Arts & Culture

Dippy the superstar dinosaur heading to Kelvingrove Museum…wait for it…in 2019

By Ian Marland at

It has never before been seen outside London.

Now Dippy, the Natural History Museum’s famous diplodocus, is coming to Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in the West End of Glasgow.

But not surprisingly for something so big that lived 150 millions years ago, it will take some time to get here – 2019 to be precise.

Dippy will travel the length and breadth of the country, stopping at eight venues from early 2018 to late 2020.

Kelvingrove Museum is the only Scottish destination on the tour.

The iconic dinosaur is on a mission to inspire five million natural history adventures, encouraging families to explore nature on their doorstep.

Busy central Hall with queue forthe popular dinosaur gallery snaking round 'Dippy', 31st October 2012.

Busy central Hall with queue forthe popular dinosaur gallery snaking round ‘Dippy’, 31st October 2012.

Chair of Glasgow Life, Councillor Archie Graham, said: “We are absolutely thrilled that Dippy will be visiting Kelvingrove Museum as part of the Natural History Museum’s ‘Dippy on Tour’.

“As one of only eight venues selected across the UK, and the only one in Scotland, we are already counting down the months until he makes his grand appearance in our Centre Hall.

“Over 1 million people visit Kelvingrove Museum every year and we are proud that like all Glasgow Museums it remains free to visit.

“A great many of these visitors will be excited and delighted to learn the spectacular 111-year-old dinosaur cast is coming to Glasgow and that they will have the opportunity to see the incredible creature up close.

Councillor Archie Graham said:

“A great many of these visitors will be excited and delighted to learn the spectacular 111-year-old dinosaur cast is coming to Glasgow and that they will have the opportunity to see the incredible creature up close.

“One of our most visited spaces in the museum is the Life Gallery, which is home to a number of fascinating creatures from the natural history world.

“We are confident Dippy will feel right at home among them when he joins us at Kelvingrove in January 2019.”

“One of our most visited spaces in the museum is the Life Gallery, which is home to a number of fascinating creatures from the natural history world.

“We are confident Dippy will feel right at home among them when he joins us at Kelvingrove in January 2019.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to engage citizens and visitors alike in the way we think about and protect our natural world.”

The 26-metre Diplodocus skeleton is a museum icon and has been on display for more than 100 years. Found in Wyoming, USA.

The 26-metre Diplodocus skeleton is a museum icon and has been on display for more than 100 years. Found in Wyoming, USA.

Dippy, has delighted visitors since he arrived in London in 1905.

With generous support from the Garfield Weston Foundation, the tour will spark the imagination of the next generation of scientists and connect the nation with nature.

Philippa Charles, Director of the Garfield Weston Foundation, said: “Generations of children have been awestruck by Dippy’s spectacular presence at the heart of the Natural History Museum and we hope he continues to inspire the nation to rediscover nature as he works his way round the UK.

“The Foundation’s Trustees are looking forward to Dippy taking pride of place in the different venues and to seeing children enthused and engaged by the wildlife around them.”

Dippy will visit Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and five regions across England.

In chronological order, Dippy will be on show at: Dorset County Museum, Birmingham Museum, Ulster Museum, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum Glasgow, Great North Museum Newcastle, National Assembly for Wales, Number One Riverside Rochdale, and Norwich Cathedral. A total of 90 venues responded to the open-call for potential partners in 2015.

The full skeleton in its displayed pose is an impressive 21.3 metres long, 4.3 metres wide and 4.25 metres high.

Philippa Charles said:

“Generations of children have been awestruck by Dippy’s spectacular presence at the heart of the Natural History Museum and we hope he continues to inspire the nation to rediscover nature as he works his way round the UK.

“The Foundation’s Trustees are looking forward to Dippy taking pride of place in the different venues and to seeing children enthused and engaged by the wildlife around them.”

Kelvingrove Museum will use Dippy’s visit to showcase the city’s local natural habitats and Glasgow Museums’ natural history collection, strengthening existing and forging new partnerships between regional cultural, scientific and wildlife organisations.

Dippy’s last day on show at the Natural History Museum in London will be 4 January 2017.

Conservators will take the next 12 months to prepare the delicate plaster-of-Paris cast for its journey.

The tour begins on Dorset’s Jurassic Coast, first going on show in January 2018 at Dorset County Museum.

Sir Michael Dixon, Director of the Natural History Museum added: “We wanted Dippy to visit unusual locations so he can draw in people that may not traditionally visit a museum.

“Making iconic items accessible to as many people as possible is at the heart of what museums give to the nation, so we have ensured that Dippy will still be free to view at all tour venues.”

“Working with our eight partners we look forward to inspiring five million natural history adventures and, encouraging children from across the country to develop a passion for science and nature.

“Few museum objects are better known – surely no one object better evokes the awesome diversity of species that have lived on Earth?”

* For more information visit www.glasgowmuseums.com