, Wallace and Gromit, Cutting Edge, Radical Nature and Bill Viola.Many of Scotland’s leading contemporary artists including Kenny Hunter, Simon Ward and Christine Borland have been shown and creative commissioning programmes have supported artistic talent, by linking with major shows such as Ayrshire Innovators, Creative Burns and South By South West. The South Museum and Loom Room feature stories of the local and social history of the area as well as a Johnnie Walker display featuring a selection of illustrations and objects from the company and from the Institute's own collections.
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  • I just love this place i have been running around in it since the 60,s and im still running around in it . Library and art gallery downstairs and Museum and extended art gallery upstairs . there is a ...  more »
  • Our visit to the Dick institute was just great. I never knew it used to be a Hospital back in the day. Its a good afternoon out.  more »
  • Finally managed to see this exciting jewellery Exhibition. Loved it!! Kids took our library books and enjoyed all the galleries. It was a great exhibition and so happy to see it in Kilmarnock. I just ...  more »
  • Superb displays on local history and the natural world. Very supportive of local artists and writers. Helpful, friendly staff. Excellent facilities. Love to visit - easy to become immersed in museum displays.
  • Very good library. Has a huge selection of books, also has internet access and toons of local historical information.
  • All staff are very helpful a good experience Well done
  • Fond memories of "The Dick" when at primary school and Kilmarnock Academy in late 50's and early 60's. Both schools very nearby. Almost daily visits at lunchtime to both museum and library. I was especially privileged to wear a Chinese tunic which I remember on display to a primary school play because a classmates father was chief librarian at the time. Many years since I visited but it was a full size dinosaur during the 80s with my children. By then the displays were interactive. Would love to visit again to relive old memories.
  • I was slightly disappointed to find out this wasn't the same as the 'Dick Institute' I frequented in Soho, London in the Seventies. They appreciated crotchless leather chaps more in the London branch. Hat's off to East Ayrshire Council for their swift and all encompassing Restraining Orders.