Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.
First stop on arriving in the immense baroque red sandstone Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum was their café where we relaxed and enjoyed a light lunch whilst the organ concert was taking place above.
This place is like the British Museum, Science Museum, the V and A, Natural History Museum and the Tate all rolled into one. It’s immense, one needs a battle plan to find a way around the multiple galleries on two floors. The entrance hall is large enough for concerts with the organ at the north end.
We were most interested in the art galleries in the east wings. We were straight into another Mackintosh exhibition. Lots of examples of his work and that of his collaborators. There was a partial reconstruction of a Glasgow Tearoom which he designed for Miss Cranston who owned several tearooms in the city. There was metalwork and glass from the same era. I was struck by the design of the leaded window as it was almost identical to those in my parent’s inter-war semi-detached.
The next gallery was devoted to an extensive collection of The Glasgow Boys. Encountered earlier in the University this group of local artists rebelled against Victorian sentimentality and revolutionised Scottish painting at the end of the C19th. Outdoor naturalistic painting of local scenes and people with strong brush strokes and later French-inspired techniques bordering on the abstract.
Time for coffee and cake,
Now on the first floor. Scottish landscapes, French art, Scottish Colourists and Dutch art. Quite a variety.
And in a room of its own ‘Christ of St John of the Cross’ by Salvador Dalí. This iconic painting was purchased by the gallery in 1952 for £8200 and now estimated to be worth £50million. Dali said he had dreamed the scene of Christ looking down on a shoreline from the cross, no nails or blood.
We had only seen a fraction of the displays in the Museum. In the west wings were a multitude of history, science and nature which we didn’t explore. There were some outstanding paintings on the landings surrounding the first floor and from up here one had a view into the two courts.
A bus back into town, a pint in the Counting House (Witherspoon’s superb use of an old bank) and back home to Preston in a few hours. Glasgow is certainly worth a visit whatever your interests.
I have been watching the history of Scottish Art from BBC on iPlayer. I never knew much about the Glasgow Boys but I reckon they need wider recognition. That has been a much rewarding trip. Thanks.
Yes that was a good series on the TV. There was an exhibition of the Scottish Colourists at Kendal a couple of years ago. They are worth seeing.
An amazing trip! Food for the soul! Thanks for sharing it with us!
Glasgow is much underrated.